One of my favorite books is Marley and Me. I read it recently after the movie came out and just by watching the trailer – the story is just too familiar. Marley is the male Labrador counterpart of my Female Beagle – Midori.
I am now thirty six – which means Midori and I had been together for over a year. I still adore her but looking back at the time that we’ve spent together – I realized that I wasn’t ready to have a dog. Note that I will not trade this experience for anything but I thought that it would be good to warn the other single men and women out there who are thinking of getting a puppy to be their company.
1. Be prepared to spend time with your puppy. They are pack animals and they go crazy if they are left alone. My solution to this problem: I hired a Nanny to be with Midori while I am asleep or at the office.
2. Be prepared to have a crate and a bed for your puppy. Make sure that they are used to staying inside their crate when you are not around. This is their special place. I was actually amazed the first time that I witnessed Midori going inside her house on her own when she is tired and ready to go to sleep. It’s good for your own sanity and it’s good for your dog’s sense of security.
3. Be prepared for Obedience school. I just had a really difficult time training Midori to behave properly. So I sent her to Boarding School. The tuition fee is extravagant but it was worth it. Our relationship with each has just developed after she came back from Boarding School.
4. Be prepared to exercise with your puppy. When Midori gets enough exercise ( at least 45 minute walks twice a day ), she is an angel. However - since she is a high energy breed - whenever we don't provide her with enough exercise we end up with a dog who constantly barks or bays or worse - one who ends up destroying our furniture thinking that they were her toys.
In our family – it’s actually a running joke that Midori is the second grand child of my parents. I have a four year old niece who sees Midori as her COUSIN. My mom calls Midori her We actually this as a resignation of my parents over the fact that I won’t have a child of my own. I never really gave up on the notion of having my own child even if I were gay. However – Midori did help me realize that I’m better off with a dog than a child.