If I Don’t Have a Dog, Has My Life Really Started?

Whenever I’m particularly stressed or sit for too long, a disc in my lower back begins to ache, then throb, then scream. Sometimes it becomes so painful I can’t walk without wincing or yelping. The injury originated in 2012 when I lifted a small but sturdy Shih Tzu out of a bathtub and, wet dog in hand, felt a horrible twinge. The alarming kind of twinge. The kind that demands you freeze and consider your mortality. My back’s been fucked up ever since, and I’ve never, not once, wished I didn’t give that little doggy a bath. In fact I continued giving them for years.

Day of worship

A post shared by Haley Nahman (@halemur) on

His name was Walker, and whenever I looked at him my eyes would pool with affection. How I became his nanny in San Francisco is a tale as old as time: My roommate Alice was dog-sitting him, I stole him out from under her within hours of his arrival and proclaimed myself his sitter instead. She couldn’t argue: We were perfect together; we even had the same haircut. I was his sitter for a few years after that, sometimes keeping him for weeks at a time, taking him on trips with me, going on adventures around the city. I had magnets of him on my fridge and still do five years later, which isn’t weird, so.

Around that time I signed up to be a professional dog-sitter online, a title I claimed simply by making a profile and saying I loved paws. To fill the void in my life left by Walker’s mother not being on vacation, I’d bring all kinds of dogs into my six-bedroom railroad apartment on Haight Street which housed seven people and had plenty of room for more if you ask me.

There was Roux, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who licked my walls like a maniac. There was Jax, the giant Wheaten Terrier who had a yellow feather tied in his hair; Jumbo, the tiny sweatshirted Chihuahua whose tongue permanently stuck out; Giblet, the Bichon Frise who ate a bagel right out of my hands; Doogie and Simon, the Poodle brothers who peed all over my carpets. Literally don’t get me started on Freeman the brown Pomeranian or I’ll cry. I was running a serious operation. I was better than ever.

I eventually moved and had to give up my side-gig, except for the occasional drop-by at the local Shih Tzu meetup group, which met the first Saturday of the month and didn’t mind that I came without one of my own. To be clear, I would drain my savings to see Walker again if he hadn’t been passed off to the owner’s ex-husband who didn’t know who the hell I was. I’m still angry about that and I still Gchat his mom occasionally to ask how he’s doing. She never responds but, to be fair, she’s an executive at Google and doesn’t really know who I am either. I was just some weirdo who was obsessed with her dog, who stares at his photo every day on her fridge. It’s fine, I feel fine about it.

What I’m saying is my world starts and stops with dogs, and I don’t want to be dramatic or insult my loved ones or cat who doesn’t even like me, but I’m pretty sure my life won’t begin until I have a dog of my own. Despite living in an almost-windowless basement with no yard, the question of when I’ll be ready is one I ask myself every day, maybe every hour, in the hopes of finding a different answer. Until then, everything is basically window-dressing.

Catch ya later

A post shared by Haley Nahman (@halemur) on

Disclaimer: I wrote this while in a fight with my cat; we’ve since made up.

Photo by BOTTI/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images.

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  • Ashley Hamilton

    We even had the same haircut.

  • Eva Skewes

    Just needed to say that my parents have had five dalmatians and I’m working on establishing a healthy emergency balance so that I’ll be in a good position to have one of my own in a few years (will also need a yard). Also carefully considering what current clothes/future clothes will be dog hair magnets . . .

    • I have a friend who has a puggle and she sheds the most insane amount. To cope with the dog hair he decided to just start wearing clothes that match her coloring so it wouldn’t show. haha

      • Eva Skewes

        Oh yeah we abandoned fleece a long time ago. It gets into the strangest places too – literally weaves itself into fabric!

  • We have two cats and got our first dog together last February, and I tell you, we’ve never made a better decision. Louise completes our lives in a way that our cats (sorry Ralph and Oscar) cannot.

    Here she is usurping the cat bed that she doesn’t even fit in LOOK AT THOSE PAWS UGH I LOVE HER. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d6c505e1091e49474b3494defbeb6524350ebc5b5a19e2a16e67865172045d11.jpg

    • This is a fabulous dog.

      Back at my parents’ house in London, it’s the other way round! The cat has taken over any and all bedding, while our long-haired dachshund Daphne gets comfortable next to whoever will give her a cuddle.

      • Poor pup!

        • To be honest, I think they both prefer it that way haha. Daphne just wants love and Chucky just wants a designated space for napping…

          • I’m glad it’s mutualistic!

    • Oh my goodness I love her.

      • Thanks, I think she’s pretty dang amazing too.

  • Pretty sure that disclaimer sums up everything you need to know about having a cat! (Still love them)

    I’d be lying if I said I didn’t partly choose my current living arrangement based on the fact that one of my new roommate’s had a gorgeous loveball of a dog called Milo… 4 months on and I definitely made the right decision.

