On March 20th, Cynthia has decided to bring home a puppy. We, of course, deliberated a great deal at a hawker food center next to the pet shop. I was still am against the notion of having an animal living under the same roof. After two hours of discussion, I thought I have achieved my goal. She said she would spend the weekend thinking about it. Then we passed by the pet shop. She stopped and looked at the dog inside the cage waiting for a new home. One pet shop assistant whom we met earlier on came out and invited Cynthia back into the shop. The rest is history.
At one point while we were going through the paperwork at the pet shop, Cynthia did show signs of hesitation. This is happening. Is it really what we want? By then, it was too late. I said you have made a decision. Let’s stuck by it.
So, we brought home a puppy that managed not to pee or poop inside our car as we drove from Ang Mo Kio to Tiong Bahru. At home, the puppy peed onto the pee tray (it happened to be a one-time-only occurrence and our excitement was short-lived) and shortly, pooped in our living room.
Before you bring home a puppy, allow me to offer you what to anticipate, especially when you are a first time dog owner. Ironically, I have fully anticipated this and more. But the draw to a wolf-like puppy that no one seemed to want (this puppy was stuck in a pet shop for a while and was more than 5 months old when we brought him home) was too much for Cynthia.
- Is your home suitable to have a dog or a puppy? It is hard and almost impossible to get rid of saliva marks on the floor. Can you handle the hair shedding of a dog? You will need to ringfence a part of your home for the dog to be unsupervised. Can you put up with the ongoing inconvenience of accessing different areas of your own home?
- Puppy destroys stuff when unsupervised (even when supervised). Bailey tore off wallpaper, scratched the wooden floor, bit off a bit of the wall, put a hole onto the curtain, and etc. Would you be okay with it?
- Training a puppy takes time. It also costs if you are a first-time owner and when you need to engage a professional trainer.
- A dog can be a constant attention seeker. Can you handle it?
- A dog needs to be mentally stimulated, emotionally bonded, and physically exercised every day without fail. Can you do it?
- Are you good at sticking to a schedule … every day? Walk the dog, feed the dog, play with the dog, train the dog …
- If you are unable to take your puppy out for peeing every so often and you need to train your puppy to pee at home, are you ready to put up with dog pee smell throughout the day, every day?
- Puppy can have accidents and pees in random places. Are you ready to clean up every time when it happens?
- Dog food costs. Medical fees cost too.
- The different breed requires different attention. How well do you know of the dog’s breed? PS. Don’t trust the pet shop fully. Their job is to sell puppies.
- Training a puppy or a dog can be frustrating, especially when it doesn’t seem to listen. There will be days when you would ask yourself, what have I done?
- And then there are other daily activities such as cleaning ears, dental care, and brushing the hair. Every week you need to shower the dog. And etc. A dog doesn’t really grow up and learn to do things on his or her own as humans do. You have to look after the dog for the rest of his or her life.
Having said all that, if you can handle all of the above and more, it can be rewarding for some when your furry friend would greet you when you return home and love you unconditionally. Because you are all that he or she has.