I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I want a dog like some women want children. My major barriers for getting one right now are cost (obviously) and the fact that I’d have to take it down eight floors in -40C weather for pee breaks at six in the morning. I’ve had pets my entire life. Mostly dogs, since my parents used to show dogs and when I was about a year old, our Akita, Kisa, had puppies (which I referred to as “daddies”. I got it straight eventually).
When I was ten, my parents told me we’d be getting a puppy and it would be “mostly” mine. I read all the puppy books I could find, and prepared for months for our new family member’s arrival. We even went and visited the litter at the breeder’s and met our new little guy, and I could not. Wait. Until we brought him home. Little did we know that even though his brothers were completely ok, we had unwittingly taken home the medical marvel of the litter of shiba inu puppies. His name eventually became Dave.
Within the first three days of owning him, he prolapsed his rectum (don’t google that) and had to have not only emergency surgery, but emergency surgery in the middle of the night. Talk about an insane cost. The breeder gave us a 50% refund on him because by that point, he was my best friend and therefore NOT going back (or getting the “happy needle” as my dad referred to it). A few months later, we found out he had allergies. And not just to one or two things, many, many things. My mom spent hours in the kitchen making him special meals, complete with barley because his tum couldn’t handle rice. He was on lifelong Prednisone, which is why he was such a beefcake and doesn’t look like a typical shiba. The Prednisone was supposed to shorten his life span to six or seven years – he lived until he was 14. He had a slight heart murmur which got worse later in life, and eventually required hundreds of dollars’ worth of medication every month. Dogs aren’t cheap, and because they’re a family member, there’s nothing you won’t do for them.
Dave was an anomaly. But, his case just shows that you have to be prepared when taking on the responsibility of pet ownership. Besides the initial cost of the adoption/purchase fees, leash, collar, food, pet insurance, obedience training, and pet deposit to the landlord (let’s say about $1500), I would require a vehicle. Although there is an emergency vet up the block (we can see it from the balcony), I need a reliable way to get my pet to the doctor. Let’s be conservative and estimate about $6-8,000 for a used car (Honda Civic, a few years old), plus the original $1500, and there’s a grand total of $9500 to bring my furry friend home. And, if I get a lemon of a dog, I could be looking at thousands of dollars more for unexpected expenses (I’d also want to have a pet emergency fund set up for a worst case scenario). And actually, I would buy the DC43 Dyson model since Mr. Dollars grew up in a pet-free household and cannot stand dog hair, so tack on another $600. Ten. Thousand. Dollars.
This may eventually happen, since I’m planning on getting a car in the next couple of years. But for now, I’ll just have to wait a little longer, and my only pet will be my solar powered Corgi.
So those of you who have pets, do you have any horror stories? How awesome are they to have though, amirite?