I’ve always loved dogs. I had a dog when I was in high school, and I started to miss her after I had left for college. But in high school, I didn’t pay for anything to help take care of our dog. In my eyes, it could have all been free. I’m sure my parents would disagree since they were paying for all of the food, dog leashes, collars, and everything, but I was completely unaware of such costs. I just gleefully went through each day enjoying the presence of our cute dog.
And then I went to college. I no longer had a dog, and at first, I didn’t really miss it. It meant less chores, which was more important to me at that point since it was the first time that I really had to do all the chores myself since I was on my own. As a result, it meant less of a headache. I didn’t have to feed the dog, take care of the dog, walk the dog, or anything. It was a relief… at first. Besides, there was no way for me to keep a dog in the college dorms. It simply wasn’t allowed.
Time went by, and it didn’t really change. I started seriously dating, and the result was that a year and a half later, I had gotten married. During the engagement, we spent most of our free time together, but we still each lived in our own dormitory. We didn’t have time for pets, and we still weren’t allowed to have them anyway. And it went on like this for a while. Eventually, not long after we were married, we moved. Unfortunately, the new place still didn’t allow pets. But, in all honesty, at that point, I still didn’t mind too much.
One day, my wife took me to look at some dogs. We still couldn’t get one yet due to the apartment we were living in, but she wanted to look at them, and I didn’t mind at all. So, off we went to the local PetSmart to look at the puppies. They were so cute! They immediately reminded me of all the things I really missed about having a dog. Now, I really wanted a dog. Badly. But there were still two problems, one was that our apartment wouldn’t allow any pet that breathed air. No, I’m not kidding. That was actually in the contract we signed. The second was that a dog and all the things that go with it wasn’t going to be free. It was going to be expensive, and we just didn’t have the money.
A couple more years went by, and we moved again. Unfortunately, not under good terms. Sewage came up through our sink drain and damaged half of the apartment, including a significant number of our items, while we were away on vacation. They even used our towels to and cleaning supplies to clean up the sewage, effectively ruining even more of our stuff. We were very unhappy with how they handled the situation, and we wanted to move out before that anyway. Since we were going to have to move out of that apartment either way just so that they could fix the problems caused by water damage and sewage contamination, we just took the opportunity to move into an apartment complex that some friends of ours lived in anyway. It was larger, less expensive, and this apartment allowed pets.
We knew it was going to be rough financially, but we just couldn’t stand it any longer. We had to get a dog. We justified it based on the fact that our new rent was lower than our old rent, but it was a pretty poor justification considering that we had to replace a fair number of things. We just couldn’t help ourselves. We got a puppy. Not a free one, unfortunately, but a very cute dog. She was a cute, 3 month old Rat Terrier mix. She seemed to be mixed with Boston Terrier, or something similar to it. She caught our eye because she seemed to love rolling around in grass and playing around with anybody or anything, usually in the most adorable ways!
This puppy of ours was much more energetic than we originally thought she was, though. It was taking up all of our energy just to attempt to wear down hers. We needed something to reduce her energy levels, or we were just going to go insane. After crunching some numbers and cutting back in other places, we decided to get a second dog to play with out first one. This one wasn’t as hyper as the first, but he was a gorgeous 1 year old Dachshund mix. It seemed that he was mixed with Miniature Pinscher, but after looking at his teeth, we wondered if he was mixed with a full-blown Doberman Pinscher! Despite his giant teeth, he is the sweetest thing, and just loves to give kisses and lay down next to (or on top of) you. Unfortunately, this one was not free either. The total costs between the two dogs ended up much higher than we expected, even with our number crunching.
But, we had some help in some small ways. A neighbor of ours helped us pick out a good but inexpensive vet. We also kept an eye out for good deals to help us get by on a weekly basis. Coupons were especially helpful, as every little bit helped. Another thing that helped was that we didn’t limit our searches for good deals to physical stores. Sometimes online stores would have the same exact thing for less money, even after considering shipping costs. We certainly learned that it pays to shop around.
After everything was said and done, I was very happy to have our two sweet dogs. It was worth the financial difficulties to have the opportunity to have them, but without living frugally, it never could have happened. So, thank goodness for the dogs, and thank goodness for living frugally. Shopping, deals, and coupons are what it’s all about!