My dog, my child

By Abigail Keefe
September 23, 2004

Lauren Joseph

I never thought that having a puppy would be as much work as it is. I think I have gotten myself in too deep with this. Having a puppy is like having a kid. Despite that, I still think getting Roxy was a wise decision.

Nearing the end of last semester, I decided that there was no way I would live on campus again. I realized it just wasn’t for me and that I was most definitely ready to make a start on my own. After making this decision, and signing a lease for my own place, I realized that even though I didn’t want a roommate for the first semester, I didn’t want to be completely by myself. A fish just wouldn’t cut it either.

I have wanted a dog for the longest time. I recall begging my parents constantly for one but they were completely against it for they were worried about it becoming their responsibility. Come May, my mom soon became worried about me being by myself. I figured this would be a good opportunity to bring up the idea of having a dog. After all, having a dog in my apartment would mean that I would have to make it my full responsibility.

What a genius idea. I found a kennel that was closing, convinced my mom to come along with me and within a half-hour, was a puppy “mom.”

Friends of mine had said that I’d know which puppy was meant to be mine. I thought they were crazy, but instantly I knew which one was coming home with me.

All alone in the very last crate was a seven-week-old Jack Russell Terrier. She came out of the crate, and my not paying attention, wasn’t such a good idea. She took off but as soon as I called her, she responded.

This was one of the few times she has actually came when called.

Trying to be a good pet owner, I went shopping for premium food and all other essential puppy care products. Who ever thought a puppy would be like having a child? I most definitely didn’t.

Along with the food, toys, and vet visits, I spent an additional $100 on puppy class. Eight weeks, only for Roxy to decide that she didn’t feel like walking properly on a leash. While all the other puppies received their diplomas and had pictures taken with their graduation caps, Roxy and I headed home.

All summer long I worked to get her to a point where she would respond during the class. Each class she performed exceptionally well for her breed, but like any normal Jack Russell Terrier, she decided she just didn’t feel like it.

This was what I didn’t realize. It was more of a training-the-owner class. Jack Russell Terrier’s are unbelievably smart and know how to respond to every command given, it’s just that they are wise enough to know that the owner is the one who must figure out how to get them to do so.

Aside from the raising and educating a puppy, there is a lot of additional time that goes into having this kind of pet.

Just as a baby is unhappy with a dirty diaper, a puppy doesn’t want to wait to go outside. Whether I liked getting up at any or all hours of the night or not, I didn’t have a choice. When Roxy wants out, there is no discussion. Please don’t think of me as a slacker when it comes to puppy potty training, because I spent the summer making sure she’d know the proper way to ask to go out as well as learning that she might just have to wait.

Babies need to eat and so do growing puppies and the food smells just as bad.

Jack Russell Terrier’s are constantly playing, and constantly begging to have someone to play with. Taking time out of my day to spend an ample amount of time to toss around a toy has become normal.

Everything needs to be responded too, in her case, in some way. Roxy is constantly talking, and call me crazy, but she insists that you pay complete attention to her when she is doing so and this takes more time than anything else.

Although much of my time (and money) has been devoted to this new found family member, it has been completely worth it. After a stressful day, I have someone, or something, to remind me to take a break from everything that’s going on around me. Although she is energetic and doesn’t always behave properly, it doesn’t create another stressor.

It’s said that a dog is man’s best friend and I finally have realized how true it is.

Every mom can use a break and I have to say it’d be nice to be able to vacuum or iron without having a barking, jumping puppy in the way. So to those who’d be interested in babysitting, or should I say puppysitting, feel free to spend a few hours with Roxy.

You’ll most definitely realize why most of your parents urge you to wait until you’ve done all that you want before having kids. Sacrifice may not be the same with a puppy as it is with a baby, but there is most definitely a considerable amount involved.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Abigail Keefe

Abigail Keefe is a Cabrini College student studying communications, enjoying her time in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Abbie loves working for the school newspaper, the Loquitur, and is also passionate about everything that the communication field has to offer.

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