So you are thinking of getting a dog? A new family member! A new best friend! It’s a pretty exciting idea, but dog ownership comes with responsibility blah blah blah…

Anyway… I’m not here to preach, but as a dog owner let me share some of the reasons you may want to rethink the idea.

Norman is my Maltese Shih Tzu. He’s low allergenic and doesn’t shed much. Smart buy right? Wrong. To combat this, he likes to roll in filth, muck and stuff I’m allergic to and then transfer it inside. Instead of shedding hair he brings in leaves and grass and anything else that will stick to his body and disperses it through the house. His fav way to clean off is to roll in my bed sheets. This is particularly horrifying after he’s found something dead to perfume himself with.

I can’t eat or even prepare food without being watched by Norman. Every bite, every trip to the fridge, every time I rustle a paper or put my hand near my mouth… Norman is watching with that pleading expression on his face. It’s like I’m robbing from the starving. It makes everything I eat taste a little bitter.

He’s gotta go outside every 10 minutes… Just has to check up on the back yard. So the door has to be opened. This is murder on air conditioning/heating cost. Sometimes he’ll sit in front of the door and tap it with his paw and when you get up and open it, he looks out for a few seconds and then changes his mind. (Although it feels more like a puppeteer pulling my strings… just because he can.) Last winter I left the door open, the heater off and dressed like it’s ski season. All because of Norman.

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The barking is maddening! He barks at the back fence incessantly! The school kids walking past. Motorbikes. Other dogs. Shadows. Squeaks. The wind. No wind. Something. Nothing. Everything. So much barking! And when an emergency vehicle can be heard he throws back his head and howls… so many decibels. So often.

We’ve been pretty lucky with Norman, but dogs can be crazy expensive. I met a lady at the dog park with a 2-year-old dog who had just been diagnosed as being allergic to meat. He can only eat specialised protein that has been pre broken down. It’s very expensive. But this is a family member… you have to do the right thing by them. Insert all your money here.

Norman is pretty dumb. He can do a few tricks… but so can a deck of cards. He pretends to know what I’m talking about by tilting his head inquisitively when I talk to him, yet he does the same thing if I’m speaking about hijacking the neighbour’s cat and posting it to Hawaii or if I’m talking about exfoliating my feet. It’s fake.

Once in a while he spews or poops inside. Enough said.

If you’re still keen on dog ownership by this stage, well I guess there are some positives about having a dog as a pet. Norman is always waiting at the door when I get home and celebrates my arrival like a footy fan celebrates a GF win. He keeps me company on walks. He cuddles into me when I’m cold. If I’m alone too long, he’ll check up on me. I could give up on hygiene and he wouldn’t judge me in the slightest. On my very good or very bad days he just seems to love me, simply for being me.

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Easy choice.

It’s Norman for me.

Author:
Pat