  • shannon

    I still live at home with my parents, but got a miniature dachshund this past winter and to say that she has changed my life for the better is a huge understatement. literally the love of my life & my mother who threatened to kick me out if i brought home a dog is in love with her as well. just livin’ the d.r.e.a.m. (dogs rule everything around me)

    • leisurefox

      i come from a dachshund obsessed family and they are so fun. my parents have a mini and a reg one rn and they are so different in personality but so lovable <3

  • This spoke to me on such a deep level. There are approximately 10 reasons why I should not get a dog right now, yet at least once per week I find myself browsing animal adoption websites looking for the furry face of my potential future best friend.

    In a new development, my friends have announced they are getting a mini goldendoodle puppy in December, which should tide me over for at least a month or two.

  • Jenny k

    When I got married, the family dog stayed with my parents. My life stopped for 1.5 years, until my husband caved and we adopted a beautiful dog. She was so worth the wait. And when you finally take that step, you’ll feel the same way.

    Also, yards are so overrated.

  • Elizabeth

    I got a dog a few months before I started medical school because I was terrified to move to a new city alone. She is a Great Pyrenees and she almost weighs more than I do. My mother who is constantly riding on my coat tails impulsed purchased another puppy from the same litter at the last minute but now they can visit each other over the holidays and its very nice. Sometimes it scares me how attached I am to my dog but what am I supposed to do without her? I have included a photo of her eating a stolen paper towel roll. So yeah, I think you should get a dog. Life is just better.


    • Pamela Parker

      Great Pyrenees are the best dogs ever.

    • aronnoco

      What is it about paper towel rolls? My dog steals them and LAUNCHES herself out the door before we can catch her; then gleefully throws it around the backyard before tearing it to shreds.

      Also toilet paper. Full rolls of toilet paper, which she unrolls all around the porch with euphoric abandon. Who cares? It’s damn cute.

  • Aydan

    This is how I felt about my old roommates dog, Georges. He was such a fabulous little french gentlemen (mini pinscher)–but like LITERALLY french. He and I could not communicate and despite being less than 10 lbs he would make me sprint through the park just to keep up with him. But when I tried to hide him in my bag and bring him into whole foods I was told I couldn’t. I abandoned my trip to the market because I would never strand that beautiful guy! New York is not the best place for dogs… 🙁

  • Ulricha Ferdinandsen Bodenhoff

    These truthful words are my family incarnate. Meet Sally (beagle 13yo) and Edith (Westie 6yo).

  • Cristina

    I’m one of those weird non-pet people. Sure, I’m not a serial killer so I think Instagram pictures of puppies are the cutest thing on the planet. But a pet is wayyyy too much responsibility. Case study:
    I once adopted a dog. It was an impulse at Petsmart and frankly, I don’t know why the hell I was at Petsmart to begin with, but a local agency had set up shop. I got a dog out that was cute and ginormous and he melted into my lap so done and done here’s my money. Then I bought all the things, then I went home with my new friend and now I was going to be a dog person. No. First of all, he chewed his way out of 3 crates while crate training. I had one of the Igloo style ones once and I came home and he was out, but the door was actually pulled off from the inside. The inside. This dog was Houdini. He also farted really bad and I couldn’t have company over. He had to pee during a hail storm. It was raining balls of ice on us, but please take your time. I had to use my lunch hour to take him out and feed him. Who needs lunch? He ate a raw chicken breast from down inside the sink. I still don’t know how. I remember one time calling my mom and saying ” he ate my remote” and she asked ” well how much? Maybe you can save it.” No, mom. He ate it. The remote is GONE. I took him back. I didn’t even ask for my money back. Luckily Petsmart also let me return the $$$ I had spent on supplies.
    I think it should be noted that I also do not have children, in case you were thinking of calling the cops or something.

    • Adrianna

      I’m not into dogs, and people react as if you said that you’d like to kick a baby. It’s somehow okay to hate cats, but not dogs. I can appreciate that some dog breeds are cute, but I’m generally not interested in pets that are more high maintenance than me. “Young Professionals” are waiting to have kids, and therefore project the parenting energy onto their dogs.

      My boyfriend bought a puppy when he was 20. He didn’t really know how to train him properly and thought it was adorable to spoil him. The worst thing you could do with a dog is bring him to work to lay at your feet every day – severe abandonment issues. I was left alone with both our pets last week, and the dog spent every night crying and digging at doors. People somehow think this attachment is adorable, but is it really so cute that an animal is suffering? There’s still lots of problems eight years later, and the general agreement is that the dog is 100% his responsibility.

  • Stephanie

    I’m like 20 days away from moving in with my boyfriend in some “fucking adult” location, and I still don’t think anything about it will feel real until there’s a dog in the picture. We’re even mostly looking at pet-friendly apartments, even though our search would be MUCH EASIER if we took the fantasy pup out of the occasion.

    I’d also really appreciate having something pawing at me while I knit a sweater vest for his fancy canine occasions….

