solo millennial pet owner

I work full-time and own a pupper. If you’ve gone a little further in to my blog you might have heard about Elliott (he’s a European Basset Hound – 70 pounds of big love). I talk about him as if he’s a human child but I guess that’s what happens to millennials nowadays who have pets…they become their children. He is awesome, fun and very cute. Every dog mom and human mom says that about their kid though, right?

For as long as I can recall with my own memories I have owned a dog. I’ve had dogs since I was seven and very briefly between the age of almost 27 and 28, I was without a dog for a little over a year when my family’s second dog, Tobey, passed away. Even though I’ve had pets since a young age, I’ve never been responsible for feeding, cleaning or paying for vet expenses. All of that was up to my parents.

I gave cuddles and belly rubs. I’d build forts in the indoor patio and hide in there with them all day. I’d throw a blanket over us and tell them my secrets – which boys I had a crush on this year, why I was upset with my parents or brother – why I felt left out whenever I hung out with people. Bogart and Tobey were my best friends for a combined twenty years. There is ultimately nothing like growing up with a pet. I have nothing to compare this to but growing up with them was amazing. I believe at that young of an age I was taught unconditional love for and from my furbrothers.

It was no surprise that I would eventually get a furry friend as an adult. It was just a matter of when. Having a pet no doubt keeps you grounded; tethered to your home as a base. Since I’ve been living on my own for almost a year now I’m not able to rely on anyone to feed/hang out with Elliott while I’m catching up with friends/coworkers after work. I’m on strict schedule so I can take him out for potty time and a walk as soon as I’m off work and at home because he’s been cooped up in the apartment for almost twelve hours napping and very bored. It’s definitely rough on my social life but honestly…I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Looking back, at the time I didn’t realize how helpful Elliott was going to be for me. He came at a time when I needed him and I’m thankful for the timing. I’m less anxious than I normally am. I don’t have panic attacks as often. Just a lot of good stuff came from having him enter my life. He is by NO means a therapy dog. But he does help keep me calm when I feel like I’m spiraling out. It’s nice.

I have to think about vacation/days where I’m gone all day months and months in advance just to schedule Elliott with a pet sitter or a reputable kennel. It’s extremely stressful entrusting your furfriend with someone you don’t know. Especially with news reports floating around about animal abuse it’s definitely difficult to make the decision of boarding Elliott at a kennel – you just never know.  I was lucky enough to have my parents road trip up to WA to take Elliott down with them for a two month California vacation while I was in Europe. (You can see just how crazy my family is about our furfriends) :].

Elliott will be staying at a kennel called Roscoe’s Ranch for a few days towards the end of the month while I’m visiting home. I’m a bit nervous about it because he’s never stayed over a place where he didn’t know anyone but because I’m in the situation I’m in this is the best I can do. I found the ‘ranch’ through Elliott’s vet hospital – they recommended it after hearing from other patients. I decided to give them a call and tour the facility – it’s gorgeous, spacious and most of all – safe. They don’t board more than 24 furkids at a time which makes it manageable for them.  I also noted that they have ‘regulars’ and are booked MONTHS/YEARS in advance. Popular destination for sure.

If you’re looking for a kennel to board your furkid at, I recommend touring multiple facilities and coming prepared with pointed questions. I’ll most likely post a blog about Elliott’s stay and the facility once he spends time there.

If you’re thinking about getting a furchild, I suggest really thinking about your lifestyle and if a furchild fits into it. Puppies are cute and all but you should understand that it takes time, patience, commitment and a lot of money. The training, replacing things they ruin…it gets to be a lot. And depending on the breed you’re want (if this is a factor for you) thinking about their adult size vs. your living space, how active they are, temperament etc. There’s so much to think about.

I have to admit owning a dog on your own is so hard. It is so expensive. It is so tiring. But it is so worth it. So worth it.

xx/jack

 

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