Dogs shed. Dogs are covered in a substance known as "fur" or "hair". This fur can be thick, fluffy, wavy, wiry, smooth, curly, short or long, and every combination in between. On occasion, dogs shed this fur, which is natural and vital for their health. However, fur or hair can stick to clothing, furniture, carpet, you name it and it can sometimes fall out in clumps! There are a few hairless breeds of dog, but they need sunscreen and special treatment to protect their skin and they still poop and pee (see below).
Dogs poop and pee. Believe it or not, dogs have what is called a digestive system, which includes an organ called the stomach. After dogs eat and drink water, their bodies need to eliminate what they have digested and it comes out of their rears as waste. This waste can be big, small, solid, runny or any combination thereof. Their pee or urine, is usually yellow and can stain carpeting, furniture, clothing, you name it. In fact, male dogs can urinate on things that are above the ground or floor because they lift their legs when they pee. A dog can pee on the side of a couch or even on your windows! And they don't always eliminate outdoors. While they prefer to, sometimes they just can't make it.
Dogs eat. Dogs are creatures that need what is called dog food to survive. There are many different types of food for different types of dogs. In fact, some dogs even eat twice a day or more, depending on their size and activity level, health, etc. And dogs drink a lot of water as well. When dogs eat and drink, they poop and pee (see #2, no pun intended).
Dogs need exercise. Dogs have appendages called legs. As a matter of fact, they have 4 of them! Dogs need to exercise these legs by walking, running or just being able to move about freely from time to time. If dogs are always caged or tied to a chain, it makes this very hard and hurts the dog. Hurt dogs are not happy dogs.
Dogs feel pain. Dogs are sensitive and feel all sorts of sensations, such as pain, pleasure, heat, cold and everything in between. In many ways, they are just like us. Most of us don't like to be in the snow, naked and hungry with a tight chain around our necks. It is common for dogs to feel the same way about sensations.
Dogs need people. Dogs speak a language other than English. In fact, they do not speak any language known to man, as of yet. Therefore, dogs need people to care for them, provide for them and give them a voice when they need to be heard. If a dog is in pain, he'll let you know, but it is up to you to do something about it.
And dogs do make noise. They bark, whimper, whine and cry, especially when left unattended. Therefore, be prepared to hear noises from your dog; they are not silent creatures.
Although some dogs are small enough and enjoy traveling by purse, remember that dogs also need other things to live. Fuzzy collars, pink purses and leopard print bikinis are swell, but they won't feed your dog or pick up his poop.
Dogs have what is called teeth. As a matter of fact, we have teeth known as canine teeth as well. Dogs use these teeth to chew their food, to bite when scared or anxious and angered, to protect themselves and to demonstrate on shoes and couch cushions that they are bored or lonely or just feeling rambunctious. If you hurt a dog, he may bite. If you or your child pesters a dog, he may bite. If your dog is scared or sick or trying out his new puppy teeth, he may bite. Their teeth are usually sharp and they have strong jaws. Dog bites hurt. L
Dogs live longer than an episode of Friends. In fact, some dogs can live 20+ years, so make sure that you can commit at least that much time to a dog. Dogs typically don't like relocating to a shelter or a stranger after a few years of being with you. If you find that you are physically or otherwise incapable of keeping a dog for their entire life, a drive down a country road or cardboard box in front of the shelter or a store is not the solution. There are rescue groups and proper shelter procedures available and they are FREE.
If this all seems a bit too complicated, there is GOOD NEWS! There is ONE way to get a dog and avoid all of the above:
GO TO TOYS R' US AND BUY A STUFFED ANIMAL!!!!!!!!