I subscribe to a ton of blogs and among them is Penelope Trunk. She’s a fascinating woman who writes brutally honest posts, mostly about women and careers or about having Asperger’s or planting 15,000 bulbs instead of remodeling her farmhouse. Recently she wrote a commentary on the death of telecommuting, which of course I immediately connected to dog-ownership (because everything in my life is ultimately about dogs, of course).
What this article boils down to is this: do you want a killer career or do you want a home life? She is referring to having kids and all that jazz, but it’s equally applicable to us dog people. Do you want a killer career or do you want a dog? For almost everyone it’s impossible to have both. You can’t work 80-120 hours a week and have a sane dog. Sure, a dog is much more capable of surviving than a child under the same circumstances, but surviving is not thriving.
My point? If you or someone you know is considering getting a dog, make sure that your current schedule and future goals allow for a dog’s needs. With few exceptions, dogs need lots of social time each day with their people, not to mention exercise, training, and general care (vet visits, grooming, feeding, etc). If you add up the active time (feeding, training, cuddling, walking) it’s probably 2+ hours throughout the day plus passive cohabiting time. Although I sometimes struggle to balance career goals with Wally’s needs there’s really no question: Wally comes first. This doesn’t bother me, but I know for a fact that plenty of people think I’m one of “those” crazy dog people. Truthfully I am one of those crazy dog people, though, so it’s an apt description. :)