Animals are one of my favorite subjects! Like most people, I started small, for instance with rodents, then worked up to a rabbit and a lizard, and then on to dogs and cats, and then to horses. If I could have a pet giraffe I would, except PetsMart doesn’t sell anything cool for your pet giraffe at the moment.
I understand how easy it is to succumb to the “cute puppy” advertisements. Not only do you want to buy Halloween costumes for your pet guinea pig, but you want to buy a pet guinea pig! And, the larger the pet, the more expensive they get. The US pet industry rakes in over 60 billion dollars a year due to our infatuation with our pets. But this post is not about buying Fifi a winter coat, it is about living with our favorite hairy four-legged friends, which is not all glamour and geniality. Don’t forget, there is a host of reasons why pets are so cute, especially puppies!
I compiled a list of “must knows” about living with pets that are rarely shared with potential pet parents and never seen in those heart-tugging ads. Here you go:
1. Get used to clumps of pet hair rolling across the floor like tumbleweed
2. Get used to people at work pointing to your pant leg covered in pet hair, or telling you that you smell like a dog (or worse).
3. Learn the sound of your pet when it is about to vomit. This is very important if you have a dog or cat! You will need to learn to spring out of bed at 3:00 am and rush your pet outside before it pukes on your foot. If you live in a high-rise apartment, you’re screwed.
4. Be okay with sticking your hand in a plastic bag and retrieving a heaping pile of warm dog pooh while on a walk, especially if you live in an apartment. If you can’t handle picking up dog pooh, get used to being called out on apps like NextDoor and Ring, even if it is really runny diarrhea.
5. Get used to continually buying underwear and socks to replace the disappearing ones. Your lost undergarments will likely appear later as a “dangler.”
6. Learn the lingo. “Dangler” – the pooh wrapped around a pair of underwear or a sock that doesn’t quite completely exit from the dog, which you have to pull out by hand.
7. Get used to the onslaught of love in the form of slobber.
8. Get used to your pet’s annual vet visit costing more than all of your doctor bills for the last 5 years.
9. If you decided to start small, with a hamster, congratulations! You will probably never experience a dangler. However, be sure to put it in a separate room. Once you hit your deep sleep, your hamster will hit the exercise wheel.
10. Pets, any pets, like consistency. If you are not consistent, get used to the retribution in the form of destruction. Could be the carpeting, the couch, your favorite pair of Jimmy Choo shoes. They could be chewed up, peed on, pooped on, or simply just eaten.
11. Get used to the idea of being the boss and falling in love at the same time. If everything goes as planned, you can’t help but fall in love with all the pea-brained, hairy animals in your life. They have absolutely no agenda except to please.
12. Did I mention hair? Lots of hair.
If you decide to move forward and get a pet, enjoy all of their quirks, and expressions, and warmth, because they simply do not live long enough. If you can’t handle any thing in the list I have provided, then do us all a huge favor, and don’t get a pet!