So, my girlfriend and I are thinking about getting a dog. It’s something that we’ve both thought about for a while, but both individually decided that we weren’t home enough for an animal beyond a snake or fish. But between the two of us, we thought it might be doable.
Like any good group of too-smart-for-our-own-good introverts, we’re of course massively overthinking this decision. After all, what if we decide on the wrong breed, or can’t give a dog the attention it needs? You know, that sort of back and forth. But this weekend, we have a chance for a trial run: dog sitting!
One of our friends was heading out of town for a long weekend, and needed someone to watch their laid back little lap dog. After a couple of days, we could really get a feel for how things would go while having a dog. And so far, it’s been pretty good.
One of the biggest things to get used to is something else moving through the house. Sure, my girlfriend and I live together, but the dog makes a distinctly different set of sounds. Much lower to the ground, too. It’s a little unnerving, hearing something moving around when you realize that you’ve already accounted for the usual troublemakers (the snake and guppies aren’t exactly loud).
Both our workplaces are dog friendly, so that’s been interesting too. If nothing else, having the dog in the office with me makes a good excuse to get away from my desk for a few minutes and go for a walk. Like I said, the dog’s pretty laid back; after a short barking session with my coworker’s dog, it spent most of the day sleeping on the floor.
But the biggest lesson for me has been that it doesn’t pay to be too nice for one’s own good with a dog. I’m generally quite eager to please, and thus often find myself going along with other people’s plans or desires. And at first, I started doing this with the dog, too. But then I realized that “Hey, I’m the one with the opposable thumbs here!” Maybe being more assertive with a canine companion will be good practice for me when it comes to standing up for myself in general. It’s an interesting thought.
Although there’s not much more amusing than a little lap dog being put out because you had the audacity to sit in “its spot” on the couch (even though that’s where you usually sit, and it’s only been there an evening) so it decides to sit on you instead.