THINKING ABOUT GETTING A DOG?  Things to Consider When Teaming-up With Man’s Best Friend  by Hampton Rhodes

Things to Consider When Teaming-up With Man’s Best Friend

So you are thinking about getting a dog. Ask any dog owner and they’ll tell you it will enrich your life more than you can imagine. Having a loving, loyal and steadfast friend actually makes you a better person. And if you have a family, or you’re single and want to have a family with a dog, you are in for tremendous joy as well as tremendous responsibility.

The origin of the phrase “man’s best friend” describing a dog dates back to 1789 when Frederick the Second, King of Prussia referred to one of his Italian Greyhounds as “his best friend.” The first record of referring to a dog as being man’s best friend here in America, was in 1870 court documents in Warrensburg, Missouri after a farmer’s dog, Old Drum, was shot and killed by a neighbor. Today, there is still a statue in the town square memorializing Old Drum.

Adding a dog to your family is a huge commitment. Parent’s Magazine has a great quiz to see if you are truly ready to take on the responsibility. It helps guide you through why you want a dog, is your environment right for dog ownership and residence, considerations for other pets in the household, and other great questions that can help you make the right decision.

According to, there are several considerations to reconcile prior to adopting a dog into the family, including the time and expense of dog ownership, any prior trauma to the family or the dog, the period of adjusting to new routines and requirements, and how to prepare one’s home for a new canine addition.

A website called listiclesolutions offers 7 reasons why it is better to adopt a dog from a shelter rather than buy from a pet store – and they make a lot of sense for the potential owner, the dog and the community! There are rescue dog sites all over the Internet that specialize in specific breeds of dogs as well as listings of local rescue shelters in practically any community in the U.S.

A recent article from Jump106.9’s blog in Canada tells us the top 5 reasons having a dog is good for your health! including making your heart healthier, ensuring you get regular exercise, and helping manage one’s stress in a very very stressful world! (Not to mention the comic relief a dog provides in everyday life!) has The “How-to” Dog Blog and offers some great advice on what a first time pet owner needs to have and to know before bringing the new family member home. Just like bringing a baby home from the hospital, there are certain requirements for good parenting of your dog. They include such things as tools for transitioning your new dog into a new home environment. Your new family member may require a temporary “kennel” or sleeping space, a harness as opposed to a collar and a leash, and chew-toys that can help save your furniture during the puppy teething stage and other tools for grooming and cleanliness – of both the dog and your house!

As a life-long dog owner (and a very long life at that!), my dogs have brought me much joy and happiness through the years. My family had a cocker spaniel for the entire 17 years I was in school – kindergarten through my college graduation – that was my best friend as well as my brother and sister’s. She knew me inside and out, and was an amazing companion throughout all of those years with friendship, devotion, loyalty, secrecy (boy! could she keep a secret!), and a love and education that only can come from being a pet partner. And even now – 42 years later – I can’t imagine a life without my very own best friend by my side.

So if you are thinking about becoming a first time pet-owner, please stop and take these things into consideration – and they will help you become a better person, a better friend, a better parent and will ease your own transition into being all of these things.


Origin of the Phrase “Man’s Best Friend”
The Phrase Finder
Pet Parent Survival Kit –
Are you ready for a dog? Quiz – Parent’s Magazine
7 reasons its better to adopt a dog from a shelter rather than buy at a pet store –
A Few Dog Ownership Realities –
5 Reason Having a Dog is Good for Your Health –

Available at Click on title for more information,
The Complete Healthy Dog Handbook
by Betsy Brevitz
Puppy Training for Kids
by Colleen Pelar and Amber Johnson
Total Dog Manual
by David Meyer and Abbie Moore

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