My dog, fondly referred to as EmmaLou the Golden Destroyer, wants a pet of her very own. I’m not sure she’s ready to take on that responsibility. I’m not sure I can afford another pet.
For those of you who know me, or have followed some of my online ramblings, the tally of damages incurred by my trusty canine companion is roughly $7,000. That’s right, 7 grand. Four of that is just the furniture she has chewed over her lifetime and she’s only 4 and 1/2 years old. The rest is a combination of other goodies such as woodwork, clothing, linens (towels and sheets and a comforter), damage from the family room wall she gnawed a chunk out of, and of course the latest big-ticket item she ruined; my dining room carpeting. Since the dining room and living room are connected, the price of that episode climbed even higher — that’s two rooms of carpeting which will have to be replaced. So just for damages during her life so far, we have an estimated bill of $7,000.
I should probably mention upkeep. If memory serves, I paid about $325 for my canine buddy. I would have willingly given more because the look in her little brown eyes was enough to melt my heart and I knew she was coming home with me from the first moment we met. Awwww. Okay, enough with the sappy sentiment. This is serious stuff. Upkeep. Golden retrievers, like other dog breeds, have various health issues including hip problems, ear issues, and assorted allergies. EmmaLou has good bones and no hip problems thankfully; but she does suffer with allergies. Apparently, she’s allergic to grocery store food. It makes her skin flake and itch and get all red and angry-looking. Can’t have that. Not only can she not eat regular old Purina dog chow, she doesn’t do well with beef or beef by-products. The vet has her on a diet of fish and potatoes, or as Devoted Spouse calls it; fish and chips. Let me just say this food is not cheap. Not cheap at all. So, I’m going to guesstimate that at $60 for a 30 lb bag of food which lasts a month, over the last 3 years I’ve spent around $2,000. That’s not that much really — about two dollars a day. Added to the food bill is the vet bill. For the first 3 and 1/2 years of her life EmmaLou suffered from persistent ear infections and spent almost more time at the vet’s office than at her own home. Fortunately, the ear infections have slowed down and the vet visits are not as often. Did I mention I didn’t buy pet insurance when I got EmmaLou — pet insurance is just a silly waste of money. Hmmmm. Anyway… I know I’ve dropped a couple of grand to the vet over the past few years. That brings her upkeep to approximately $4,000 over the last 3 years alone. That’s not including boarding at the kennel for the times we go out of town or for the trips to the groomer. I better add on another $1,000 for all those bills. Final conservative tally on upkeep is now $5,000 for a dog whose life statistically isn’t at the halfway point yet.
At this point in my analysis I should predict future expenses based on EmmaLou’s expected lifespan. Let’s skip that part because I’m realizing already that dog ownership can be a major financial undertaking. So far, I’ve spent $12,000 on this pet and heaven only knows what she will get into in the future. Thank goodness she doesn’t require clothing or an education or a big wedding.
The only thing in her favor is the fact she has wormed her way into my heart so much she is simply another member of my family; my little fur-child. I will spend any amount of money to keep her happy, healthy, and with me for as long as possible. But the bottom line is at this rate, I can’t afford to give her any other doggie companionship; she will have to settle for human company.
Dog Damage = $7,000
Dog Upkeep = $5,000
Slurpy dog greeting when you come home = Priceless