“Man’s (or Woman’s) Best Friend”. At a time when true friends have proven to be more valuable than ever, it seems that getting a dog is something that a good number of people and families did during the past year of “stay at home.” Dogs, in many cases, brought true happiness to an overall terrible situation. Similarly, long-time dog lovers seem to agree: “if you want a friend, get a dog.” The benefits range from personal happiness to family happiness… with a good deal of responsibility mixed in.
While a dog can truly turn out to become a best friend, the “getting a dog” decision is a BIG one and not to be taken lightly. The considerations are several:
- Dog owner responsibility and ongoing learning
- Time commitment – training and care
- Time commitment – over the life span of the dog
- Financial – the costs of having and taking care of a dog are not small and it is wise to consider the budgetary aspects
- Potential life-changing joy… and/or heartache (describes most of life’s endeavors)
Of course, tempting is that in the end, most dog owners say their dog – or dogs (!!) – changed their lives amazingly for the better.
This topic is near and dear to my heart because yours truly, along with my husband, is mulling over whether and when to get a dog. The fun part is deciding what kind of dog to get and whether to go with a quality breeder or a rescue provider. The more difficult part is figuring out how a puppy – who will quickly turn into an adult dog – will fit into a person’s or family’s lifestyle and budget.
Another way of looking at it is as an old Irish (with Polish origins) saying goes, “Leave an empty chair at the table because… there is always room to welcome one more.” A dog can fast become a dear friend and family member with everyone grateful for the mutual acceptance. Over the years I have heard numerous stories of early skeptics of dog ownership being completely converted to over-the-top dog lovers!
Of course, there are those who miserably fail at dog ownership or fall on hard times and must give a dog up for adoption. This sadder event is why careful, thoughtful consideration must be given to all of the aspects of acquiring a dog or any pet. It comes down to timing, sacrifice, and desire for change or more in a person’s or family’s life – with eyes wide open. According to research and anecdotal evidence, a dog’s love is hard to deny at any cost.
Thank you for reading, stay safe and TGIF!