I got a letter from a boy named Jason, in Albuquerque, who asked if I think he should adopt a puppy. He’s got his eye on a border collie mix from a shelter. Jason wants to name this dog Teddy. Or possibly Frank.
First off, Jason, thank you for the message. Fuzzy puppies are exactly what I need to be thinking about tonight. I’m grateful you brought up the subject. The world is an ever-loving mess right now, and canines are good medicine.
So to give you the short answer in case you’re pressed for time: Yes. Get the puppy.
Now here’s a longer answer:
A puppy is not a puppy. A puppy is a baby. A real, living, breathing, delicate infant. True, it’s a dog-baby, but it’s still a baby. This baby requires your whole heart. Not just half.
Now before you nod your head and agree with me, I want you to think about this for a second. You’re a 13-year-old kid. Are you ready to raise a real baby?
Having an infant in the house is not easy. Ask any saggy-eyed parent of a newborn. Being a parent is a full-time, round-the-clock, lifetime gig. You do not get time off. There is going to be a lot of pee involved.
Border collies can live 17 years. This means you could be a dog daddy until you are 30 years old. By then you might be married and have a big fat adjustable-rate mortgage.
If you decide you are ready, are you prepared to say goodbye to things like free time, peace and quiet, and regular sleep?
Because your dog will sleep on your bed. Always. End of story. There is nothing you can do to stop a dog from claiming your bed. All night he will constantly be readjusting himself, engaging in acts of personal hygiene, keeping you awake, and nudging you off your mattress. And if…