Dogs should come with a user’s manual. You could get a copy of Dogs for Dummies on Amazon or something, but you should save your Prime account for more important things like streaming movies or overnighting a case of La Croix. Luckily, I’m here to spell out the most important how-to’s and what-to-do’s of raising a fur baby.
While there will be no quiz at the end of this, you still may find it worth your while to jot down a few notes. Let’s begin.
How To Walk Your Dog
1. Calmly explain to your dog that the only way they will get to go out is if they let you put on their leash.
2. Chase your dog around the house with said leash.
3. Consider using the leash like a lasso. Remember that you have no lassoing experience.
4. Catch your dog between your knees and wrangle a harness on.
5. Lean back with your arm outstretched and stomp, convincing absolutely no one that this is how you naturally walk.
6. Say “Heel.”
7. Say “Go to your place.”
8. Say “No pulling.”
9. Realize you forgot what phrase you were using for this situation.
10. Pray to all of the deities that your dog does not see that squirrel.
11. He saw the squirrel. Wonder if you’ll ever regain full range of motion in your shoulder.
12. Excessively praise your dog for pooping.
13. Wonder when you became the type of person to yell “Yay good poopy!!!” in broad daylight while completely sober.
14. Realize that you used your last poop bag.
15. Look around for witnesses.
16. Swear that you’ll come back out to pick it up. You SWEAR it.
How to Play Fetch With Your Dog
1. Pick up a tennis ball and wonder how it is already so wet.
2. Wipe the slime on your pants.
3. Wave the ball in the air in an attempt to get your dog’s attention.
4. Start jumping up and down with the ball, surely he’ll notice that.
5. Do the running man.
6. Secure eye contact with your dog and throw the ball.
7. Pretend that you didn’t make an uncomfortably loud grunting noise when you threw the ball. It’s been a while since little league, okay?
8. Watch as the ball goes just past your dog.
9. Encourage your dog to “Go get it!!!!”
10. Allow yourself to feel hope as your dog goes to smell the ball.
11. Resume your waving, jumping, and dancing to entice your dog into bringing the ball back.
12. Accept the fact that your dog is not bringing the ball back. Go through the five stages of grief.
13. Retrieve ball and bring it back to where you were originally standing.
14. Realize that you are officially playing fetch with yourself.
15. Whisper to yourself, very quietly, “Who’s a good human?”
How To Pick Out The Right Food For Your Dog
1. Go to the fancy aisle that looks like Whole Foods for Dogs.
2. Let your eyes glaze over.
3. Remember that you also need to buy food for yourself.
4. Think about what you want for dinner.
5. Debate whether life would be better or worse if you ate the same kibble as your dog.
6. Decide worse.
7. Decide better.
8. Decide worse.
9. Ask aloud, to no one in particular, “How is this so expensive??”
10. Realize that you are holding a bag of kangaroo meat imported from Australia.
11. Feel weird about eating kangaroo.
12. Remember that you are not going to be the one eating it.
13. Chastise yourself for missing the point.
14. Sit down on the floor and wonder why no one is helping you. Are ALL of the sales associates at lunch right now? How did they decide what do feed their dogs, let alone what to feed themselves?!
15. Do a series of silent screams.
16. Give up and buy the food that has the most appealing pictures of vegetables on the packaging.
17. Pray that it doesn’t give your dog diarrhea.
How To Get Your Dog To Come
1. Call out your dog’s name.
2. Watch them ignore you.
3. Yell, “Come” and slap the side of your leg.
4. Watch them run… away from you.
5. Crouch down and pretend that you have a treat while calmly screaming, “Come NOW!”
6. Look at your dog eating grass.
7. Start jogging backwards as an attempt to get them to chase you.
8. Trip over a log.
9. Stay down, maybe they’ll think you’re hurt and come to your rescue.
10. Question their love for you because they seemingly do not care at all that you could possibly be dead right now.
11. Cry “please just come,” from the ground.
12. Start literally crying.
13. Wipe the dirt off of your pants and get up
14. Seek comfort in petting another dog.
15. Take pleasure in your dog’s fuming jealousy and grab them when they least expect it.
How To Work From Home With A Dog
1. Open your computer.
2. Remove your dog from your lap.
3. Remove your dog from the keyboard.
4. Tell your dog that he cannot hang his head over the screen.
5. Ignore your dog pawing at your face.
6. Remove your dog from the keyboard again.
7. Maintain your composure as your dog tries to sit as close to you as possible.
8. Cave and decide to cuddle with your dog for 15 minutes.
9. Close your computer.
10. Start petting your dog
11. Accept that he will immediately decide to play with a toy on the floor.
13. Open your computer.
How To Give Your Dog A Bath
1. Take off your dog’s collar.
2. Feel like you are seeing them naked for the first time, experience mild embarrassment. Sometimes it helps if you also get naked, but that is optional and very much up to you.
3. Make sure the temperature of the water is not too hot and not too cold. Reenact the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, if that feel right to you.
4. Lure your dog into the bathroom with treats and cackle as you quickly slam the door behind them.
5. Put your dog in the tub and reach for the shampoo while still keeping a hand on your dog. ALWAYS KEEP A HAND ON YOUR DOG.
6. Give your dog a mohawk.
7. Close your eyes and go for the butthole. Vow to not bring this up after the bath.
8. Hault an escape attempt. Thank goodness you kept a hand on your dog.
10. Because it cannot be repeated enough, KEEP A HAND ON THAT DOG, and reach for a towel.
11. Wrap your dog like a burrito.
12. Take a mirror selfie of you and your pupperito.
13. Let your dog go and take cover.
14. Cancel the dinner party you were planning because your house is going to smell like wet dog for the next 6 hours.
Does this sound fun to you? Would you like a dog of your very own?
How to Adopt a Dog
1. Go to your local animal shelter of choice.
2. Pick out the dog you would like to adopt.
3. Fall in love.
3. Learn that dog has just been adopted. Sorry! Pick another one.
4. Choose another dog to meet.
5. Watch as the young, happy couple in front of you asks to see the dog you want.
6. Curb stomp the young happy couple. They are young and happy and they’ve clearly already found love. They don’t deserve your dog. Step over their bodies.
7. Fill out the adoption application.
8. Respect the extensive process. You know they just want the dog to go to a good home. You can totally get behind that.
9. Go through 10-12 background checks.
10. Submit a blood sample for review.
11. Give names and phone numbers for all of your exes and the reasons why you broke up.
12. Provide a report card history from at least the 5th grade on, although starting with 3rd grade would be preferable.
13. Confess your sins.
14. Sign the paperwork.
15. Go home with your dog. You should feel elated, but also slightly demoralized.
Have more questions? Maybe you should splurge for a book off of Amazon after all.