“In search of a free puppy.” It sounds like the sweetest message in the world. Who doesn’t want a new puppy?
And yet, it’s one that makes my skin crawl. A free puppy is about as real as the Easter beagle, folks.
Sure, a friend’s dog will have a litter, and she’ll hand over the critter without asking for money. But then you get the dog home, and you realize it’s time to buy a dog food bowl. And then you need to buy something to fill that bowl.
And then, well, a dog has to have something to drink water out of too, right?
Of course, after all that eating and drinking, they’ll need to go for a walk … which means you’re going to need a leash. Plus something to hook it to.
You’re starting to see where I’m going with this, aren’t you? That free puppy just cost you two bowls, a bag of food, a leash and a collar. And quite frankly, I’m just getting started.
No responsible pet owner adopts a puppy and doesn’t make a vet visit right off the bat. Then they make additional visits as the years pass to keep their four-legged friend up to date on shots.
Of course, if your new buddy is just a puppy, you could cheap out on toys, but expect to find yourself replenishing the supply of shoes, books, and pretty much everything else within reach of the dog’s mouth for the next few … years.
You get the picture; dogs cost money.
And yet, every time I turn around, someone is trying to get one for free. They go to the local shelters and come home to jump on Facebook and rant about the adoption fees. They put out feelers for freebies.
They treat adopting a dog like getting a used couch.
But a used couch doesn’t do much more than sit there, maybe exuding a slightly musty scent.
A dog is living, breathing creature, and bringing one home means making a commitment for anywhere from 10 to 15 years. A commitment to be a good friend to man’s best friend. A commitment to feed them, to shelter them, to love them, and a commitment to spend the next decade and a half spending money to keep them comfy.
If you can’t afford an adoption fee, how will you afford to do all that?
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