If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “I wish I could get a dog but X won’t let me!” And, not to point fingers, but it’s usually the husband/boyfriend who they’re referring to. I don’t know what it is about men and not wanting dogs? I think it’s because they have this desire to solve problems and not create them. Like, anytime I complain about something, Wes wants to immediately fix it. And I’m all like, it’s fine, I’m fine, I just wanted to complain (or cry – girls get this). It’s a great quality and we love them for it, but, in this instance, I’m going to help you rid your man of those problem-solving, non-risk taking vibes, because having a dog is SO.WORTH.IT. (In my humble opinion).
My History With Dogs
Growing up, I had a Toy Poodle named Buffy. We got him when I was like six years old and he slept next to my bed every night until I went away to college. He passed away when I was a junior in college but he lived an amazing 16 years and he was my baby. I even got a tattoo in his honor. Then my mom got a yellow lab puppy, Duke. She got from a family who no longer wanted him. She always wanted a lab but I had an allergy so as soon as I moved out she made it happen. And sorry, Dad – but BOTH times she did not get my dad’s full approval. She brought home Buffy after my dad was super hesitant and then she saw a sign for Duke at the grocery store, went right away to pick him up, and (if I’m remembering correctly) never even mentioned it until after the fact.
If there’s a man who loves to solve problems for the people he loves, let me tell you, it’s my father. And if it were left up to my dad, we would have probably never gotten a dog. But here’s the thing – My dad LOVED those dogs. They changed our lives forever, for the better. Now, I know some people have had to get rid of dogs because of their partner and if you find yourself in that situation I highly encourage you think about getting rid of that person first, because someone who can throw a life away like that might do the same to you one day. Just saying.
Now, I have Flower (10) & Gracie (7). After Buffy passed away I was living with Wes in our first apartment together and I really wanted to get another poodle mix (Still thinking I had to consider my allergy, which I’ve now pretty much grown out of/learned to live with). Following in my mom’s footsteps, I basically told him either you get me one or I’m getting one myself. 🙂 Again, I would never recommend this type of behavior for any other big decision, but when it comes to dogs I believe it’s fully acceptable. He surprised me with her on Christmas and when Flower was 3 I decided I really wanted to get her a friend, enter Gracie. I called Wes to check and he said it was fine but she was “my dog,” aka my responsibility, and I replied,
yeah, right DONE!
And now? Wes says to me daily how much he loves our girls. Having a dog in your home teaches you patience, compassion, responsibility, among so many other amazing things, plus it’s just more fun! I can’t imagine how boring it would be at home without a dog. Is it hard at times? Sure. Vet bills, walks in the freezing cold, shedding, and I can’t even tell you how many pee-stained rugs I’ve had to throw out. But none – and I mean NONE – of it has ever made me think twice about having our dogs. You wouldn’t throw your child away because they peed on you, the same should go for your dog.
Most of you know by now I’ve become pretty involved in the rescue community. Because of that I feel like confident speaking about this. Full disclosure: We didn’t rescue our girls but I will 100% be rescuing in our future. But I’m here to tell you that yes, you can find any breed you want (Poodles, Labs, Golden Retrievers, French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Australian Shepards, German Shepards, etc.) without buying from a breeder. To each their own, of course. But, I will tell you – Rescuing a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences you could have. And, after having 30 dogs come through my home, plus meeting hundreds of other dogs, I can confidently say they’re ALL amazing.
So, like I always tell people, don’t stress to much about finding the “perfect” dog. You will literally love any dog you get, I can guarantee it. And, if you don’t, call me and I will happily take them off your hands. Also, there are over 300,000 dogs euthanized in the United States every year (probably more) so if you’re also waiting for the “perfect time” too, please don’t. There are dogs out there who need you today and there is no such thing as the “perfect” time for anything. Once you feel the unconditional love that a dog gives you will figure out a way to make it work because you’re stronger than you think. It’s not that hard. If I can have two dogs, run a business, and foster puppies (sometimes two at a time), workout, travel, have a social life, and still have time to do a ten-step skincare routine at night, you can get a dog.
How To Convince Your Partner
Here are some tips that I would use if I were trying to convince a partner to let me get a pet:
+ Come up with a plan, top to bottom, and present it. Here’s how we would manage the walking schedule, here’s the Roomba vaccum we’re going to get for shedding, here’s how we would potty train, here’s what we would do when we go out of town, etc. Include all the details that you can like costs too and everything so there are no unknowns.
+ Start following animal rescues on Instagram and show your partner casually so they can start to fall in love with the concept and, if you’re rescuing, learn how important it is. My favorites are Bunny’s Buddies and The Asher House.
+ Start showing them photos of dogs, relentlessly. Act very confident about the fact that you’re getting a dog one way or another. Worked for me. 🙂
+ Communicate that you will be the one to handle any problems that arise and will take on the majority of the responsibility.
+ Talk about timeline, put things in perspective. ie. “If we get a dog now, it will be trained by the time we have a baby, etc.!”
+ Foster! This is probably my best, most fail-proof tip. We’ve almost kept like 10 of our fosters, if that gives you an idea. Once they see how amazing it is having a dog first-hand, it’s really hard to say no. With Lucky Dog you can do overnight fostering so it’s a minimal commitment on the weekends and, bonus, you’re helping a dog escape a high-kill shelter!
Worst-case you can always tell your partner to message me. I think I can be pretty convincing. There are hundreds of dogs out there just waiting for the home they so deeply deserve. I hope together we can make it happen for just a few more! Good luck and always, I’m here to help! xx, Natalie