Get Yo’self a Puppy

by Kohleun

My cousin is one of the funniest people I know. I might be saying this because she laughs at all my jokes, even the ones that aren’t THAT funny, but regardless, I love her humor because it’s simultaneously sly and perceptive. One such sly and perceptive comment of hers that has stuck with me was said as we bitched over the phone about friends feeling the need to get married before they have a significant other to marry (and over the price of toilet paper).

“It’s simple, Koh,” she said, “People our age are feeling their biological clocks ticking.”

“So they should go spouse seeking?”

“No. It means it’s time to buy a puppy.”

One of my housemates has decided recently that she wanted a puppy, REALLY wanted a puppy. “I don’t have anything constant in my life right now and I’m so busy,” she said from the gliding rocker, the kind that was all the rage in the early 90s. “A puppy is always there when you come home, it always loves you, and it’s so calming to sit and pet one.”

If you, too, want a puppy and you are a busy 20-something, stop reading this if you don’t want a reality check (note: I have Housemate’s full approval in this diatribe).

This is not the time to be rushing into marriage OR puppy parenting. But let’s tackle the puppy issue first.

The reasons that we are trolling the Humane Society for the perfect Yorkie who “connects with us” through the slobbery glass are the very same reasons that 20-somethings should NOT be doing just that. We are in fact the LAST social group on the planet, besides the under-five crowd, who should be buying puppies.

If we’re so busy with classes/work/errands/etc. that we want to fall into the arms of a puppy at the end of the day then we are probably too busy to take care of a puppy who would find ways to amuse herself in our absence. Remember what I said about toilet paper? Puppies love stringing gnawed-on toilet paper through the house–the more expensive the better. And they may or may not prefer rooting through the rubbish for used bits of toilet paper, tissues, napkins, and paper towels even more than carefully unrolling the fresh Charmin. And what could be more constant than a never-ending string of T.P. and used tissues? And yapping? And grooming? And walking? And feeding? And vet bills? And cleaning up pee and shit?

But, I get it, friends. As I sit and listen to The Civil Wars croon out “I’ve Got This Friend,” as if the Pandora gods knew I was talking about “man’s best friend.” It’s nice to feel needed and to know that at the end of the day someone–canine or otherwise–thinks the world of you, even when your drugstore eyeliner is smudged and you just spent the afternoon teaching a class of students who obviously hadn’t done the reading. It’s nice to have someone who comes running when you call, snuggles in the crook of your elbow, watches the same crappy television shows you do and does all the assigned reading for your classes, likes everything you’ve ever written, said, or thought.