humour relationships & love

Comparatively Speaking (The Reality of Owning a New Dog)

by JoAnna — October 25, 2016

JoAnna suffers the realities of raising a new dog. Was it a mistake or will unconditional love prevail? The joys of training, learning, & forgiving.

Having a new dog is somewhat similar to having a child, except with a dog you’re handed a leash instead of a baby during the moments when you’re trying figure out if this decision was good, will work out, is right. And like a child, your new family member will train its soulful eyes on you, asking silent questions you are unable answer.

You’ll find yourself completely unprepared regardless of how much you practiced beforehand. Or how many Cesar Millan videos you watched. Or how many dog behaviour books you read.

Marley and me, new dog, family, mess, trouble, dogs

Oh, Marley. (Photo: Elle Magazine)

And when you have a new dog it won’t matter how much you dog-proof your place because you will, at some point, find your pet with his snout somewhere it’s not supposed to be. Such occurrences tend to take place at already charged moments like when you’re out, asleep, cleaning up the toys he’s tossed around or tending to a, rather large, puddle of pee.

As it is with children, you may share dog-rearing responsibilities with someone. If you do there will be occasions when you temporarily loathe that person. You will despise them for reasons that have nothing to do with them and everything to do with a situation you feel you can’t control.

In the first weeks months you’ll have doubts. You’ll wonder if things will get better. You may roll your eyes heavenward. If it’s really bad you might plead or try to strike a bargain. It’s possible you will hope for the best and try not to consider the worst. Although, if you’re a masochist, you may very well place a pox on your own house as recourse.

new dog, family, baby, toddler, love, dogs

Photo from

Science says having a dog is akin to having a perpetual toddler. The intelligence of your average adult dog is equivalent to that of a two to three year old child. This means every dog owner is parent to a dog-toddler that will never develop cerebrally enough to rationalize with.


YOU: enter the living room after a morning of running errands. You have a 20-kilo bag of dog food over one shoulder and dry cleaning and groceries in the other hand.

DOG: hunched on the floor aggressively chewing your shoes amidst a pile of shredded paper, pillow stuffing and your favourite dress.

YOU: “Pardon me, Fluffy. Could you stop what you’re doing so we can talk about it? I’d like to know why you chose my favourite dress. I’d also like to understand why you only ruin the shoes that cost a week’s worth of rent.”

DOG: looks away and keeps mangling your left shoe because your words sound like Elvish to him.

And because: Said. No one. Ever.


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