Corona: Should You Get a Puppy?
Did you know dog thefts have been at an all-time high during this pandemic? Pets have been in such huge demand across the country that criminals have cashed in by nicking them and selling them on to people desperate for a new puppy. But before you rush to get a new companion, there are things to consider first.
Getting a new pet, whether a young one or an older one, is a monumental task. They have to get used to your home and whilst they acclimatise, you’re the one who has to stop everything to spend time with them and look after them. Don’t think it’ll be easy, because it darn well won’t be! Not only that, you also have to stop them wrecking your home (dogs like chewing and cats like scratching), you’ll need to house train them, exercise them, clean up their mess (both yucky but also untidy by-products of a run around), get them used to sleeping alone… The list is truly endless.
Of course, I say all this from experience. We had a wonderful Westie for 12 years who unfortunately died of cancer a couple of years ago. After our hearts tried to mend themselves, we decided it was time to take the leap and get another doggy, especially as my mum, dad and I were all working from home due to the pandemic. We were extremely lucky and just a couple of weeks later, the RSPCA called us up to say our application was successful. 7 days later, our new dog (a 2-year-old French Bulldog) was delivered to us and he is wonderful! We all adore him, but boy is he a rascal! Let me give you some insight as to what we have to put up with:
- House-training. He had a wonderful wee under my bed today which was a nightmare to clean up.
- Destruction. Nothing is safe. He particularly enjoys munching metal and wooden objects. His new favourite: the trunk of the Christmas tree.
- Cleaning. Everything! The house, his paws, his face, his bottom… It’s not cute!
- Zoomies. Yes, they are as sweet as the internet claims, but when you’re trying to have supper and he comes flying towards you at 101 mph, it does eventually become a bit tiresome.
- Noise. I’m talking snoring, barking, howling, grunting. The snoring is cute (for me, as he doesn’t sleep in my room!), and in all honesty, he is much quieter than our previous dog who would bark at everything, but our Frenchie can be very loud himself!
- Attachment issues. I love that he clambers onto my lap to watch TV with me, but we can’t leave the room without him following us. Several times my mum and I have tripped because he’s been under our legs in the kitchen. Forget going out of the house: someone needs to be in all the time. I missed two weeks of lectures from looking after him from 5:30am (he would howl in the morning when we first got him) until 5pm when my mum would relieve me. He’s such an attention seeker and of course I love it and I love him, but it can be a bit much sometimes!
Obviously, I absolutely adore my dog – we all do – but I really think you ought to think twice if you and your family are wanting a new pet because you’re all WFH. They bring such joy and are the most wonderful companions, but it’s a serious commitment. Also bear in mind how your circumstances may change with the distribution of the vaccine. Will everyone still have time to look after them? I doubt it. If you do end up reaching the conclusion that a furry friend is for you, then I urge you to get a rescue. Our dog has so much character, he’s a total cheeky chappie and they’re all so desperate to be loved! Bred puppies grow up, so why not give a shelter a chance to find you your new pawsome pal?