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Whoa(!) is me: Pet-owner problems

You've probably heard the term, 'white people problems.'  Well, I have 'pet-owner problems.'


Dear readers,

Allow me to apologize for my lack of posting over the past week.  I've been a hot, stressed-out MESS.  And when I'm this frazzled, I can't write.  How sad is that?  Normally, in anxiety-ridden situations, I rely on food as comfort.  However, there have been a number of times (OK, the number being 2, including this instance) where I've actually lost my insatiable appetite.  So, what the hell is going on, you ask? 

No one died.

No one is sick.

I didn't get fired.

I got a dog.  A 5 month-old puppy, to be exact.  Her name is Lucy, and she's the cutest, furriest, sweetest, happiest, smartest little creature on the planet.  

I mean, seriously, is she not the most adorable thing YOU'VE EVER SEEN?  

Look, I've wanted my own dog ever since my college days.  So it's been a while now.  But, any time I brought the idea up to my mom (whom I talk to daily), she'd just tell me that "...having a dog in Manhattan is selfish and cruel.  Dogs should be able to run freely outdoors and not be cooped-up."  Blah, blah, blah.  I mean, I did see her point.  But only to a certain point...

When my relative was in town the other week, we happened to walk past an outdoor pet adoption.  "You should really get a dog, dude."  That's coming from a girl who owns two pups.  In spacious, sprawling Southern California.  "I mean, of course I want one.  There's really just no rush."  She went on to tell me that there will never be the right or ideal time (to get a dog), and that I should just go for it.  When we got back to my apartment, she hopped online and researched Craigslist ads, Ebay Clasified postings, and everything in between, in search of my ideal dog.  And, 24-hours later, we brought lil' Lucy home. 

It was all unicorns, rainbows, and leprechauns for all of about 10-minutes.  My heart began beating at a dangerously-elevated pace as we unwrapped and put together Lucy's crate, food/water bowls, toys, wee-wee pads, etc.  "I just don't know if I can do this," I gasped.  Little did I know how much harder it would be once my relative left the next day...

For those of you who don't know me, personally, I am one of the most independent people you will ever meet.  I love that I can come and go as I please, and have the freedom to do whatever the hell I want.  When I want.  But, now, I'm responsible for another living, breathing being, and it's scaring the shit out of me.  Instead of killing time at a margarita bar before a 7pm dinner or event, I have to come home to walk, feed, and play with a dog.  This weekend - and the next two weekends coming up, in fact - Lucy will spend Saturday night at a "doggy hotel," while I finish out my three remaining weekends at a Hamptons share.  Granted, it's only Saturday night.  But still.  I just don't know if I'm cut out for this.

To further elevate my blood pressure, I lost my debit card last weekend while celebrating one of my good friend's last nights in town (she moved to Austin in the beginning of the week).  Then, on Monday, I learned that my best friend here is moving to San Francisco.  In less than a month.  Too much!  Yesterday was the first day that I didn't have more than one meltdown.  Baby steps.  To say that this week has brutally kicked my ass is an understatement.  (I realize that my "problems" are miniscule compared to most of the shit that's going on outside of my bubble.  But, still, this all really hurts and sucks.)

In terms of Lucy, I think I'm going to give it another week to decide if I can keep her.  To figure out if my lifestyle is such that I can support a puppy.  I adore her, but I just don't know yet if owning a dog is the right fit.  But, at the same time, the thought of selling her makes me want to throw up.  It's gut-wrenching. 

Have any of you ever experienced this?  Am I insane?  I would love to hear your pet stories.  I just feel so alone in all of this.   :(


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

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Reader Comments (4)

Lins, I think that what you are feeling is totally normal and anything that completely atlers your lifestyle is painful. Not to mention, you got some crushing news about your friends - that is hard all by its self. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. This is one of those opportunities where you have the ability to make up your own rules. If you want to send Lucy to the boarder every weekend, do it. Youre paying, its your dog and they are probably treating her very well. My dog LOVES to go to the boarder. He is loves the people there, I see it when we walk in the door.

No one tells you about the guilt you will feel when you leave that little one behind, its so hard but they will be ok. She needs some attention and structure when you are home and a toy and a treat when you are gone. She will be the happiest to see you when you walk in the door - every.single.time. That warms the heart. Obviously you have to do whats best for you but you can do this if you want to.

July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCK

Linds, as a lover of my Ruby for over 11 years now, I can tell you that I totally empathize! I got rubes when I was in Dallas and moving to NYC was not even a figment of my imagination. She was 3 years old when I took her away from her giant backyard in Texas and brought her to the city. It was hard on both of us. I stressed every day about getting back to the apartment, I have turned down hundreds of social engagements out of guilt for leaving her alone too much. She was not dog socialized and very protective of me so doggy daycare and dog walkers just didn't work. Ruby made it clear that it had to be me or no one. But despite all of that, I wouldn't trade or change it for the love and friendship she has given me.
You do have an advantage that w Lucy being young, she can easily get acclimated to walkers and doggy daycare. Most dogs LOVE co-puppy playtime! Plus, You are also living in one of the most dog friendly cities in the world!! It will get easier! You're lifestyle will have to change, but there's a trade off full of unconditional love and new and different social adventures like dog park meetups! So, if you want to make it work, I can tell you that 10 years from now you will probably look at her (with a tired sigh!) and say it was worth it, but it's also so brave and loving of you to truly examine whether you are ready to make this change! Either way, I'm rooting for you! And please let me know if you have questions!! :)

July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDionne

Whew! You guys are amazing. Thank you SO MUCH for these heartfelt notes. This next week will be very telling, and I hope that I make the most non-regrettable choice for my situation.

July 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Lady Who Lunches

I went through the same thing when I got my dog. You just need to get into a routine. In a month from now you'll wonder why you even stressed. I imagine it's similar to what moms go through after having children. Try not to feel guilty about leaving her, because if you do, you'll feel guilty about going out and it will hurt your social life. Dogs are fine with being alone, gives them a chance to catch up on some sleep, and they'll just be even more happy to see you when you come home for the night. A dog is great training for one day having kids, and it's also a great hangover minimizer (can't drink too much when you have to go home and walk them!). It will get easier.

July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

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