If the internet were to be believed, anyone who is single and working full-time should not have a puppy. You have, no doubt, already read many opinions by people who believe dogs should only go to homes that have at least one human who stays at home the majority of the day or that the only way to do this is if you have two dogs.
This is why I decided to write my story. It is possible to own a dog and be single and working. But you must realize that it will change your life. You will have to adjust your schedule, especially if you were doing any after-work activities. It is also important to find the right type of dog for your lifestyle. Temperament, breed, and age will dictate how involved you may have to be in your dogs’ wakeful hours. You might be exhausted when come home from work, but your dog will need to be walked, worked, and loved when you get home. You will do all this though, because having a dog will bring light to your life. I was recently out walking in the woods with my pup and even though it was just the two of us, I ended up doing 6 miles because it was pretty and because I didn’t feel as if I was walking alone. My dog may not have been talking to me, but she was there with me, and that made all the difference.
Before we get started down the road of how I came to own my puppy, I also want to address two other points of contention. I am sure there are some of you who will read this blog and think, “But you didn’t have to get a puppy. Puppies are a lot of work. Plus, there are many older dogs that would’ve been fine being home alone while you were at work,” or you will judge for other reasons, “I can’t believe you didn’t get a rescue. There are so many dogs that need homes and you bought a dog from a breeder. What is wrong with you?!”
I am not trying to change your mind on the matter. I am simply writing about my experiences. I respect your choices, and I ask you to respect mine. You don’t have to agree with me, but I don’t intend to argue about it. I have actually owned several rescues in the past and my time with those dogs has contributed to why I choose to get a purebred puppy for this dog.
I love dogs. I grew up with dogs. Here’s a picture of me standing in the dogs’ water bucket in the dog yard as a young child. (I also loved water. Mom says she couldn’t turn her back on me outside, because I was always trying to climb into the dog buckets and she was worried I’d fall in head first.)
In high school, I trained multiple dogs in dog agility and dog obedience. But then I graduated, went to college, and worked through a series of jobs, all while contemplating when I could get myself a dog. Foremost, I wanted the companionship. But I also really wanted a dog I could take hiking with me, and I wanted to do dog agility again; I missed it. However, I knew having a dog was going to be a lot of work, and as I am a rockstar at overthinking things, I managed to talk myself out of it several times.
For a while, I had a pretty solid group of friends and between friends. Between friends and volunteering, I kept busy just enough to talk myself out of needing a dog for company. However, as is the natural flow of things, people get married and move away. I tried very hard to meet new people, but sometimes you can’t make new friends fast enough to replace the ones leaving. The catalyst for me was when a best friend of mine moved across country. I loved this person in a different way than they loved me, and for the majority of the time we were friends, I convinced myself that was okay because I’d rather have them in my life than not have them at all. But when they left, my life got a lot emptier. That’s when I decided it was time to buy a house with a yard and get a dog. I liked my job. I wasn’t planning to change careers anytime soon. It was time to settle.
This is the beginning of how I came to own Ayla.
Read about my life with dogs.