  • kitmcc
    • Haley Nahman

      ROCKY!!! D: D: D:

  • Lindsay Cohen

    My boyfriend and I rescued our pup Nellie 3 months ago, (although it feels like it’s been 75 years.) Nellie is completely deaf due to an untreated ear infection. At first I was scared she wouldn’t be able to be trained because of her hearing loss, but Nellie now knows 8 commands! We can never stay mad at her for long, because I mean, look at her 🙂 The most exciting part of my day is coming home to her kisses. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f18e0182062b82b5657d428202c96ff8b21fe483ef41cb08f67d25603d0aeee3.jpg

    • She’s so sweet! I’m impressed that you’ve been able to train her so well, how do you go about training a deaf dog?

      • Lindsay Cohen

        All hand signals! She’s also VERY treat motivated 🙂

    • 808kate

      She’s so cute!!!

    • Aleda Johnson

      A good friend of my family has been deaf her whole life. She got a samoyed when I was little, who also happened to be deaf, and taught her ASL commands! It was amazing because they had their own language, and I swear that dog could communicate better than any Hearing dog I’ve ever seen.

    • Danielle Cardona Graff

      Soooooo cute!!! Is she part pit? I adopted a three legged pitbul called Ella from the ASPCA a few years ago-I’ve always been a fan of the breed.

  • Abby

    I love my dog and she’s my world, but damn is she a lot of work. I once looked at my husband, after the dog destroyed the couch while we were grocery shopping, and said “If I wanted to feel this type of restriction in my life, I would have had a kid!”. Every time she provides me with snuggles though, I am reminded how totally worth it she is 🙂

  • jdo719

    Do it! Do it! Do it! There’s never going to be a “right time.” Ever since I adopted my pup Mabel four years ago I consider it my life’s work to convince young women who think they’re not ready to get a dog that they can get a dog. If you a) are allowed to have a dog in your current living situation, and b) are able to provide your dog with 3 walks a day, food, water, medical care, and love, you can have a dog. It’s literally the best. Oh, but please please please #adoptdontshop!

    • EmKay

      do you know what mix mabel is??! i love her

      • jdo719

        She’s a yorkie mix! The DNA test I did said she’s Yorkie/Irish Terrier. But based on other pups I’ve seen that look like her I think she’s a Morkie (Yorkie/Maltese).

  • Liz Warners

    I waited YEARS to get my own dog. I am the guilty type, so whenever I am gone for more than an hour or two, I worry I am neglecting my dog (who gets 3 walks a day and usually has more of the couch than I do every night). But I must say, now 2 months into co-parenting a dog with my so, it is the greatest thing. We do stay in more and our lives have changed a bit because of it, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    Please enjoy this pic of Porkchop being the best office dog. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f705511b3f903894ea3a86b0b2fa1ac5cc67103cd00792f5a4c8cd13492a0614.jpg

  • Kerri Urbanski

    I love my dogs more than I love my boyfriend. That is just the facts, I don’t make the rules. BUT, even I’ll admit there are times when I miss those sweet sweet carefree days when I had neither dogs, nor boyfriend and I could bask in beautiful, deliciously selfish singleness. When I could go on vacation without budgeting an extra $1000 to board my dogs. When I didn’t pick up another creature’s poop everyday. When I had different, but likely no less interesting, content for the ‘gram. Dogs are amazing and expensive, and a lot of work. And sometimes they destroy not just one couch, but the couch that you buy to replace the one that was destroyed. And somehow that makes you love them even more. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2bb1878ea4ef10842f8e8c8e5f0793e5f72e5060e4384e4794bc7a5df6123852.jpg

  • This article came at a funny time for me because I’m getting a dog this weekend!

    Three years ago I impulsively brought this bitch-faced little puppy into my life. The 8 months we got to spend together were amazing, I grew up a ton and we developed a deep bond. When she abruptly passed away I was completely devastated and it took months to recover.

    I’m finally mentally ready for another dog in my life and I’m battling conflicting feelings of excitement/nervousness/fear…but ultimately I feel really good about it. Dogs are literally the best creatures ever.


    • JennyWren

      That’s so tough. We adopted an adult dog from our local shelter a couple of years ago who turned out to have Addison’s disease. We had just gotten it under control when she had a seizure, possibly an embolism. We only had her for about three months but we adored her. It really floored my husband for a long time, so I can completely see how you’d feel conflicted. When we got our cats about a year later I kept getting up in the middle of the night to make sure they were okay.

      • Ugh…my heart hurts over your story! I’m definitely anticipating feeling very paranoid and overprotective once our new pup is here. Hopefully I’ll learn to relax once we’ve adjusted!

    • I’m sorry she passed away abruptly, that’s really tough. I love her little face.

