I got my French Bulldog 4 years ago. She was a surprise from my hubby (then boyfriend). I had been harping on for a whole year about how I wanted to get a Frenchie. He did the research, found a reputable breeder and surprised me for my birthday. And to this day that was the best birthday surprise I have ever received.
Four years and two dogs later, I inherited a 110-lb mastiff named Brooklyn when Yahve and I moved in together. I’ve learned a lot and my life is definitely different with dogs than without. I love them both and the laughs and love I get from them outweighs the work it takes into having them.
But there are a few things that I wish I would have known before I became a dog owner.
If you are considering getting a dog, here is my humble advice:
- Take note of the dogs personality when you meet him/her. If you notices she is shy/happy/energetic/playful, that is likely what your dog is going to be like 24/7. I say my dog picked me because out of a liter of 5 she kept jumping up and down (and on top of her bothers and sisters) to get my attention. She still does it today. She loves attention!
- Consider Adoption! There are so many dogs out there who need forever homes. I wish I had considered adopting. There are all sorts of breeds and ages that need families.
- Know that “what you allow is what you teach.” I spoiled my dog rotten when I first got her. When she cried in the middle of the night, I would get up and lay her on my chest until she feel asleep. That turned into her sleeping in my bed… until my hubby (then boyfriend) put his foot down. But she was already spoiled. It was hard for her AND me to transition her to her own little doggy bed. I wish I had been more stern with her from the time she was a young pup because now she is a teenager and she’s not letting go of those bad habits I allowed when she was a wee pup. (And if my husband is reading this, I know he’s doing the “I-told-you-so-but-you-don’t-listen-to-me-smirk.”)
- Be prepared for your dog to wreck your stuff. I won’t list everything she has ever peed on, chewed up or scratched (but trust me between my Frenchie and my 110-lb Mastiff, they have done some demolition) but I will tell you the one that hurt the most…. Mayo had taken to hiding out in my closet to take naps, or so that’s what I thought she was doing. It wasn’t until month’s later when I was packing to move that I realized she had been chewing on my favorite pair of gold Brian Atwood cork platform sandals. And child, do you know the kind of rage so hot that you don’t even know what to say? I just went silent.
- Have a trusted list of sitters ready. You don’t want to be in a lurch when you when you have to go away or are going to be gone for the whole day.
- Don’t run to the vet for everything. I spent a pretty penny on vet visits when I got Mayo. One day she seemed under the weather and I took off from work to spend the day with her and take her to the vet. $200 later, I learned that she just had an upset stomach. I learned to Google things and confer with other pet owners before running off to the vet. So now when she does something like swallow something potentially dangerous, I give her hydrogen peroxide to drink to make her throw up. *I am not a vet so take my advice with a grain of salt, you know whats best for your pet at the end of the day.