How to: dogs

Furry four-legged frustrations

Sam Johnson

More stories from Sam Johnson

How to: Holiday shop
December 15, 2021
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I know it’s the season of giving, but I’m broke.

Finals stress, seasonal depression and loneliness can all be cured by having a furry friend in the house, but dogs are a big responsibility.

I know they look extremely cute when you give them belly rubs, but after vacuuming enough dog hair to recarpet my house several times, I’m not sure it’s worth it.

As someone who has spent the last six months raising a dog with my three roommates, I’m here to warn you about all the fun and frustration that comes with “man’s best friend.”

In the past two hours, my roommate’s dog has eaten garbage, gone to the bathroom twice and puked on my favorite blanket.

Last Saturday night, when I returned home from a long day on Water Street celebrating Pickle Christmas, I discovered a smelly brown surprise on my bedroom floor, accompanied by one of my favorite mittens ripped to shreds. What am I supposed to do with one mitten? Let my hands take turns?

I could go on for the remainder of this article listing all the reasons I’m considering selling my roommate’s dog while he’s gone for the day, but I think you get the gist.

While we, as college students, are technically adults, we’re almost all also irresponsible and childish. These qualities are why so many of us want to buy dogs, but they are also why none of us should own them.

If you’re the type of person that wakes up before 8 a.m. by choice, actually reads textbooks instead of using them as paperweights and never leaves piles of dishes in the sink, go ahead and get a dog. Just don’t make them their own Instagram page where you type the captions from their point of view.

Alternatively, if you’re the type of person that has a noon alarm preset on your phone, hasn’t held a textbook since middle school and has ever thrown a dish away instead of washing it, please don’t get a dog.

You need to walk them constantly, bring them anywhere you’re going to be for longer than 8 hours and pay ridiculous prices for dog food, vet bills and chew toys so they don’t eat all your socks.

Or, you can do what my roommate has done and live with people dumb enough to help with these things.

My dad has a saying that applies to you if you’re thinking about buying a dog. 

“Why buy a boat if you have a friend with a boat?”

So save yourself the trouble, don’t buy a dog. Pick your dumbest friend, support them 100% in their dream to buy a dog, then never move in with them. That way you evade all responsibility while securing all the perks that come with dog ownership.

It’s like being the fun uncle that gives his nieces and nephews M-rated video games and all the caffeine and sugar they want, then gets to drop them off with their parents before the aftermath occurs. All the affection with none of the suffering.

If none of your friends can be convinced to commit to over a decade of responsibility and paying extra for rent, consider buying a small cactus that you only have to water once a month, maybe even a goldfish. 

Don’t buy a college dog, let them go to a nice suburban home where they’ll get all the treats and attention they want as long as they’re willing to wear a sweater for family photos.

Johnson can be reached at [email protected]