  • Autumn

    I scrolled through the comments just to look for more pictures of dogs <333

    • Karla


  • Aimee

    After my seven year relationship ended I was living alone and trying to figure out the strange phase of “putting myself back out there.” I got my pup Charlie and my life has never been better. After living in my neighborhood for two years I suddenly knew all my neighbors. She bring daily laughs and no matter what kind of day I’ve had when I walk in the door to her it instantly is better. She has had some major health problems lately, in and out of the hospital which is heartbreaking. No matter what happens she has given me more love in the last two years than I ever knew was possible. I only hope she’d say the same if she could talk!
    Here is a picture of her after she was spayed when toys kept getting caught on the velcro of her collar!

    Ps – my advice to potential dog owners, invest in pet insurance. It’s the only thing that has saved my sanity during her health issues. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5faeb606817b4b46cd86b1fadf1e0aa97049ed06e84ccfd720240d14f07f044d.jpg

  • Charlsey

    I got my stinker when she was 3 months old and I was only 22 because I had just lived through the first 5 months of my life where I didn’t have a dog since kindergarten. It’s definitely a lot of work, like having a toddler, and sometimes a week after an unexpected $700 vet appointment she will still go through and do something dumb like eat a tampon, but she is my WORLD and I would not have it any other way. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ffacf7e002df5f92f6f95d5bf9f7d443534e95629f29b06485bc7a01b9422534.jpg

  • Catherine


    • Hannah

      YES. Haley this article just spawned a torrent of love in my chest and apparently in this comment feed I mean look at all of these amazing dog owners and their amazing dogs and i want one so much it hurts. I too, am yearning for a pup but live in an apartment with a yard but an evil landlord who apparently hates dogs because he won’t let me have one. So thanks for this. Our time will come.


    You can totally watch my dog! She’s the sweetest and lives in Brooklyn- @maltesemilky

    • Haley Nahman


    • leisurefox


  • Maria Fernandez-Davila


    I adopted Lola just this February and it feels like we’ve been together for years! She’s my tiny 9lb soulmate. I had set my New Year’s resolution for 2017 to get a dog–I’ve lived in the city for three years now and just felt like, ‘I got this’ and jumped the gun and got her all within a week. It was insane but also the best decision I’ve ever made!

    I would say, being in the city, living with a small dog has overall been really great. I can take her with me on the subway everywhere I go (she loves it and falls asleep), she’s pretty low energy outside of her walks and running around at home a bit with me, and she doesn’t tear up my apartment at all. She’s been the perfect city companion! But I’m sure there are plenty of New Yorkers with big dogs that are amazing. The Dogist is proof!

    • Haley Nahman


  • I feel you! My life was tottaly normal: wake up, go to school, back home, sleep. I was so boring! And I felt a bit lonely… until my parents came home with a puppie!!! My life changed, a LOT! Now I can’t even think about my life without Flora (her name)! If she isn’t at the door when I arrive home, I start “omg, something is wrong” “she’s sick!?”…. Tottaly worried about her! And I know that people will look at us and say that we’re crazy, that a dog is just to protect the house or to be outside. But for me, Flora is like part of my family, even maybe the sister I never had! I adore her 😀

  • Devin Law

    My SO and I got our dog Truckee just over a year ago when he was 2 months old. We stalked every pet adoption site looking for border collie mix puppies and BOOM there he was. He was part of an unwanted litter from a little town outside St. Louis so we drove the 5+ hours from Chicago to pick him up.

    This dog completes me.


    • Border collie (or australian shepherd) mixes are the best, good choice!

  • ByeBeckz

    Currently enjoying every minute I have with my family’s 14 year old yorkie. He had eye cancer last year and one had to be removed- the vision in his other eye is if-y and his hearing is nearly gone but he has the energy of a puppy all day and grandpa all night. Moving out soon and considering getting my own dog- but honestly the responsibility and cost of having a dog is daunting. This prince has had too many small issues adding up to thousands- vet visits, emergency surgery (he literally had to be driven in a pet ambulance across half my country) and endless kennel stays bc of our traveling- I’m not sure I’m ready to take that on myself. Like another person said- get insurance 100000000% and know that while a dog will (likely) bring you infinite happiness, it can also be a social and emotional weight. Also look into every possible issue your breed could have and know that your pup will likely face them. This is only our second dog but both have had the textbook issues from training to aging issues for their breeds.

    Here’s a pic of my one-eyed boy <3.


  • Kat Deinininger

    I relate to this so much! I live in the same town as my parents and they have a dog (who is basically the best ever). I get to watch him whenever they are out of town and see him really regularly, which definitely works well for my life (/bank account) right now, but my partner and I just moved into a house and I know I’m definitely going to want one of my own soon! But in the mean time I am definitely happy snuggling with my parents dog as much as possible. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bc9bf44029e880c20b937ef5a800841ec18ce10d415a0b59850bac0388a55267.jpg

  • Ash

    Getting one dog can snowball into four pretty quick if you have no self control or kids.

    MR world, meet Blue, Belle, Dutch, & Duke (Boo Boo, Bill, Dutchie Wutchie, & Dookie Wookie). I’m obsessed with them and every other dog I meet. Our grass is slowly dying and I’m constantly finding dog hair in my food, but I would not trade them for the world.

