If you’re like me, there’s nothing you love more than an adorable pooch. If you’re also like me, there’s no way in hell you should be a dog owner at this point in your life. As much as I miss the unconditional love, coming home to a big greeting, and having a perpetually-willing volunteer to lick peanut butter off my nuts, I’m self-aware enough to know that getting my own dog right now would be a terrible decision.
While I’m very comfortable with the fact that I probably won’t get a dog until I have someone to help me care for it (either a wife, or a butler who will look after the the dog as I count my money in another room and contemplate whether sacrificing the love of everyone I ever cared about was worth all the financial gain), I constantly hear friends talking about how they’re thinking about getting one. I implore you not to take this decision lightly. Dogs are not Tamagotchis, and if you kill yours, there’s no reset button. To make matters worse, you’ll probably have Sarah McLachlan up your ass. Don’t get me wrong, I love her music, but she just looks kinda smelly and I’d rather admire her from a distance.
In order to be a successful dog owner, you need to have reached a certain level of maturity and responsibility. If you haven’t reached that threshold in which you can effortlessly take care of yourself, I would be willing to wager that throwing another living being into the mix is not going to make things easier. Before you pull the trigger, check out the list below. If you’ve done any of these things over the past couple of months, you should probably hold off on the dog purchasing for the time being.
1. You woke up after a night of drinking and weren’t sure where you were or how you got there - Waking up after a blackout as a youngster might lead to some ball busting from your friends, and then some piecing together of the night over a hungover brunch. No harm, no foul. You know what happens if you blackout and wake up in a different city when you have a dog waiting for you at home? You guessed it: you come home to a DEAD DOG.
2. You slept in on a weekend - I think I’ll finally feel like a real adult when I naturally wake up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday for no reason other than my body wanting me to. Until then, I’m very content to sleep until 11, and then spend the two hours after that just lying in bed watching TV. When you have a dog, your Saturdays will be spent waking up at the same ungodly hour you do during the work week because dogs are idiots and they don’t understand the concept of weekends.
3. You texted your parents when you were unsure if you were supposed to tip someone/when you received a confusing piece of mail - Being a young adult is difficult, you don’t have to tell me. But when you start to be in charge of a life other than yours, you really need to have your shit together. Adults don’t need guidance when it comes to who to tip or what to do with this letter from the IRS. Those types of questions are for children, and children aren’t allowed to own dogs.
4. You felt a sense of calm over your clean living space - I’m a bit of a neat freak, so this might not apply to you disgusting slobs, but if you like everything in your apartment to feel clean and orderly, welcoming a puppy into your home is pretty much akin to spraying diarrhea and vomit all over your furniture. Even if you’re one of those people who says “Oh, I’ll just adopt a dog who’s already housebroken,” well, ya know what, shut your god damn mouth. Do you see what dogs do on the street? What they walk through? What they roll around in? Your dog is basically a furry, filthy hobo. Would you let a hobo who just ate his own vomit lie in bed with you? If the answer is yes, I’m worried about the dog more than you.
5. You forgot to eat dinner - We all have busy lives, yeah? Well, not all of us. But most of us have busy lives. And sometimes you’re so busy, you just forget to eat a meal. It’s not like you set out to skip a meal in order to slim down for a fast-approaching pool party, you just flat out forgot. That’s fine for you. Your stomach will surely remind you that you haven’t eaten in a while. But if you’re so busy that you forget to feed your dog… You’ll have plenty of dog meat to chow down on from the carcass of your recently deceased dog!
6. You did something spontaneous - I’ve read many dating profiles, so I know that spontaneity is something that 20-somethings seem to pride themselves on. Being able to just pick up and go at a moment’s notice; it’s so romantic and exciting! If you’re one of those people who finds spontaneity exciting, don’t get a dog. While you and your partner sip iced coffees as you pull away from your lovely Newport bed and breakfast, your dog will be clawing at the door, begging in vain for a neighbor to give it just a morsel of food, as it dies a slow DEATH.
7. You got flustered when you had to choose which of your two shows got DVR’d, and which one you had to cancel - This is a modern nightmare that we all must deal with, but if you’re one of those people who can’t handle simple everyday annoyances like this, you’re not gonna fare much better when it comes to things like, I dunno, your dog VOMITING BLOOD AND SEIZING UNCONTROLLABLY.
8. You got high and forgot to do something - How funny is it when you’re hanging out with a couple buds, smoking a bong, and then the next day you realize, “oh man, I left the door open all night!” or “I forgot to go to my grandpa’s funeral!” You know what’s not funny? Getting high and forgetting that you own a dog and then waking up next to a DEAD DOG.
9. You hooked up with someone and spent the night at his/her place - Being single and hooking up with people is fun! It makes you feel alive. You go out on a Saturday night, not knowing what the night has in store, and the next thing you know you’re being dragged back to some girl who tastes like cigarettes’ apartment, praying to God this isn’t like that news story your mom told you about where a girl lured a horny dude back to her place, and then her boyfriend robbed and kill him. It’s all very exciting. You know what puts a damper on the hookup scene? Forever associating that fun night of hooking up with returning to your apartment, swinging open your door, and being hit with the foul stench of dog DEATH.
10. You read a BroBible article to determine if you should make an important life decision - Remember earlier when I mentioned that this was a good checklist to use before committing to buying a dog? Ha! You just fell right into my trap. While this article is a very important addition to the Internet, if you were seriously about to buy a dog and you were talked into or out of the decision by an article from some stupid dumb idiot failure BroBible writer, you definitely are not ready for the responsibility of a dog.
[Dog via Shutterstock]