Are You Ready to Own A Dog? Lessons from My Weekend with Dingolay

are-you-ready-to-be-a-dog-owner-dingolay

I used to imagine myself sauntering around with an impeccably groomed, cute-as-a-button, pint-sized puppy peeking out from my handbag.

Last week, I volunteered to help my friend Ayanna dog sit her super-cute pet, Dingolay (pronounced ding-go-lay). And after spending two days with my “god-dog”, I’ve been wondering: Am I ready to be a pet owner?

If you’re reading this and considering buying a dog, allow me to assist by sharing a few things you might want to think about before you drop bills on one.

Do not get a dog if…

squeamish

Dingolay only recently joined us here on Earth, so this sweet pup is still learning the ins and outs of potty training. And despite my best efforts to have her use the training pads, I ended up having to do a lot of poop scooping. Not fun. Even less fun when she started to eat it! After panicking and frantically texting her owner Ayanna, the ever-useful Google confirmed that pups eating their own poop is perfectly normal–most of the time. Phew!

sharing-your-space

I grew up as an only child and never had a pet. Back when I was 8 or 9, we returned the only dog I ever had after about a week. (Thanks, mom!) That said, Dingolay has a different opinion on space. She followed me everywhere. It was cute at first, then annoying, then nerve-wracking as I tried to make my pace slower as I moved around the apartment so I wouldn’t step on her. I was terrified. Why not just put her in a cage, you ask? More on that in the next section.

peace-and-quietIt was Saturday. Given my recent out-of-control hair situation, I wanted to spend some time deep conditioning my tresses. So, I decided that the wisest, most right-thinking thing to do was to put her in her cage. Bad idea. Correction: awful idea. Dingolay, mostly quiet since her arrival, transformed into a wailing, growling, clawing, yelping creature. I put treats through the window of the cage. I played music for her. I put a toy in there, too. Nothing worked. And for the sake of sanity and sweet silence, I aborted my plans for intensive hair care until Sunday night.

time-and-energy

Now I know this sounds cliché but seriously…Do not get a dog if you don’t have time. Do not get a dog if you don’t have time. Do not get a dog if you don’t have time. Get the picture? I was working on a school assignment for the entire weekend but felt like I needed to schedule time to play with Dingolay, which I’m sure she welcomed after extended periods of boredom. Then I needed to find time to scoop the poop, deodorize and clean the carpet, mop the floor, and refill her water bowl. Simply put: Dogs = less time x less energy.

Now you’re probably thinking, Ms. Sooo Fabulous! does not like dogs. Let me be clear; I do. It was a pleasure taking care of Dingolay!

But it made me realize that I only like two types of dogs: dogs that are way smaller than I am, and dogs that are owned by other people.

The fact is, I’m just not ready for a major living, breathing responsibility. And as more of my friends get married, have babies, and contemplate starting families, I’m wondering: if last weekend was a type of rehearsal, am I really ready for the mommyhood big show? Stay tuned…

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