Later today we're getting a puppy. I haven't had one since I was a kid. Things have changed since then, according to the puppy experts. For one, we found the puppy over the Internet. That's different. But it's only the tip of the iceberg.

The experts say we are not supposed to pick up the puppy and hold it. If the puppy pushes itself out of our arms, it will try to brace its fall with its front legs, and they will break. Apparently this happens a lot.

Instead, we are advised to keep the puppy on a leash if we pick it up. That way, if the dog jumps out of our arms, we can save it by holding the leash, in much the same way the Iraqis saved Saddam Hussein when he fell through the trap door. Sounds safe to me.

We have been advised to get a special type of sugary foodlike product to give the puppy when it arrives on the plane, to prevent it from getting hypoglycemic. This has something to do with the stress of the trip and not eating for several hours. In the old days, when dogs got hungry they would eat something called dog food. But to be fair, our old family dog hardly ever used an airplane for interstate travel, at least not while we were watching.

Our first attempt at buying a little gated fence for the puppy was a failure. The puppy expert said it wasn't high enough. If the dog successfully climbs the fence, it will learn it can climb anything. Before you know it, the dog is on the roof, all hypoglycemic, with the wind ripping off its feeble limbs.

House training has changed too. You no longer whack the puppy with a rolled up newspaper when it relieves itself in the house. Now you do something more humane, called cage training. You put the puppy in a cage so small it can barely turn around. Dogs instinctively won't poop where they have to stand, so it learns to hold it until it poops on your terms.

I ask myself if I would prefer to be whacked with a rolled up newspaper when I pooped on the carpet or be forced to stay in a coffin-sized cage for several hours while desperately squeezing my butt cheeks together to keep the turtle in the shell. Which is more humane? I'm thinking it doesn't make any difference because my parents used both of those methods on me, and I turned out okay.

The dog is an Aussie Toy. According to our research, this is the very best dog in the entire world for us. It is a "working dog," meaning it was bred to be useful, presumably herding very small cows. I plan to train it to fetch tennis balls. I want it to kneel by the net like a ball girl and bring me the loose balls after each point. Maybe it could even keep score.  I haven't consulted with the puppy expert about this idea because I know she will say the dog can't participate in sports unless it is wearing a Kevlar body suit has an asthma inhaler nearby.

I'm just saying dogs are different now.

Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +39
  • Print
  • Share


Sort By:
Jul 11, 2008
I have an Aussie and she is my best friend. Our breeder explained that their 9th week is the time that dogs really do their bonding and to spend as much time with her as possible during that week. I had some vacation time but the wife did not--guess whose dog she became.

I created a dogster page for her.


I wish you joy with your new puppy.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 11, 2008
Raising dogs hasn't changed since you were a kid Scott. You've just become much wealthier. You are now part of the class that can afford to fly their pet in from across the country, have them see a pet psychiatrist twice a week, hire a pet feng shui expert to ensure your home and yard is organized in the best manner for your dog to achieve spiritual harmony with the rest of the family and to buy an array of coloured pet Contac lenses for special occasions. You're sort of like Paris Hilton now.

+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 11, 2008
I haven't had a dog for a long time. The biggest thing that has changed in dog ownership, (from a non-dog-owner viewpoint), is the 'cleanup after your dog' laws.

While I applaud the fact that there is a lot less dog poop lying around for me to step in, people walking their dogs now have all sorts of contraptions as well as rubber gloves and plastic bags that they use to pick up and carry around the poop.

It looks silly to me, I can't even imagine what the dogs are thinking...('Gee they like my poop so much they are carefully picking it up to take home, why can't I just do it on the living room carpet and save everyone a lot of time and trouble?')
Jul 11, 2008
Just read "Let's Get a Pup! Said Kate" to my daughters last night.

Maybe you should have read this before getting one...

Jul 11, 2008
Just got a puppy two weeks ago, black lab crossed with border collie. She's the cutest thing ever, but I see trouble on the horizon. The best advice is to not mix a new puppy with a wife. She will see the puppy as being the same as a child and will spend money accordingly. It's the wife that causes the puppy to be treated as you have described, resulting in a wimp of a dog. My dog that I raised from a pup from before we were married lived a long and happy life without the benefit of monthly visits to the vet, special food, and PC treatment. This new pup is on track to be a spoiled little mutt, what with the high-dollar food recommended by the high-dollar vet, the not whacking it with a newspaper when it chews on my shoes, etc. A dog's a dog. Get over it. Only single guys should raise dogs, unless the dog is smaller than a football in which case it's pretty much useless anyway. IMHO
Jul 11, 2008
What'd you name it? Huh? Or did the Mrs. take that privilege? Please say it isn't a Dilbert character? That'd be like me naming my cat "AutoCAD" or "Polyline", just wouldn't be right.

Jul 11, 2008
Couple comments I have to make, don't teach bad habits. If you don't want the dog to sit on your furniture don't invite it up. Even on your lap. Sit on the floor if you want the dog on your lap. Once you've given the dog permission to be on the couch it'll prefer it over the floor a lot of the time, even when you're not there. Don't carry the dog much, maybe up the stairs if necessary, but keep it closer to the floor so you won't have the jumping issues. Teach the kids that the dog isn't a toy to be lugged around like a doll or football. It's a living creature that deserves respect. Do not interrupt it while it's sleeping or eating. (do you like that?) and have fun with it. Throw balls (and remember if you teach it to fetch it may not return them to you without a certain amount of slobber on the balls) and play tug of war with a dog tug toy, don't teach it to tug socks or you'll be in big trouble later on. Kisses are cute, but remember where the dog licks. People don't eat dog food, dogs shouldn't eat people food. Not a nutritional sound habit to get into. My boyfriend adopted a rescued rottweihler and as much as I love the dog, he's taught her some bad habits that can be hard to deal with. But love your pup. And may you have many years of mutual love with it.
Jul 11, 2008
ROTFL, that was a great friday blog.
I've had a few dogs but only started with a puppy once. I have to say you and your family are very brave. You may experience extreme sleep deprivation for the next few weeks.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 11, 2008
Great choice Scott! I have two mini Aussies and they're great dogs. Small enough to not eat things off of the counters, but still with the big dog personality, i.e. not yippy. Crate training works well, it's not cruel, they actually like the "den" you've created. Best of luck! Post pictures!!
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 11, 2008
"...when it arrives on the plane...". Unfortunately, I think it's you that's changed. You're taking advice from a "Puppy Expert" and shipping in your new dog on a plane ??? What happened to going down to the dog pound and picking one out ?

[What part of "very best dog in the entire world for us" is confusing you? -- Scott]
Get the new Dilbert app!
Old Dilbert Blog