    All of this to say…find a furry best friend ASAP.


    • Haley Nahman

      Hi everyone

    • oh man, at first I thought his picture was photoshopped! How on earth did you find two sets of twinning dogs? haha

      • Ash

        Short story…dumb luck on our part, I guess!

        Long-ish stories…
        A lady was giving away Belle (said she was being “mean” to her toddler…doubtful…Belle’s the best around kids and my super polite little dog…I think the lady was just tired of being responsible for her). I immediately needed her to come live with us because she “matched” Blue. He needed a friend to wrestle with, so it worked out pretty well. Those two were the intentional twinning dogs.

        Beginning of last year, someone found puppy Duke in a box by a dumpster. They tried to find his owners, no one claimed him. They put his picture on the local Facebook for sale page…so we thought “Why not, what’s the harm in three dogs?” *Side note* Someone had “claimed” him before I did, but her husband told her no at the last minute. I think it was fate he came to our house instead of the other. Most days I feel he’s our pug, Sake (like the Japanese alcohol..we didn’t name him and he was too old to switch his name up) reincarnated…which is awesome for my SO because they were inseparable.

        Dutch was last to arrive. A few months after we got Duke, we were home for lunch and the dogs were going berserk out in the yard. Looked out the door and thought Duke had somehow ended up across the street in the neighbor’s yard. Nope…it was Dutch. Neighbors said she wasn’t theirs. We live on a busy street, so I brought her inside to keep her from getting squished. We tried every which way to find owners and no one ended up claiming her. Animal control told me after 10 days she was legally ours or we could take her to the pound if we didn’t want her. Spoiler…I didn’t take her to the pound (where she would be put down if no one adopted her). I’m almost positive she and Duke came from the same litter and ended up reunited at our house. I mean, look at them, they pretty much are a case of copy & paste!

        • That is seriously the wildest turn of events! They’re all so ridiculously cute, I also love the double B and double D names you’ve given them 😀

  • Megan Greffen

    “His name was Walker, and whenever I looked at him my eyes would pool with affection.”

    Hahahha totally. I knew I reached new levels of weird when I once looked at my dog (Hamlet) and then his dad (my boyfriend, Beau) and said “Look at what we created.” GOOD GOD that’s not normal.

    See below (@hamlet_the_berner): https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3dc0411fa7b5b43918f26a25248b7de7697fd28e08bdc9fe865a9c30235b981b.jpg

    • Ann P

      That sounds TOTALLY normal to me!

  • Ashley Minyard

    SAME. I grew up with dogs, and since I moved to New York and left them at home, it’s a constant void I feel in my life. My heart aches every time I pass one on the street, and I’ve started very creepily taking puparazzi Instagram photos just as an excuse to keep looking at them all day. I would get one in an instant if I could, but my roommate isn’t a fan.

    However I have recently begun volunteering at Muddy Paws, which is a really great fostering/adoption program in New York. They have the little bus in Union Square every weekend where you can say hey to the dogs and take them home. It’s a nice feeling to be around them all day, and then send them off to loving homes and a better life. I highly recommend doing something similar! And, one day if you’re able, instead of doing dog sitting gigs you should join their fostering program to help doggies in need. Muddy Paws doesn’t have a shelter, so they rely on volunteers to foster the dogs and bring them to the weekly adoption events until they are adopted. It fulfills a dog craving and helps pups in need!

    • Haley Nahman

      Omg I want to do this!

    • Charlie

      Puparazzi. Brilliant.

  • Meghan McNerney

    the disclaimer made this post better than it already was. i’m currently having separation anxiety from my ex-roomates’ mini goldendoodle, who i also claimed as my own despite living with the owner

  • Meredith

    My fiance and I have had our dog for ~2 years now. He brings us so much joy and laughter!

  • Alison Dick

    I just moved out of an apartment that didn’t allow dogs into an apartment that does allow dogs and i said i was gonna wait a minute but i didn’t wait a minute and now i have the best german shepherd mix on the planet and my life has begun https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3223548f971d12331d7a8a524f736f29a563d9d334d60402a4c0f9a55708a7a9.jpg

  • Bazetta Lewis

    i Iove my lil-coconut she just turned 10 years Young, last Friday I can’t live without her she’s a Dachshund mix Cocker Spaniel she’s my best friend I call her my daughter I thank God everyday for her she is my pride and joy BLESSINGS💞💞😘😘

  • Julia Park

    This is the greatest MR comments thread ever. All the angelic puppers are bringing tears to my eyes!

  • Robin

    This is Wilbur my doodle, he is the most adorable, obedient (having him well-trained is v impt 2 me) dog of my dreams! I love him so much I made him an insta (themightywilbur). Never thought I would, but I did. He’s the best thing that has happened to me, I mean, dogs are literally happiness and joy in fluffy bundles. literally!
    Haley, whatcha waitin fo woman?!? (in the mean time, pls enjoy a photo of Wilbur fresh out the groomers)
    (on another note, last night someone was breaking into my brothers truck and Wilbur woke us all up at 2am, he’s also a great guard dog!)

