As 20 somethings trying to be responsible and the adultiest of adults, most people decide not to have a dog as they are often considered too time-consuming, or “too much responsibility.” So, when people hear that I have two dogs, and share custody over another one (that one is my partner’s), a lot of people seem to be under the impression that I have my shit together.
Have my shit together, I do not.
Taxes still scare me. I’m still learning about budgeting. I go on stress-induced shopping binges on Amazon, then experience the crippling anxiety that comes from having spent all that money. I still don’t know how to feed myself properly. I am nowhere close to having enough money saved up to put a down payment on a condo. Kids are nowhere near in the future – I can’t even think two years into the future. All I know is I will have my dogs, and yes, they are well taken care of.
So, how do I deal with having two four-legged animals that have the intelligence of a 2-year-old human? Well, I’m going to give a frustrating answer, but… you just… kind of find time. And that might be oversimplifying things, so let me explain.
Finding time for something you love is not easy, but it also isn’t the most difficult thing to do. If you really want a dog, and you enjoy most aspects of having a dog (because let’s face it, who wants to bag dog shit, or walk your dog when it’s so cold your nose hairs freeze?), then get the dog. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t consider your future, how much time you have, and what your budget allows for. In fact, those are all very valid, very adult things to consider. But, if you have the means to pull it off, and having a dog is that important to you, then don’t let the responsibilities scare you off from getting one.
So, what does a typical week look like for this 25-year-old dog owner of two? Well, if I’m being honest, I don’t have much time during the work week to do much besides work, exercise/train my dogs, read a chapter of whatever book I’m trying to finish… maaaaaybe get my ass to yoga if I’m not feeling like a potato by the end of the workday. The weekends are where we get real doggy. On a typical weekend, I try to do at least one thing per day with the dogs that I don’t get to do during the week. With Mei, my Australian shepherd, I take her to agility class, to dog sports trials, or I will take her for a long decompression walk in the woods (we’ll have a post on dog sports and decompression walks soon). With Meeko, my Pomeranian, it usually involves walking around our neighborhood and stopping by a cafe.
And no, I can’t just get up and leave for a weekend on a whim (unless the dogs are invited!). I can’t grab dinner and drinks with friends during the week. But that’s fine by me. You make sacrifices. The amount of companionship and fulfillment my dogs give me is worth more to me than having the option of going out on a weeknight.
If that’s okay with you, then get the dog. As long as you can pay for yourself, your dog, and you enjoy spending time with your new friend, you do not need to have your shit together. Seriously, life is too short. Get the doggo!