Nine 1/2 years ago my DH asked me if he could get a puppy. Our dog, Lady, had died 2 years prior. We had two cats at the time and lets face it, cats are easier to care for. I had pronounced our family a "cat only" family. After a couple of months I decided that I was ready for a dog too.
We picked up our black labrador puppy in late June. I remember when we went to pick her out of the litter that I wanted to pick the puppy that was sleeping. But no, my DH chose the puppy that kept stealing the toys from the other puppies and running around.
DH named her Griffey Rose. Yes she has a "male" dog name. My DH is a Cincinnati Reds fan and he is a fan of Ken Griffey Junior and Pete Rose. I was surprised that he didn't try to add Bench to her name for Johnny Bench.
The summer of 2000 was rough for me. That dog terrorized me. She used my legs as a chew toy, was constantly biting me and jumping on me all the time. I hated to be around her. She chewed on anything and everything and her energy was boundless. I thought that we had made a mistake. We took her to puppy training and she was pronounced the feistiess (sp??) lab that the trainer had ever seen. I should add that the trainer raised lab pups.
When I was home alone with Griffey I kept her leash on her as she was constantly grabbing somethng and running through the house. At least I could grab the the leash and reel her in.
Griffey was 7 months old when my DH went on a trip to Kentucky to help Habitat for Humanity. He was gone a week. I got up every morning early before work to walk that dog in the cold. I walked her at noon and at night. About the 4th day into this routine I was walking the dog and she looked up at me and it was as if she was thinking "He must be dead so I must be nice to her." Everything changed and she became a good dog.
Oh, she has her bad habits of eating paper out of the trash can, stealing any food from the table if you are not looking (she lulls us into a sense of security) or she runs the fence barking at people and scaring them. We call this BBD security (Big Black Dog). She is my companion now. Her age is showing. Her face has gray on it as do her paws and belly. She sleeps the majority of the day but comes to life when it is time for a walk.
I would have given Griffey away in the first few months that we owned her, but I stuck it out. My main reason was that my husband loved that dog and I love him. Now we think occasionally about what it will be like when she is gone someday. The immediate response is that we will get another dog.
Pets can be expensive. It costs money for the food (we buy Iams), the annual trips to the vet, the medications for heart worm and flea control, the operations to have them spayed or neutered and more. Griffey takes Proin pills twice a day at a cost of $20.00 per month. I now make her dog biscuits but I purchase her rawhide bones. When we go on vacation we board her at a nice kennel where she is treated well and they know her. This costs about $9 per day.
Sheircon and me
We also have a cat, Shiercon, and she is now 12 years old. She is fed veterinary food and she is in remarkable health. But again, she goes to the Vet once a year for a checkup.
The bottom line, pets cost money and they can put a dent in the budget which may not be frugal. We own the number of pets that we can afford. IMO pets add more to our lives than anything I could purchase with the money I would save by not having a pet.