What I Learned from Being a Dog Owner
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.
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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
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.
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).
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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.
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.