As the sun dances across your face and the fresh air smothers you with the hint of spring, you begin feeling a bit optimistic about the world and everything you’ve accomplished.
You’re no longer an irresponsible college student. You’ve upgraded from ramen noodles to dry chicken breast, rice and microwavable vegetables.
You even manage to pay your bills and schedule regular oil changes. You’re ready for the next responsibility in life: dogs. They make the world go round. No matter how many life hassles bring you down, seeing a dog magically patches up day-to-day wounds. They’re happy, adventurous and most of all, they’re not human.
It only makes sense that you gravitate toward the next step in life, becoming a dog owner. But before you step into the world of dog ownership, here are nine surprises that come along with being a proud dog owner.
1. You will refer to yourself as a parent.
Once you adopt a dog, there is no turning back (unless it’s back to the pound). Just like babies, a puppy may seem like a great idea when you’re looking into that puppy face, but it’s a commitment. Your puppy will need you 24/7.
Be ready to get up in the middle of the night, multiple times for months on end, in order to stand in your yard while your puppy sniffs random things.
It doesn’t stop there. You’ll bring your puppy back inside, only to have him or her pee on your leg. No one is telling you it will be easy, but pretty soon you’ll start to refer to yourself as a “dog mom” or “dog dad.” Through all the barks, vet visits and sleepless nights, you’ll become a dog parent.
2. There’s a possibility you will start an Instagram account.
After you realize your puppy is quite possibility the cutest thing to sniff the planet, you’ll start littering your social channels with puppy pictures. Subtly, your follower count may drop. Your likes will start to decrease.
As soon as this travesty takes place, you’ll realize there’s a whole other world out there for you: the world of dog Instagram accounts. Suddenly, you’ve found your people. Just know that you will become one of those people you used to make fun of. So, be willing to accept that. #DogsOfInstagram #GinnyTheSwissy
3. You will make new friends at the dog park.
There is no place greater than the dog park, at least according to your puppy. Before you adopt a puppy, understand that your nights and weekends will be spent at the dog park. Pretty soon, Nugget the Golden Retriever will become a regular part of you and your puppy’s life.
4. You’ll inherit a new fashion accessory: dog hair.
Just like presidential elections, there’s no avoiding it. You try to overlook it and go about your daily routine, but someone will stop you and let you know your clothes are covered in dog hair.
Dog hair will follow you everywhere you go. You can buy lint rollers until you’ve drained your savings, but you’ll still find random dog hair in your car, bed and coffee. Be prepared and stop fighting it.
5. You will judge people based on if your puppy likes them.
If you’re thinking about adopting a puppy, know that your thoughts will no longer be your own. You and your puppy will tackle everything together, and that includes judging people. If your dog barks at someone unexpectedly, that person can’t be trusted. Pretty soon, you’ll start to question all the people around you with every bark that comes out of your puppy’s mouth.
6. Your social life will revolve around your puppy.
If you need to know one thing about adopting a puppy, it’s this: Your social life will no longer be the same. The duration of your happy hours will be decided depending on how long your puppy has been in its kennel.
Trips will be re-booked because you don’t want to leave your puppy for longer than two days. Friday night outings will become movie nights with your new companion.
7. Your disposable income will be spent on your puppy.
Puppies are expensive, very expensive. They eat just about everything that's not supposed to be digested. You’ll visit the vet more than you visit your own doctor. Instead of getting the latest trendy heels for work, you’ll drop $50 on bones like it’s nothing. It's money well spent.
8. Your puppy will test you.
Again, puppies are cute, but puppies are also sassy little creatures. They develop their own personalities and find ways to get into trouble when you’re least expecting it. They’ll test you during the most inconvenient times.
You might even consider sending the puppy back to wherever it came from. But even as they start to grow into their devil horns, you still wouldn’t trade them for anything else in the world -- stained carpet and all.
9. Your puppy will be your best friend.
The most unexpected thing about getting a puppy is that you will never know how much you can love a dog until you get one. As cliched as it sounds, it will become your best friend. Your puppy will know you better than you know yourself.
It will make you happy in times you least expect. Most importantly, it will always be there for you. It’s the best decision you’ll make.