This Is What It's REALLY Like To Get Your Own Puppy
Spoiler: Hard AF
You want a dog right? That’s why you clicked on this. Or maybe you just want to see pics of cute puppies and fear not, you’ll get them. But you’ll also get the cold, hard truth about owning your own four-legged friend.
I was DESPO for a puppy that was my own after I left home 17. By the time I was 27, I was one of those creepy people on the street who say ‘Hi!’ to dogs but ignore the owners and yell ‘PUPPY’ whenever I caught a glimpse of one. I needed a dog and nothing would stop me. Apart from the fact I was poor and couldn’t afford my rent, let alone a pooch.
But then I got a boyfriend. And as I write this I realise that sounds like I used him for money. And maybe I did a little. Hey, a girl’s gotta have a dog. Soz not soz.
So after about two and a half years together, I managed to persuade him that getting a dog was the best idea someone had ever had, ever. And this was no small feat considering he was a recovering commitment-phobe who didn’t like pets. Oh and he was allergic. Oops.
Under the condition that I got a red cockapoo (hypo-allergenic) that had white markings on her face (so niche he thought it would take me months - it took me five days) I was given permission and my life was complete.
Our first indication that she might be a tiny bit of hard work was when the breeder said casually that she was ‘very vocal’ and laughed. Looking back it wasn’t the friendly lol I thought it was but a Disney villain cackle foreshadowing Maggie’s neediness.
And when I say she’s needy, she was, and still is, out of control. For the first week of having her she cried through the night. And when I say cried I mean HOWLED like an actual 2kg wolf in our flat. We caved the first morning and went and got her at 5am. It turned out she’d sh*t and peed all over her dog pen and was cowering in a corner and howling like an abandoned dog on an RSPCA advert. What the eff had we done?
For the next week, we were lucky if we slept past daybreak and our nights were interjected with actual dog screams. By the end of week one I was so tired that after the dog peed in front of me in the kitchen, I sat on the floor and cried. But that wasn’t even my lowest point.
My boyfriend, in classic boy fashion, panicked. He told me he didn’t; want a dog anymore and he was too stressed at work to come home, not sleep and look after a puppy. Cue a sh*tload more crying from me.
After that I looked at her tiny, furry face, pulled myself together and told him I would take over 100% for the next month. I would not be defeated by this little thing. Life improved after that; she got her injections so we could take her out, she stopped crying all the time and I became more and more obsessed with her. Like, to the point where I'd de-friend someone if they shaded her.
But the downsides of having a dog are not things people normally think about before they get one. We both work full time so the minimum we’re out of the flat each day is 8.30am to 7pm. We've had to get her a dog walker which is not cheap, especially in London, and it adds up to about £100 per seven days for dog care. Srsly, dog walkers are making some CASH. Plus her pet insurance, food, leads that she chews through at every opportunity, toys she destroys and grooming every six weeks.
There’s also been a few FMLs along the way. One night she was chewing her bone all over our bed and had made such a mess I told her to get down so I could strip the sheets. She wandered next door to the living room and was weirdly quiet. I walked in to discover she had pooed all over the sofa, stepped in it and walked all over the dry-clean only cushions. I shouted at her to get down, so she ran through to the bedroom and trailed sh*t all over the bare bed. I was so frazzled that I yelled her name and she got such a fight she promptly pooed herself again. Not our best moment.
It’s also difficult planning your social life around her. She can be left for about 4-5 hours so going on a night out is pretty tricky. But tbh I’m getting old and cba with clubbing so she’s a great excuse. And yeah, she can come with us to loads of pubs and cafes but my boyfriend doesn’t want to be ‘that couple’ so it takes work. Thankfully my parents and friends are all desperate to take her whenever so that helps.
The hardest thing we’ve found is that she’s SUPER needy. And I know that sounds like the actual dream, having a dog that is as obsessed with you as you are with her but it’s tough when you just want to pee alone sometimes. She also thinks it’s cool to bark in protest when you need to leave her to go to the gym/Tesco/ANYWHERE. Oh and having some ‘alone time’ together? Yeah she’s livid that she isn’t involved so you’ll get used to the sounds of her whining throughout/just give up.
BUT, even after all this I legit couldn’t imagine my life without her. She’s the best company when you want to be with someone but would rather die than make chat and she gets all the Insta likes. But just think about the cold hard facts before you commit yourself to 15 years. It's bloody hard.
And as for the boyfriend who didn’t want her three days in? He’s now so in love with her that he shows videos of her 'first swim' while at 30th birthday parties.
Tbh, they’re so in love that I’m a constant third wheel. I’ve essentially lost my boyfriend and my dog. But at the end of the day she’s the only girl that I don’t mind him spooning in our bed.
He’s going to kill me for writing that.
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