Pet Adoption Preparedness

by Tricia Gillespie

What causes reasonable, relatively intelligent adults to desire the company of a four-legged beast?

Perhaps my family experienced an emptiness that they attempted to fill with the love of an animal.  Perhaps their need for physical affection was left unmet.  Perhaps I should have licked their hands each morning and chewed on their bare toes. Maybe then they would have been satisfied with our family of four humans and our pet free, dander free, hair-ball free home.  Maybe then I would have two whole slippers, one more shoe,  and 54 more dollars (money spent on paper towels).

Pet adoption is not easy.  In fact, leaving the hospital with a newborn required less paperwork.  The hospital didn’t even ask for references.  They should have.  Just ask my kids.  On second thought….  Home visits, doctor visits, vet visits…about the only thing this pup didn’t require was a 2 am feeding, but she made up for it with an early morning pee-pee walk.

If you are in the early stages of family pet planning, remember these simple steps.   They will prepare you and those in your home for a four-legged addition.

1.  Leave puddles of water in various locations throughout the house.

2.  Put at least one slipper through the paper shredder.

3.  After a long day at work, greet your spouse with a wet lick on his cheek.

4.  Keep a bowl of dog food right in front of the coffee pot so your husband (or wife…equal opportunity) will step
in it.

5.  Place a foul smelling pile of rotten, steaming meat-loaf under the kitchen table.  (this will represent poop)  Now step in it with bare feet.

6.  Have your child mop the floor 62 times in one day.

7.  Set an alarm clock for 2 am and march the family through the backyard (preferably without a coat in the middle of February) whispering “hurry up and pee already!”

8.  Bury your couch cushion in the dirt and retrieve it one week later.  Return to couch.  It will smell just right.

9.  Throw up in your car.

10.  Bark incessantly at every movement you see through any window in the house.

Now you are fully prepared for pet adoption!

Just don’t forget your checkbook, phonebook for references, and be sure to clean your house for the ‘inspectors’.  Enjoy Fee-fee or Fido or Spike or Daisy….you get the point!

Tricia Gillespie's dog, Oriana, could be sleeping in a dirty alley and eating out of dumpsters; however, she’s sleeping on her couch and eating from her children’s plates.  Fried eggs are a breakfast favorite, and she wouldn't have it any other way.  Pet adoption may have turned her home upside down, but how could she resist a pair of brown puppy eyes?  Not to mention the two kids whining and begging...come visit her and her family on The Domestic Fringe.


  1. As the mom of a puppy mill rescued doggie, I can so relate to your post. She is loving as all get out but there is still some wariness of human behavior after 5 years. She does NOT believe that grass is meant to be the repository for her "treasures." Thank goodness she is just a little Chihuahua and WILL use puppy pads most of the time. For the rest of the time there is Lysol and Pine-sol. Your training tips are right on target. Oh, if I had only known, LOL, but then I might have missed having this sweet little girl.



  2. Ardee-ann, sometimes it's better that we don't know! Enjoy your little one. :-)

  3. She is loving as all get out but there is still some wariness of human behavior after 5 years.Enjoy your little one...............................

  4. So sweet. The puddles on the floor are very accurate. Can't tell you how many times I did that when Owen was a puppy.

  5. HAHA! My son is out of sneakers (no really, I refuse to buy him anymore until it gets colder) he lives in crocks now. Why??? You might ask?!?!?!?!?! Because our dog ate his last two pairs of sneakers. One of the pair was brand new. LOL... this had me chuckling the whole time! Thanks for the link!!! Another wonderful post.


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