    • Haley Nahman

      Hi wilbur

  • silla

    You are speaking the language of my heart. I beg my boyfriend to buy a dog for us even though a) we don’t live together b) it’s not viable for either of us given the hours we work c) he lives in a one bedroom apartment. And then when he patiently outlines these reasons to me and says “Someday” I glare at him from various spots around the apartment for the rest of the day. I NEED. But what I really need is a <3 border collie <3 and as a lawyer that's always going to have to live inner city I just don't know how this is going to ever happen for me!!!!!!!

  • Hannah Laub

    This is Klezmer Muppet Laub. He is three years old and he is my parents dog and he is my best friend. I’ve had dogs my entire life and it kills me that I can’t have one at the moment. But I can’t imagine owning one without the time to devote to working and training it. (Dogs are usually destructive because they haven’t been given boundaries or they haven’t been exercised.) That being said, there is literally nothing better than taking Klezmer for a walk and watching him hop when he gets excited. Also, kissing his nose.
    PS. He has a dog sister and three cat siblings, and I am already filled with guilt for picking a favorite.


    • Haley Nahman

      hi klezmer

  • Gretel Stroh

    We have pugs. You have to decide whether to get a black one and wear black all the time, or a fawn one and wear tan all the time. We have a fawn one, but I wear black all the time. You get the picture. This is the happiest posting ever! Love seeing everyone’s dogs…unfortunately, last week we had to say final good byes to our little princess, Chessie, she was 12 and very sick. However we still have our 2 yr old pug Henry, who is a cuddle baby….one of the best things is sleeping with your dog(s) and being able to touch them in the middle of the night, with them cuddled up next to you Here’sHenry

    • Haley Nahman

      hi henry

  • Carla Ford

    My story starts out as me being a cat person. I had Sammie (my tabby cat) for 13 yrs and he was the love of my life. I would always look at people who had dogs like Why??? Cats were low maintenance where dogs required a lot of attention and costly. I swore I would never have a dog plus I always pictured myself a cat person because I was a little prissy and cats are prissy. Boy was I wrong!!!! My son came home one night with this most adorable and very skitish little puppy that he found under a tree that someone had left for dead. I can’t tell you what exactly it was but when I held him in my arms and he looked up at me scared and shaking with those big brown eyes that was it, I was a changed person from that moment. I have now had Tyson for 8 beautiful years and I have never looked back!!! He is the LOVE of my life (my kids are too even though they swear I would leave them at the pound before I would leave Tyson, I probably would!! Kidding) so 8 yrs later I have become a full fledge dog person with no regrets!!!

  • tgchi13

    Naw, you’re still a cat person (said gently).

    • Haley Nahman


  • Lacey Sheridan

    You can get a dog now, if you have a reliable friend who can step in once a day when you’re at work. A basement and being limited to runs in the park would look pretty damn good to a shelter dog. Why wait to start your life?

  • Cee

    Dogs are the best. I don’t know how some people have lived whole lives without ever having shared their life with a dog.

    I have two whippets and they complete me. I got the first when I was still at university and now I can’t move out of my parents place because I can’t afford to rent somewhere appropriate for them. It gets me down that I’m not as independent as I’d like to be, but at least I have dogs for comfort!

  • JennyWren

    Ugh, I miss having a dog so bad. Yeah, the walks in the middle of winter are a pain and they’re weirdly and unpredictability expensive, but I honestly feel like having a dog makes me a better person. More grounded and practical and less lazy.

    I mean, my cats are great, but to be honest they probably just bring out the worst in me, because all they want is for me to sit on the couch, warming blankets for them.

  • Bo

    If you’re worried about having a dog with no yard, consider a retired greyhound! They are well suited to apartment living, are usually pretty quiet in temperament and love nothing more than to curl up in a bed and laze around all day. They like walks but don’t obsess over them. Plus you’ll be saving one from being exterminated after living a pretty sad racing life where they are cooped up in cages all day and get minimal affection from any humans. They usually go through a conditioning program before being put up for adoption where they are carefully socialised to live as pets instead of racing animals and latch onto their new owner pretty strongly! Also they are very elegant

  • Hope

    Dog care as a single woman in NYC is not easy, but it’s worth it. I didn’t know Lex would be my therapy dog when I adopted him, but sometimes he is all that keeps me going (espesh in Trump’s America)

  • 808kate

    This is my doggo Toby. I’ve wanted a dog forever but I hadn’t been able to get one because I moved around too much and was in school. I finally got Toby a little over a year ago and he makes me so happy! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/612c1c5adb3f65789d76f28b10914bd1dfae0817f56b96783c061caefcf8c4c8.jpg

    • Haley Nahman

      HI TOBY

  • Quinn Asteak

    I really wanted a dog but my last landlord wouldn’t allow pets…so I bought a house. It was worth every penny.

