According to Instagram, you all love your dogs. I just don’t get it.
Recently, my brother (who’s also my roommate) and I decided to be nice guys and dogsit for a friend.* The terms: two little Dachshunds were all ours for one week.
*Technically, he offered and told me what we signed up for after the fact. And the friend is the sister of our other brother’s serious girlfriend, so we were of course happy to oblige.
I was already leery of ever owning a dog, despite so many people my age getting them — probably as practice for raising kids. Or just out of loneliness, either way. Well, a week of having the two pooches only convinced me beyond a doubt: I am never getting a dog.
First, there were plenty of positives. Let me say that.
- The unconditional love is pretty cool. I had just met these dogs and I’d never done anything good or bad to them. Yet within a day they were trying to cuddle up in my lap and going crazy for me when I got home from work. That was nice.
- Petting is really therapeutic.
- The potential for good online dating pictures is through the roof.
- I talk out loud a lot when I’m alone. Doing it with a dog in the room makes you feel a lot less crazy.
- These little guys follow you around like you’re some supreme leader. It felt like I had my own set of Minions.
But, for me, the negatives far outweighed the benefits.
- Any kind of barking at night. I’m trying to go to sleep, not listen to a dog whine. Thankfully, my brother being the good sport he is, let the dogs sleep in his room to quiet them down. I would make no such compromise.
- They really do demand your attention. The nuzzling to be petted, the barking for food, the pawing at your leg for a reason you have no way of knowing, wanting to play fetch, always trying to lay on you. Go hang out on your own man!
- Having to walk them, and on their schedule. Again, I barely did any work and my brother took care of this, but he had to wake up 30 minutes early every morning to walk the dogs so they could poop before work. Do you know how valuable my morning sleep time is? 30 minutes of dogwalking = 4 more snooze buttons on my alarm! And then to do it all over again when they need to go outside at night. That’s my Netflix time.
- They dictate your social life. Can’t be away from the house too long or else they’ll crap everywhere. Can’t be away overnight because they aren’t supposed to stay in the crate for too long. And these were little baby dogs! They probably could survive in a crate for days at a time. I can’t imagine how anybody with a lab or a golden retriever could deal with this.
- They poop in your kitchen.
- You have to dog proof everything. We set up barricades so they couldn’t get upstairs. Nothing chewable could stay on the floor. Any wires or shoes couldn’t be left out. And you just can’t drop any food on the ground. Ever.
- Dogs don’t really do anything. It’s really not that different from having a Tamagotchi in terms of what they’re capable of.
- They smell. Their food smells. Lots of hair.
And I didn’t even have to pay for anything. Can’t imagine vet bills, dog food, and accessories also coming out of my pocket.
The biggest comparison I hear people say is that having a dog is like having a kid. Except in my eyes, you get the same negatives with both, whereas a kid offers a lot more positives. For one, making the baby is a lot more fun than getting the dog.
But a child grows, develops, changes. They learn how to talk and walk and have conversations with you and play catch and interact in society. Dogs reach their ceilings pretty quickly. And they don’t have any of your DNA or capacity to be affected by your wisdom or life lessons.
Basically for me, it all comes down to this: if I have to pay for your food, pay for your doctor, clean your poop, and put up with your whining — you either better be my lover or a human result of my relationship with one.