So... you're ready for a dog!
a cheeky look at dog ownership...
Dear Prospective Dog Owner,
So, you're thinking about getting a dog?
Well Congratulations! Dog's are man's (and woman's) best friend after all.
In getting a dog you'll be joining 4 million of the rest of us Aussie dog owners. Oops - it's not cool these days to talk about ownership of pets. Oops - it's not cool these days to talk about pets. You'll be sharing your life with a canine companion animal.
I guess then you'll have heard about the benefits of living with your chosen friend. You'll become healthier – less visits to the doctor; more exercise; decreased stress levels, especially if you spend time patting your dog. You'll also discover that more people want to talk to you. You'll have less chance of being burgled. Most importantly of all, you'll have the support of an unconditional friend. Think how important this will be on those bad hair days!
Presumably you've spent a considerable amount of time considering what sort of dog to get? Maybe it will be just be the one left in the pet shop windows. Or the last one in the litter. Or maybe you've known all along that you want that beautiful aristocratic Borzoi or that macho Rottie. Will it matter if it has a loud, domineering personality that is the complete opposite of yours? Never mind that you have perfect lawns and this dog was bred to DIG.
Of course, you will have considered just how you will amuse your canine friend. That dog will get you walking! Ha Ha! Chances are he will sit beside you in your armchair and you'll gain weight together. That's if he's allowed indoors. Maybe you have a big backyard and your dog will be happy there - wish I had a dollar for every time someone said that!
Well, sorry to spoil your fantasy. Big backyards are just as boring as little ones. Dogs need companionship. We are their family. Shove us outdoors with nobody to talk to, nothing to do and we'd probably start barking too! That'd teach those neighbours who complained to the local council!
You'll have worked out the expense of keeping a dog by now. Annual vet check ups, vaccinations, flea control treatments, not to mention food. That's quite a bill and that's before you go on holiday and book the kennels.
You are lucky to be thinking about getting a dog at this point in time as there are so many businesses and services that will make your life easier and your dog's more luxurious: mobile grooming services, dog walkers (then someone else can pick up poo), doggy healers (hands-on or the telepathic variety) and even doggy day care. There are training classes of all descriptions, books, magazines, websites and tv shows galore to educate you about your chosen companion.
Should your relationship break down – and at times it will – then you are fortunate that, if it becomes irretrievable, then so many shelters are willing to take your pet, no questions asked. Then of course you can get another one and repeat the experience.
I too am lucky that in my chosen business I have an abundance of work due to the love of pet ownership. I get to help with canine capers, peeing pussycats and helpless humans. I too get frustrated with pet problems and aim for prevention rather than problem-solving.
So if you are still determined to get a dog or any other pet, congratulations – join the club. It will be one of the most enjoyable and educational experiences of your life. If, however, it all seems too difficult to contemplate, congratulations – you've just become a responsible non-pet owner.
Enjoy your pets!