    • Monika Solomon

      Yep. Same Here! I am back up to three dogs AGAIN! Two bassets and a bloodhound!

  • xtyb

    Just like with kids, don’t ‘wait until you’re ready’ because it’s kind of rare that a normal person says ‘well I have a bunch of extra time and money to spend on someone other than myself now’ so get yourself a TBFF (TRUEbff) ASAFP because there are so many dogs out there who need love. You could also become a foster parent for dogs which probably has a lot of paperwork and judgement but is less permanent and I think you can always change your mind and keep them. You might get lucky and get a dog as cute as one of mine-this is Flavias(on the right below) and Beatrix-but for sure you will learn what the new portrait feature on the phone is really for:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3d328d068ba9b3ba3a876340b3b3244b0ac5c66bc1d4d425c1e3d10f4685dfa9.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8807d43a47a6e8c50d37276069519c2a19c0722abc2e0aaa32c837f58694ea40.jpg
    Also, let’s have more dog photos in general here.

    • Haley Nahman

      hi guys

  • Louisa Percy

    Getting a dog is a legit game changer in so many millions of ways. Ours is a rescue, a rascal and (ok I am I biased but fuck it, what dog owner ISN’T) a rakishly handsome rogue. Meet Hank, sporting a bow tie and living his best life before going to a party a while ago… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b4a772f3439ae03d80cf252f07891b54c482e6d0c30533871147c045f82288bf.jpg

    • Haley Nahman

      hi hank

  • Ann P

    Meet Shadow, posing so you can boop his nose. He’s a rescue, by which of course I mean he rescued me.

    I kept him in my divorce. I would have let my ex husband have our house and all the money if that’s what I had to trade for him (it didn’t, he’s not really an asshole) I cried so many tears into his fluffy coat during that time. He truly saved me. He slept back to back with me so I wasn’t lonely until I found my human soulmate, and now he’s our fur-kid and sleeps curled up between our feet. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/424803bf1869274c76b90a76f378b60edaad863898a98eb43afa4515befa22ce.jpg

    • Haley Nahman

      hi shadow

  • ahahhahaha Haley you’re the best !! this is so good 🙂 but I am definitely a cat person, sorry not sorry 😀

  • The ever aching empty voin in my life!
    Maybe I can look after seeing eye dog puppies, but then giving them back would be so difficult.

  • Paulina

    I feel obligated to share a picture of my dog now 🙂

    All I can say is that for me it was the best decision of my life to adopt her from Romania three years ago. I used to send my boyfriend daily e-mails with “the dog of the day” that I wanted to adopt. At one pint he agreed to get a dog just to shut me up 🙂 Totally worked for me.

    Yes, it can be stressful and when she is sick I worry way too much. But she is the best thing that ever happened to me.
    She is an office dog as well and always with me. This is our third job together already.


  • DarthVadersCats

    I’ve wanted a dog all my life but my cats were very opposed to other living beings in general so out of respect for them I didn’t get one until.. I did. She was the last puppy to go in her batch, a tiny scared little dachshund who blossomed into a toothy crazy but who just wants to ‘play’ with all the cats but is terrified of dogs 😂 anyway she’s rad and I wish the cats (3 + 5 kittens rn) would tolerate her more!

  • Ann Selvage

    My boyfriend’s dog, Osiris, loves him WAY MORE than anything else in life. Her discrimination against any other persons, and her apparently tepid tolerance of me as her servant, was only known to me after I moved in. After a year of walking, hiking, feeding, and toy purchasing, Osiris did not budge in her opinion of me as a temporary supporting character in the story of a boy and his dog.

    So, logically, we got another dog.


  • Tatiana

    I feel like I have stumbled onto Canine AA. Not that that’s a bad thing….

    ….But I am happy the cat won in the end.


    • Haley Nahman


  • jdo719

    Until you get a pupper of your own, check out Paws NY! https://pawsny.org/ It’s an amazing organization I used to volunteer with when I lived in NYC. Their mission statement: “Pets provide us with companionship, unconditional love and they combat loneliness. Help protect this relationship each and every day for those facing challenges from advancing age, disability, or illness.” Volunteers sign up for weekly dog walking sessions to help seniors/those with disabilities care for their pets so they don’t have to give them up. There are also cat care opportunities as well. Highly recommend checking them out! (And a shout out to my former walking buddy Gigi the German Shepherd on the UWS!)

  • C. Killion
    • Haley Nahman

      Hi Bailey

      • C. Killion

        Hello, Haley
        Bailey wanted you to know, that if there will be cake, that there are two more beagle girlz, Marni and MacKenzie, who would like to join the party. Thank you for a wonderful column, from Bailey’s person.

  • Amanda choj
    • Haley Nahman

      I gasped

  • elpug

    You will never be “ready” for a dog. They sit somewhere between plant and child in demands and care and can drive you crazy or make you melt but once you pull the trigger and get one of your own, you’ll be ready! I somehow became a dog mom to one and then two and while they do demand my time and training, I demand their love and cuddles. It is never the right time or wrong time to get a dog!

