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What I Learned from Being a Dog Owner

Updated on November 6, 2009

Being a Dog Owner is No Joke!

I have always been a cat person. When I was growing up, we have three cute, lovable cats. I was afraid of dogs. They don't like me (I think) and I don't like them. Every time I get near one, I froze, afraid that the dog might decide to take a bite out of me. But in the past two years, my perspective have changed, largely due in part to our three dogs.

It started more than a year and a half ago when my friend "told" me to buy two of her puppies, a male and female, mixed-breed (Terrier - Maltese) brother and sister. Since my husband wanted to buy dogs who can possibly stand guard for our house, I agreed. A year later, we bought another one, a Doberman - Pinscher. I though it will all be easy. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bonnie, the DobermanMy first female dog - Pretty (see also my avatar)Pretty's fourth puppyRoar like a cub (I mean like a puppy). Anybody want a puppy?A close-up of BonnieA close-up of Tammy
Bonnie, the Doberman
Bonnie, the Doberman
My first female dog - Pretty (see also my avatar)
My first female dog - Pretty (see also my avatar)
Pretty's fourth puppy
Pretty's fourth puppy
Roar like a cub (I mean like a puppy). Anybody want a puppy?
Roar like a cub (I mean like a puppy). Anybody want a puppy?
A close-up of Bonnie
A close-up of Bonnie
A close-up of Tammy
A close-up of Tammy

First of, having a dog is NO joke! We had to commit to taking care of our dogs and their various needs. These range from getting up early to feed them, to walk them, to clean up after them and to, generally, have fun with them. It also means shelling out some money to buy dog food, vitamins and vaccines and bringing them to the local veterinarian for their various shots and general check-ups.

Second, dogs can be quite demanding. If you fail to give them their food or take them out for a walk, you'll hear no end of it. My dog gave birth to 5 cute puppies last June. They're used to having their own space (which became dirty in no time). When I put them inside a cage so that I can clean up their place, they raised quite a ruckus. And they have the stamina to whine all day just so I'll let them out! Plus they're really getting on each other's nerves now so they fight a lot among themselves.

Third, dogs have basically the same needs as if I had a baby or a small child. They like their dog food on time and the way they want it, a good place to sleep and their mother's milk (for the puppies). They complain a lot when it's hot or cold or when they're wet, hungry or thirsty. They run to you when they see you bring them food. They destroy everything that they can lay their little mouths on (I already have the leaves of a lot of my plants chewed to bits - good thing they're not poisonous, some plastic also chewed - caused us some panic there, an umbrella destroyed, pieces of paper from the trash bin scattered around). And if they are not taught early enough, they will pee on all kinds of surfaces. Like a small child, they can also be very playful and sweet on their owners. And like real parents, we have to consider our dogs also whenever we go out-of-town. We cannot just drop everything and go anywhere because of them.

Fourth, you cannot underestimate the minds of your dogs. My two-year old Pretty is a very very wise dog. She had managed to chew her collar so that she can cut loose from her chain. She has also managed to create a hole in their cage, to wiggle out of a tiny hole in our gate, to bark her head off when she wants us to wake up and let her in (after she escaped) and to generally show us that she is smart. She becomes wiser as she gets older (although this can't be said with my other two dogs).

Fifth, that dogs have a mind of their own and they will like or dislike any person by their own free will. This one I don't really understand. There are some people who go in and out of my house on a regular basis and yet my dogs still bark their heads off when they see these people. In contrast, I have guests whom I seldom see and my dogs do not mind and even seem to like them! I mean, what gives? I also noticed that they don't forgive and forget easily. I mean if a naughty child starts to tease them, they get angry on the spot. The next time they see the child, they're still angry. I don't think they got that from me, from my husband perhaps?

Sixth, that they can be fiercely loyal to their owners. When we got our first dog and we have to leave for a week, he moped around and generally lost weight. When Pretty gave birth, my husband and I were the only ones she allowed to go near her and hold her puppies. No one else can go near her (and they won't even dare, even until now when the puppies are almost two months' old). Whenever we sit outside, they always sit beside us and generally try to convince us to stroke their fur. Even when we go outside of our gate and go to our neighbor's house, they still watch over us.

Seventh, that it is hard to lose a dog. We just lost our male Terrier - Maltese (we call him Banz) and up until now (it's been almost a month since we lost him), we still miss him. Every time we go out, we still look around to see if we can catch a glimpse of him.

Lastly, that having dogs adore you and be loyal to you and be generally there for you make all the sacrifices and headaches worth it. I would never have exchanged the last one and a half years of my life for a dog-free more peaceful life. Hopefully, with the new batch of puppies, I can get to experience all these again.

What about you? Are you a dog owner? Tell me more about your experiences as a dog owner in your comments below.

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    • profile image

      dober 

      7 years ago

      1. Always spay and neuter your pet. You've added to the overpopulation problem.

      2. Never leave a dog unattended outside. Your dog could have hurt herself or got hit by a car and you'd never have known.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      emdi, unfortunately, my dogs don't like cats too. They bark their heads off and try to corner the cat when they see one.

    • emdi profile image

      emdi 

      8 years ago

      I am a cat and I don't like dogs as they eat my food.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      RN4081, I also can't imagine life without my dogs. They're becoming quite a fixture in our house. Moodiness is not a problem to me because I'd like to believe I'm more moody than they are =). Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

    • profile image

      RN4081 

      8 years ago

      I've always been a dog person. They are just so loyal and lovable, I can't imagine not having them in my life. You're absolutely right though, they are a lot of work, demanding, dependent and moody. Thanks for the great hub.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Wow! Wished I had that conviction when we bought the first one (and then the second one). But after everything, I've learned to like them. Not that I don't get any more headaches especially now that the two smaller dogs have bitten (or tried to bite) some people (arrrggghhhh!). They can be quite sneaky in this sense.

      You want one of the puppies???? They're for sale (if we can figure out how to ship them that is LOL).

      Thanks for the comment.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 

      8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I want a dog! As soon as I buy my house, I'm getting one and he/she will have a big fat ribbon like he/she is a gift! I can't wait! And this dog I'm griping about doesn't necessarily have to be a puppy. I can probably go to a shelter and get one with no strings attached. I do know, as you've earlier mentioned, that dogs are definitely high maintenance and so are very needy (kind of like writers). I feel your pain, as when I spent a good length of time over at my sisters, I had to take care of her three dogs: A Pekingese, a Rottweiler, and an American Eskimo. They are a pain in the rear. Believe it or not, the Rottweiler is the most lovable of the three. Just talking about them makes me miss them. Thanks for sharing!

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