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My Friend Got a Dog – Now I Want One Too

I want a dog. I have since I could say the word dawg.

And I’m a responsible working adult. I have my own place (rented with a roomie) and I have some moolah to play with.

But, I know I’m too busy. Here’s the thing – I work 8 hours a day, and this doesn’t include travel time. I like going out with my friends on weekends and playing rec sports on Wednesday nights. Some days I’m able to sneak home for lunch hour, but that’s only if work isn’t crazy. Plus, when there’s a big deadline sometimes I have to stay at the office late or work on my laptop from home.

Tinder’s lame & I’m still single, but I have this one guy on the go.

I want a dog still, so what do I do? I’m lonely and know there are so many dogs that NEED a great home. Won’t the dog be ok to sleep while I’m at work? Do I need to feed it midday?

FULL STOP.

 

I feel stressed out writing this. It’s so much pressure on one person to be responsible for another living creature above and beyond herself. Let’s say these thoughts are happening in Jaunary post-Christmas maximum social time?

You want a dog but the weather is poop – it’s cold and snowy, or rainy if you’re living in the Pacific Northwest. Plus, there’s the arduous task of leashing up a dog to go out in the pouring rain & if they’re a pitty-mix they’re dodging you because they don’t like getting water in their ears.

 

Heading down the road of worst-case scenarios, what if the dog goes destructo-mode when it’s left alone?

Many dogs in the rescue system have had lame experiences with people in the past. The possibilities are endless and since we can’t reason with them verbally. It’s a time-intensive process of gaining trust through proof of concept for dogs to be ok with a daily routine. We don’t make it any easier when the main source of food, companionship and safety leaves for 8 hours a day.

This means testing a few methods until you find a couple that work for you:

  • gradual departures
  • mental stimulation
  • small breaks
  • checking in throughout the day to make sure the dog hasn’t eaten (or humped!!) the couch and hasn’t left you a Hershey’s Kiss as a token for leaving them alone for a half a day

The rationale people use when adopting a puppy is that they can structure the dogs’s behaviour from the get-go.

Yes, this is true to a point.
Except when you realize you cannot influence natural behaviours. You cannot expect a puppy to behave 100% of the time and you cannot expect things to be perfect all of the time. Real life is messy & so is learning how to care for a dog to the best of your ability.
Options for satisfying your desire for companionship without throwing your life as you know it down the toilet:
  1. Make plans to hike with a friend and her dog. Offer to towel off the dog after it runs through mud.
  2. Visit your local animal shelter and sign up to volunteer.
  3. Volunteer in fundraising efforts along with a rescue you like. We offered to volunteer at an event we would have otherwise bought tickets to, and guess what? We got to run the poopy – sorry – puppy pit. Obsessive folks swept in and would hang on to these 10 week old puppies for as long as they could. I’m pretty sure some would have snuck them out in their purse if we hadn’t been watching like hawks.
  4. Foster FIRST. Read more about this here.
  5. Offer your home as an overnight or temporary place for regular fosters to have their dogs go when they head out on short vacations or get away for a weekend.
What we’ve seen first-hand is people who want a dog dive into pet ownership with the best intentions, thinking of the animal first.

Then life takes over and the well-being of the dog suffers. Not fair & super stressful for both of you.

Let’s encourage helping with intention, trial & error before committing to a dog for keeps. That way, when you do find the dog you want to be your co-pilot you know it’s when you’re good & ready.
Making life better for you and your furry bud.

3 Real Ways to Help a Dog in the Pound

Being a dog in the local pound Bites.

As a dog with no friends, no family and not a lot to look forward to on the daily, it can wear on you pretty fast. But aside from adopting an animal at the shelter for keeps, what else can you do?

Here are 3 of the best ways to help out a dog at your local pound:

 1. Engage with them on social media

Make a point to check-in regularly to share the latest about dogs in need with your network.

If you think their posts are worth sharing, do the simple act of clicking share. One of your friends could be looking to adopt a dog just like the one you just shared and BINGO!

By spreading the word it not only gives more options for people looking to adopt, it could lead to one happy dog!

2. Volunteer at the shelter

Ask the staff at the animal shelter about becoming a volunteer. With each animal needing to be walked, exercised and be socialized every day – there are always opportunities to help out.

Each shelter has different processes for becoming a volunteer. Chek their rules on dog walking and ask if you can learn the ropes from a more experienced volunteer.

By simply offering your time and a bit of kindness, you can make a measurable impact on these dogs’ quality of life.

3. Invite a Shelter Dog for a SleepOver

How fun could it be to take home a dog from the pound for a sleepover at your place? Over-nighters can be a squirrely way to break up your routine, giving you both a reset.

Because they have lots of un-used energy, most dogs really could use a breather from being cooped up. While they’re waiting in a shelter to get adopted, try giving them a taste of freedom. If you’re able to look after a dog for a night or two it helps remind them of home.

And more importantly, what it’s like to feel loved.