Bringing Home A Pet? Read This First

I love dogs, I always have. Back when I was a kid, we had two Indie dogs, but both passed away by the time I reached my 10th grade. My memories with them are too vague to recall. But I do remember them both being sick and having a painful death. So much that, my parents decided to never go through that again.

Flash forward a decade, I ended up bringing home another pup. Genie was hardly a month old when he came home, and honestly, it was a moment’s decision when I was asked to adopt him by a friend. And it took us quite a while to fully accept him as part of the family. As much as we all adore him, there are so many things that are hardly discussed when adopting/buying/raising a pet. I think it’s time I put it in words.

Is love enough?

When I first adopted Genie, one of my closest friends said that I was raising a child and I was now a doggo mom. Back then, I had quit my job and was taking a ‘break’. This meant I had all the time in the world but was a little low with cash. And then Genie came home and suddenly, I was shelling out hundreds of rupees for his vaccines and meals. Do keep in mind that while love overpowers everything else, there are a lot of practical factors to bear.

Apart from the unconditional love and loyalty they give you, dogs are also known for their barks and bites. So when you bring home a pet, be ready for late-night howls, random barks at trees, a couple of scratches, and a whole load of bites. And it’s not just for you, but you’ll need to face the bites and scratches he/she does for others as well.

Don’t Believe Everything You See On Social Media And Movies

Well, this is a very broad statement and it applies to everything in life. Social media was created to bring us closer to our loved ones. But today I feel it’s more of a manipulative platform where anything can be ‘trending’, irrespective of whether it’s true or not, real or unreal. Social media sites are also a great platform to meet other pets/pet owners.

But what I’ve seen here mostly is how well behaved a dog is; how well it sits when the master commands to, and my list goes on. Before Genie came home, I was naive enough to believe that my dog would also behave so well and listen to me always. Of course, dogs have no sense of social media or if they’re on camera (and that’s the beauty of being with them, they don’t put on a show for anyone) and it takes a while to train them to listen to you.

My point is, what you see on social media or other dog-related movies is that they’re very well trained. On most social media accounts, we see the best moments of the pet like obediently sitting down, playing fetch, and so on. But like all of us, dogs have their moments too and this is hardly shown on most sites.

I’ve Seen A Lot Of Shit

When Genie came home, he was hardly a month-old and was far from potty training. I don’t want to go into the exact details of the poop matter, but let me just summarize it by saying I’ve seen a lot of shit. When they’re pups, they need to poop right after a meal. They sure do eat a lot and need to get it out almost immediately.

Also, I’ve never analyzed poop/potty like this. Ah, I’ll admit it; hard poop from Genie makes me happy, while the soft ones get me worried. What’s more, is his puke! It’s one thing for the vomit to be liquid, but this guy throws up solid puke. How is that even possible! At this point, I’m quite certain my sister would say this is nothing and I should wait till I have a baby.

Do I Regret It?

Of course not! Never! It’s been around nine months since Genie came home (where did all the time go!) and there’s not a single moment that I regret bringing him home. He’s part of the family now. With the coronavirus lockdown and the endless rounds of misinformation, a lot of people have abandoned their pets. But how can you abandon your family?

I can give you an example to understand this. The first thing my mom does every morning is to prepare Genie’s food before thinking about our meals. My dad plans Genie’s food stocks and makes sure to have a good stack of his favourite biscuits and other treats. It might seem simple, but it shows how much he’s part of our family now.

We’ve all seen/heard about a zillion incidents of the brutal treatment against dogs. The most horrifying video that’s embedded in my mind is where two juvenile boys took a small pup to a high-rise building’s terrace and threw it. I can’t even bring to words how horrendous something like that is.

Our Home Is Incomplete Without Genie Now

I can’t bear to imagine the plight of that poor pup, his helpless howls and the fear in his voice. Although they can’t talk, they can communicate very well. It doesn’t matter if you speak to him in English, Kannada or any other language, they absolutely understand every word you say. They understand your emotions (sometimes even better than you can understand yourself). Be it a wagging tail, a loud bark, a low growl or a yawn, dogs communicate and talk with you. You only need to listen.

In the end, all I can say is I can’t think of my life without Genie now. Well, everything was fine and normal before he came home, but now, it’s different in a more lively way. Every evening there’s a furry tail wagging at me when I come home from work. Or those cute little yawns he makes while asking for his favourite treats.

Yes, having a pet is a big responsibility and I can explain this with economics. We all know the ROI or Return On Investment. With dogs, your investment comes back in double. You show them a bit of love and care, they’ll double it with loyalty. You shelter them, they’ll guard your home till their last breath. Well also, you feed them, they’re sure to poop in double as well!

By Sharmishte Datti

Living life as it comes! Passionate Writer-Reader; Baker-Eater. Sharmishte feels that everyone has a story to tell worth listing. She strongly believes that the journey is more important than the destination itself. You can find her either with a book and a cup of coffee or playing with her pet Genie.

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