While chatting on Twitter last week, two of my fellow Tweeters mentioned they were thinking about getting a dog. AThey are no doubt used to my inane tweets about having to walk the dog, it chasing the cat, licking my feet or inflicting pain in my gentleman’s area with its blooming massive heavy paws !
As I’m now clearly an expert in dog ownership and it’s a big decision to make, they even asked for my balanced opinion on the matter. Of course, the question of impartiality raises some conflicts of interest on my part bearing in mind my previous pre-dog owning post"Walkies" and "Ok so she's a bit of a dog"
Reading those back now, I could be forgiven for being a little pessimistic about the joys of dog ownership. Funny, the joys of parenting are another closely drawn parallel….
Anyway, most of my Nostradamus style apocalyptic predictions actually did come to pass – so I wasn’t completely barking, if you pardon the pun.
It does cost a lot of money to own a dog, the ongoing food bills, worming, vaccinations, insurance all adds up….and that’s before the chewed skirting boards, plasterboard, pee-ruined rug, chewed phone cables and garden destruction!!! Oh, and the trip to the vet for stitches when she was bit by another dog before we had the insurance.
We also seem to have acquired not only the most expensive bitch in the litter, but also the most hyperactive, excitable, sees-another-dog-and-goes-berserk
Labrador out there. Walking her is very difficult, at
times embarrassing, especially when all the other dog owners look at you as if
your one is the naughty kid in school. However, we are used to that with
actually already having the child with ASD
that everyone thinks is uncontrollable anyway, so perhaps the dog fits right
In all seriousness, I’m told that Lab’s generally are a bit mental until they are a couple of years old and apparently settle down into very steady pets…. or was that one of my wife’s other assurances. Hmmmm?
There are some positives (I’m told). Our autistic son loves the dog and has great interaction with it. She helps to get him out of the house and away from his computer. My wife says this works for her too and she has enjoyed having something else to do through the day. Although it has almost continually pissed down with rain this year – so you need to add waterproofs and wellies to your expenditure plan.
For me, I don’t really mind the dog….. but I do mind the commitment. I guess I didn’t really want to be saddled with the responsibility of having another weight round my neck. It is a big decision, especially if you have time constraints and as the age old saying goes…dogs are for life… a bit like kids and we know how much they don’t come with adequate small print. However, it doesn’t stop us having them, so I guess it should be the same for dogs.
Of course, being a lazy git, I always found the cat great to look after. You don't have to walk cats !
Anyway, as far as my balanced opinion goes.........Personally, anyone considering a dog needs to weigh up their circumstances, lifestyle and must never watch Marley and Me or the Andrex adverts while doing so.