My boyfriend loves the breed. He had one when he was growing up, and since I’ve met him (6 years ago), he’s always talked about how he’s wanted another (going as far as to have already picked out the name, and speaking of it like he’s already a member of the family). I’ve continually ribbed him on the subject, talking about how they always look so confused / dense, showing him the Onion article about the “breeder’s recall on the 2007 model of pug”, etc. Honestly, though, I don’t have anything against them; I just enjoy joking about them.
I, in turn, would talk about how I’m more of a cat-guy, seeing as how cats are typically independent and self-sufficient, not demanding attention at all hours. I’d said that I wanted to get a Bengal kitten at the same time, so the animals could be reared together, and there wouldn’t be as much of a “territory” issue, having both animals introduced to the new environment at the same time.
So, here’s the deal. For the past year, he’s talked about how he wants to get a fawn pug puppy in the Spring. At first, I dismissed his comments, but as they kept coming, I began to express my misgivings. Finally, a few months ago, I laid it all out for him.
Puppies require a lot of attention, and since we both work, that’s 8 - 10 hours during the day that it would be crated, if the dog is “raised” as he wants. It is true that I am able to work from home during most days, but I don’t want him to rely on the idea that I would be able to do so all the time (especially since my job has become more turbulent these past few months, given the state of the oil and gas industry). I’d mentioned how I wasn’t ready for a cat, yet, but then said that it wouldn’t be fair to use my unreadiness for “my end of the deal” as rationale to prevent him from getting his dog.
He recently took a new job, and although he’s now working in his preferred field, it was at the cost of $3k - 5k / year. He does alright, financially, but money is a factor in many of the decisions he makes - forgoing getting particular “luxury” items and whatnot. Without being too insensitive, I tried to raise the issue that the cost of the dog, necessary medical bills, food, etc. might be something he wants to avoid at this point in his life. We have friends who make less than we do and yet have more dogs. I really don’t factor my income in this situation because I joke with him that, if he is going to call the dog “his” and not “ours”, then he’ll be responsible for it in most ways. The plan was for him to be “responsible” for the dog, and me the cat. Since I’m not sure if I would want to get a cat yet, I’m sure I’d contribute with the bills for the pug, but on the other hand, I don’t know if I’d resent him for relying on me to help out with the bills for a dog he got when I wasn’t sure if I was ready to own one.
Another factor, albeit minor is the amount of damage a puppy can do. Chewing on things, staining carpets, etc. Honestly, that is not the biggest deal to me (except for the likely possibility of our townhouse obtaining a distinct “smell”), but I wanted to present that as another thing to consider. He’s made joking comments that we would not inform the property company that we obtained a pet, so as to avoid the pet-deposit. I think if I were to agree to “withhold” that knowledge, he wouldn’t have an issue with it, but inversely, he won’t put up much resistance if I tell him that we need to make that payment.
Probably my biggest concern is the time-commitment. We have many friends who have dogs, and the animals are either always in tow, or they’ve had to cut dinners and nights-out short because they need to get home in time to check on their animals. We haven’t been able to travel much, because he used to work weekends, and we always wanted to take road trips. Granted, due to my current work-situation, I’m not sure how comfortable I would feel in asking for a few days off for a vacation (we had two rounds of lay-offs in December), but a pet would surely hinder any future attempts to “get away.” It isn’t that we are the type to stay out late at nights - in fact, most weekends, we’re lounging at home. These are just things that I want to consider in making the decision.
After laying it out like that, he acquiesced. Unfortunately, there’s some passive-aggressiveness in his comments, whenever the breed is mentioned. (“It doesn’t matter, we aren’t getting one anyway.”) I told him that I wasn’t completely opposed to getting a pug now, but that these were things that concerned me.
So, now I’m at a point where I feel like “the bad guy” for raising points that I feel are valid things to consider. The thing is, I think I’d like a dog. After being subject to YouTube videos of “pug bowling”, puppies jumping through snow, etc., I’ve grown fond of the breed.
Was I wrong for bringing those points up? I tried to be as fair and accurate as possible, in posting what I told him. I continually stress that getting a dog is a big deal, and I just want to make sure that we know how it is going to affect us, since ideally it would be around for a decade or more. And, although I hate to liken dog-ownership to parenting, I wonder if the whole “you’re never completely ready for a baby” thing I hear from all my friends applies in this situation. Are there things I’m overlooking? I don’t see us crossing this bridge for a month or so, at least, but any input would be greatly appreciated.