In fact, if someone made a t-shirt that said “Don’t Buy A Puppy, You Idiot” I would totally buy that t-shirt and wear it every time I went to Westfield or anywhere else that prays on innocent people who think they’re going out to buy school shoes or a blender and come home with some kind of ‘Ooodle’ that cost $1000.
Technically, I am not one of those people but I did once buy a puppy-on-a-whim and the end result was the same: disaster.
Many years ago I wanted another baby. So I bought a Labrador puppy. See the logic gap between those two sentences? No, neither did I. Which is how I came to wake up on Saturday morning obsessed with the idea of buying a puppy and like some demented child, hit the phone hard until I finally tracked down an 8 week old yellow lab in a pet store across the other side of the city.
Faster than you can say “get some therapy, it’s cheaper”, I’d spent more than a grand on Indy the puppy and all the doggy accoutrements that, apparently, she required.
Clearly, I’d forgotten the part where I had a toddler at home and that’s where hell began. The IDEA of having two children – I mean a child and a puppy – was, in my head, a fantastic one. In practice, the simultaneous attempt at toilet training was a fast track to bonkers.
It only took me a couple of weeks to realise I had screwed up in a major way. You see, I still wanted another baby. And now I had stained carpet and a small child who was often smeared in dog poo. This was not ideal. And have I mentioned that the cute novelty of a puppy gets tired really fast?
Speaking of fast, I’m not terribly proud of the speed at which I decided Indy would be happier living with another family. Almost as fast as I realised I would be happier too.
Having mercifully found said family (active outdoorsy types who came complete with dog-loving 8 year old boy), I fretted about the emotional effect it would have on my two year old to lose his beloved puppy. The day Indy left us, he waved bye bye and never mentioned her again. Meanwhile, I did a happy dance around my house without having to watch where I put my feet.
A few weeks ago a friend bumped into the woman who adopted Indy and learnt that Indy, who is now eleven years old, had just won Slimmer Of The Year in the Labrador category after losing 10kgs. Before that, she resembled a beer keg.