    You can find mine at Instagram.com/gusandxena

  • Rebecca

    I cannot imagine my life without a dog. It felt like a piece of the puzzle was added when we got Cooper. I also feel that way about horses, and finally got one in spring. But our dog is absolutely the most perfect dog I have ever met. He brings so much joy and delight and comfort to our lives. I love making his life interesting and happy, but since we moved from a house w/ yard to an apartment I feel really guilty when he spends more time inside than outside. I try to get him quality off leash time once a week, but it’s hard being so busy right now. I dream of having my own atelier or studio and bringing him every day with me.

  • Ma

    To answer the question on the title: no, it hasn’t. But there is still time! 🙂 To be fair, I was reluctant to get a dog living in an apartment, but mine was happy to be indoors during most hours as long as we walked him in the mornings and evenings. We have since moved to a house, but he sleeps all day anyway so I keep the patio door closed for energy efficiency purposes – I spend a few week days at home from time to time, and so does my husband (hot desking, etc), and our dog has never requested to go outside during the day. We ended up keeping him on the apartment schedule. We do work fairly close to where we live, so we get to come home for lunch on most days and therefore he’s never left alone for too many hours. I know that’s not the case for most people – but if the MR office will allow you to have your pup working by your side I honestly can’t recommend having a dog enough!!

  • Robin Raef

    What a great article.
    I was lucky enough to have my doggie soul mate for 13 years. I’m sorry yours was taken from you. He just passed away and I miss him terribly.
    Dogs always have and always will be in my life.
    You’re very smart to find ways to fill your life with dogs in creative ways.
    I’m looking forward to reading more about your dog adventures.
    Thanks for sharing

  • Get a dog, I guarantee you won’t regret it! I grew up with dogs until my mom started living with an awful human being who thinks dogs are too dirty to live in houses. My boyfriend and I got our own 3 years ago and it’s been the best. I’ve always loved dogs but once I got my very own dog and became a proud crazy dog lady. I love my dog so much, it makes me smile every day just to see her walk. Here is the little face that makes it all worthwhile 🙂


    • Haley Nahman

      so cute!!

  • LucyGoosey

    Great article! My dog saved my life. I didn’t rescue her, she rescued me. I ,was going through a lot of stress and heartache and was just about to hit rock bottom when Bailey came into my life. I don’t know what i would do without her! She’s my everything… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a9bad770102a745bf022c9114d2599cb3e3d733c947edbc6d1a00cc52f8d4fd5.jpg

    • Haley Nahman

      OMG hi lil bb

  • Kimberley Boehm

    When it’s time, your dog will find you.

  • Sandra

    This is the REALEST MR article. I am 24 living with my parents and have a very good job in finance ( I live in South America and you DO NOT move from your parents apartment until you are married). I have always wanted a dog, pets are prohibited in our apartment (qthat we own). I have had pets before, but my parent gave them all away two or three years ( they bought all of them, it was never a rebellious act, they just got bore of them and we came home and they weren’t there). It happened with hamsters, mouses, chickens, rabbits, little parrots and a cat, but never a dog. This year I started a very good job in finance and since I had the money to buy any pets my parents keep telling me to buy a dog because they want one (they are prohibited, I tried to change the rules but weren’t able) but I am sure they will get borred and give him up. Sound inconsequential, but it keeps me up at night.

  • Melanie Gershman

    “His name was Walker, and whenever I looked at him my eyes would pool with affection.” This. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9bf2cbcf23bfe27e1d569d9fc725c3a8fe5212bbe82d7f398ad6d143744676af.jpg

  • Kathleen

    This is Arty, he lives in NZ with me and is the best behaved of my three boys (I have two human boys and one canine). He has been obsessed with climbing trees his whole life, and still would if he wasn’t getting on now (he’s nearly 10) and we have had to stop him doing it – he doesn’t ‘land’ so great now and tends to aim for my husband as a soft landing pad (considering he weighs 40 kilos that’s quite the catch!). Recently I’ve been trying to convince the husband that we should adopt a rescue pug for my pug-obsessed 7 yr old human child but ‘apparently’ we are a one dog house… Arty is a ridgeback/staffie x and we rescued him from the SPCA. Best thing we ever did, I luff my running buddy SO much.

  • Danielle Cardona Graff

    You can TOTALLY get a dog! I have a three legged pitbull (IN MY TINYASS BUSHWICK APT @ellathe3leggedpit on insta in case you’re interested in more cuteness overload). It’s all about your own lifestyle, -AND if your cat gets along with dogs, and finding a dog that loves cats. My boyf and I split the roles of taking her out since we have opposite work schedules. Sometimes I (attempt to) take her running with me, which is actually a lot of starting and stopping to sniff lamp posts and garbage, or Carlos will take her to the park for excercise to make her tired.