Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Hooligan: puppy love

I am very close to getting a dog, and that is the worst decision I could make right now. Still, I want a dog. I see students walking around on campus with their beautiful dogs, good boys playing with a frisbee and the visible joy that comes with having a dog. I live on campus, which is no place for a dog to be. Likewise,  I have a busy schedule and am out of the dorm often. However, I daydream of coming home to a dog waiting for me at the door like my family dogs do to me at my parents’s house, and the pure happiness they’ll greet me with that makes all the bad go away. 

It doesn’t help that I’ve been researching breeders and checking the local shelters every so often to see who is looking for a home. I have an in with a Boxer breeder, which is not good for me, as I will explain later. There is a puppy named Clark at a shelter, too, that is looking for a home. He is part hound, part shepherd and fully adorable. I am also tortured by my friends and family, who send me dog videos. 

I’ve always been a dog person for as long as I can remember. It is the one thing I can confidently say about myself that has not changed over time. Everyone who knows me understands that it is a part of who I am. I have this understanding of dogs and know how to present myself around them and handle them, and they understand me, too. 

Photo by Emme Aylesworth

There is one breed of dog in particular that I love: pugs. Almost borderline obsessed, but not to the point where it’s pug figurines or pug pictures everywhere, just the occasional pair of socks and the feeling of happiness when I see one. I have a pug back home, which is 3,000 miles away and I miss him every day. His name is Joey, and he’s special. I also have a boxer back home who loves my dad more than anyone else in the world, and he’s been with us for quite some time. His name is Ketch. He’s our sweet boy, and if you have ever had a boxer, it’s the only dog you’ll ever have. This is why the boxer breeder comment is a problem because I would be willing to drop a large sum of money on a boxer puppy. 

Photo by Emme Aylesworth

Yet, the cons outweigh the pros at the moment. Dogs are expensive, like really expensive, and it wouldn’t be the right decision to try to care for something when I cannot sufficiently do so. Likewise, dog hair isn’t fun. That shit does get everywhere. There is dog hair in my phone case, and I have not been home in over a month, and it wasn’t there when I left. 

Over the summer, I worked at a Kennel/Doggy Daycare. Lemme tell ya, you make a list of dogs you don’t want. You learn a lot, like how COVID puppies suck or the way people raise their dogs. It’s heartbreaking sometimes. There were dogs at the kennel who had been there for months and other dogs who were frequent flyers and were there for three days a week every week because their owners were in the army or traveling for their jobs. To me, it’s sad. Why have a dog if you can’t spend the proper time with it? Plus, the amount of people that adopt dogs that do not fit their style of living but because they are cute is overwhelming.

For instance, Australian Shepherds. Adorable. But they are still Shepherds, and they need a job and proper training, or else these incredibly intelligent dogs will take advantage of their owners and become, for lack of better words, assholes. I was told a story by my boss about this kid she met at a pet store with a Doberman puppy. She, who has owned Dobermans and knows the breed, asked him what kind of training he’s going to get for the dog, and he said none. With the knowledge that this is a working dog and NEEDS training, the rest is self-explanatory. 

Raising a puppy, and as my mom has told me often, is hard. It’s like raising a child, but this child has very sharp teeth and will get into the trash and will eat electrical wires if you’re not watching it. Nurture wins over nature in his case. I’m not an expert, but from the time I’ve spent with dogs, at one time over 70 dogs in one room, I’ve learned a lot. More than you could read in a book. But, I still want a dog. Someday, I will, and I will give it all the love that I can. And, hopefully, more people will realize the weight, the responsibility, and the passion that comes with owning a dog. Because they will love you no matter what, all for love in return.

Get the Maine Campus' weekly highlights right to your inbox!
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Secure and Spam free...