I am often greeted by people with looks of confusion and disbelief when I tell them that the 1 1/2-year-old puppy they are fawning over is actually mine and not my parents. Like the other day when I took Nukka to the vet, the vet techs and veterinarians continued to direct all of their questions about her to my mom. She had to kindly let them know that she was not the person to ask and that I was the one they should be talking to.
Something about being 22 years old and having a dog of your own is surprising to people. They always want to know why I would take on such a heavy responsibility at such a young age and why I couldn’t just wait a few years until I was settled with a family.
Honestly, when I got a dog, I never focused on all the things I couldn’t do with her. I always just envisioned all the things that I could do. I didn’t get a dog just so that she could lie around the house allday. I got a dog so that she could perform activities with me and so that I wouldn’t be alone all the time.
That’s what a dog is after all – Man’s Best Friend!
If you’re a wallflower like me, watching everything going on, but reluctantly participating, it can get a bit lonely stuck up on that wall. Not anymore for me, I have the best companion a girl could ever ask for, even if I opt to stay at home sometimes!
So, for all those naysayers out there who say having a dog at such a young age will tie you down, here are my reasons for why it doesn’t have to be that way.
1. You can bring your dog to work
You might be telling yourself that you don’t want a dog because you’re afraid you won’t be able to spend enough time together because you’re going to be working. This is a very common fear to have and it makes sense since most American’s work 40+ hours a week. Having a dog may seem like an unnecessary burden to your already stressful, and busy life.
While you have a good reason to feel that way, it just simply isn’t always true. There are plenty of jobs out there that will allow you to bring your dog to work with you. You just need to know where to look and use a bit of imagination.
In my case, I got a job working on a farm. Nukka was allowed to tag along with me as I harvested vegetables and weeded plants. I simply bought a leash to wear around my waist, like the running leashes and – VOILA! – she followed me everywhere. I’m not saying that the farming life is for everyone nor am I saying that’s the only job out there.
It is merely a suggestion and to remind people that if I can find a job that allows me to bring my dog to work with me than you can too. You just have to keep an open mind about it and think creatively.
2. You always have a partner for adventure
Whenever I plan out my next adventure, I always include my dog into the mix. Why? Because Nukka loves adventure! And I bet my right hand that your dog does too. Dogs weren’t meant to just sit inside and lay around the house all day. They are working animals and they are meant to assist you, provide company and be active.
All of my best adventures happened when my dog accompanies me.
Whenever I go paddle boarding, Nukka tags along for the ride and sits in front of me as I go. Whenever I go hiking, Nukka is the first dog on my list to come with me. Whenever I travel somewhere, you bet that Nukka is going to continue to sit in that passenger seat and come along with me. Which brings me to….
3. You can travel with your dog
Yes, it can be a pain. Yes, it can take some creativity. However, it is not impossible to travel with your dog. If you have a small dog, traveling can be a lot easier.
But if you’re like me and refuse to take the easy way out then you’ll have a big dog. When I go traveling, I lug my 60 Ib husky around with me to enjoy the ride. I’ve traveled around enough with her for her to understand what the packing of my bags means and she gets excited! Especially when she sees me grab her food and water bowl.
Your dog picks up off your vibes. If you’re totally set for traveling the world, your dog will pick up on that and be just as pumped as you. I’ve traveled with Nukka to places like college, Cape Cod in Massachusetts and Winooski in Vermont. Our next trip will be a bigger adventure, like traveling to Colorado or Iceland.
There a plenty of hotels out there that will allow you to bring your dog with you as well. My parent’s personal favorite is a place called Inn by the Sea, which is located in Maine. You can even bring your dog to dinner with you and they will bring out a water bowl for your pooch before they even ask you what you want! You can even order them dinner off the doggy menu! How incredible is that! There are tons of places out there just like Inn by the Sea, so don’t feel like you are limited when you travel with your dog.
A lot of planning is required, but if you’re willing to put in the work like I am, it will be one heck of an adventure.
4. You can go out to eat with your dog
Worried that when you’re on one of your trips that you won’t be able to bring your dog with you for one of your nights out? Don’t be!! Plenty of restaurants will allow you to bring your dog along with you. In fact, I recently just went to a lovely restaurant called Misery Loves Company in Winooski Vermont that allows your dog to hang out with you on the patio while you enjoy your dinner.
Some places are more pet-friendly than others so it’s always good to double-check and call ahead to make sure your furry friend is welcome. Vermont is very dog-friendly from my recent experience, you never know until you ask.
5. You don’t have to be with your dog 24/7
If you have a supportive family like myself, then taking a solo trip on your own without your pooch is simple. My family has a dog already and so they don’t mind taking in my dog for a day or two if I go on a dog free trip.
If you don’t have this option available however, you have so many other options. There are a lot of doggy businesses these days where you can pay people to watch your dog. They can either stay at your home with your pooch or stop by twice a day to walk and play with them.
It’s definitely cheaper to have your dog stay with friends or family, but I think you’d be surprised how easy it is to find someone to watch your dog for a low cost.
Just taking a quick look on Rover.com now, you can get someone to watch your dog and stay at your house for as low as $25 per night! If you’re gone for three nights that’s only $75!
Not too bad.
Like I said, having a dog shouldn’t make you feel tied down. A dog can only do as much as you can imagine. So don’t limit them to just being a friend at home, take them with you and enjoy getting to know each other in the big wide world out there!
What do you guys think? Comment below with any thoughts or questions!
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