the good, the bad, the sheer

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why I'm broke, or, Lessons in Dog Owner Land

Spring is here again (blessedly!), and it seems to be that bevies of babies in strollers, ducklings following mommies, and puppies clumsily prancing have hit the streets of my fair city. Likewise, I've had several friends and co-workers recently approach me for doggie advice (since I've got a big, white, benign canine), in preparation for their potential adoption of the pets.
One thing people have asked me a lot is how much Lola costs me per year - and believe me, it ain't cheap. 

Food = $650
Grooming = $350
Treats = $125
Medicine = $300
Dog Walker/Day Care =$2,500 (assuming she takes some weeks off and stays in the 'burbs with my fam for the summer weeks)
Estimated extra medical costs = $600 (barring any serious surgeries)

**AAANNNNND this number also excludes the cost of any toys you might buy, doggie "gear" (if you are in to that), little things like poop bags, etc. 


1. TRANSPORTATION - I'm forced to keep my car in the city, in case I need to bring Lola anywhere. This costs me money for fuel, occasional parking garages, and occasional parking tickets. Also my car is gross and hairy now. If you don't have a car, then you may be forced to use a "doggie taxi" service, which I'm sure ain't cheap. There are MANY yellow cabs that are not dog friendly!

2. WEE WEE pads - in my opinion, if you plan on getting a dog and using "wee wee pads" (a.k.a. those little pads people leave on their floor to let their pocket pups relieve themselves INDOORS), then you really need to reconsider whether or not you should be getting a dog in the first place. No matter how small, how finicky, or how wee-wee pad-trained a small dog may be, they are still DOGS. They deserve to go outside and pee on a tree or fire hydrant just like the rest. They need fresh air and smells in their noses, and exercise! You'll be raising a neurotic, barking, unhappy hound if you treat it like a housecat. You might save yourself the money of a dogwalker, but you will be doing a disservice to your pet.

3. Walking the dog off the leash is a no no. I don't care how well-trained you think your dog is - it's a dog, and it has instincts, and is liable to flip out at any point. Plus, some people may have super aggressive pups, and your dog being off leash may cause issues. Not to mention that some PEOPLE have a fear of dogs, and you might be making them uncomfortable. SO, wheeee yay wooohooo we are so so proud of how awesomely your dog follows you down the street, but save it for a dog show, Buddy.

4. PICK UP YOUR DOG'S shite. Just do it. Seriously, what's wrong with you if you get a dog in NYC and don't clean up after it! argh.

I love having a dog, and I love other people's dogs as well. I love it when my friends get dogs, and then our dogs can play, and its one big playful happy furry session. I do! LOVE.

But having a dog is really really expensive. It also initiates you into a world of insane dog owners, who have a weird system of norms and rituals and standards (none of which will probably match my own standards, or yours. So basically it's really CUNTY). I wouldn't trade my lil' babe for the world, but prepare yo' self for all of this, and then rethink whether you are ready. Sometimes I wonder how I can be so broke, and then I'll put away my half-eaten slice of pizza (saving it for dinner!), and then I see a big puffy snowball with huge eyes staring at me from across the room, standing by the coat closet (where her gourmet Merrick brand food is kept) and I understand who gets the better end of the deal here :)

I dedicate this post to everyone who helps me with Lo, all my friends and family who have babysat, and walked, and hugged and fed her. And me.


postskunk said...

I'm getting a Red tailed Hawk in September, maintenance, housing, feeding, avian vet vist's, flying it 5 times a week, and the location transmitter tracking equipment among other things are gonna cost me several thousand a year, So I hear ya. I think my Hawk and Lola should hang out. We could get Lola like a mid-evil battle helmet and the Hawk can rid on her back!


ummmm why has it taken me soooo long to respond to this post???? YES GOOD IDEA BATTLE ROYALE. medieval animal warriors