Guide The B Team and Me, or How five adorable puppies nearly ruined my life

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And they know how to enjoy the moment. They sit together, all day, hand in hand, just breathing, staring at the TV. Yes Pax … like just two bodies Sure, yes love can do that but it can also make you calm, centered, at peace, contented. Is that really what I want for us? I just want us to be fulfilled. Tonight we can just take a breath.

Take a step back. We can retire Not retire forever. Not give in forever. Just give in Come to bed. Pax … just … come to bed. Pax, an aspiring restaurateur, pleads with his wife, a talented actress, to come with him to L. Say it! You think this is childish? I know, you think even if we go And maybe you're right, but maybe The coyote would run after him Sure, it's only a cartoon, you're right about that.

You keep looking down. Sorry … yes, you are useful here. Why would you say that? You are everything to me. I want us to be happy. Come on, Livi. Barry speaks to his wife Reina, who has been taking a class at community college about mankind someday creating cities in space.

She's upset with him, because he hasn't been supportive of her dream to work for Nasa. Reina has applied to Nasa for employment. I see all this technology all day long; and I think if we can create something as amazing as a fifty-inch flat screen plasma television, just imagine what we could do if we really pooled our resources and got focused. I mean, why are we wasting our time fighting amongst ourselves? You know why human beings are constantly fighting instead of working together to survive?

Man is essentially motivated, primarily motivated to sit on his ass. You wanted me to talk about this stuff. Men kill for their right to sit on their ass. See we have this automated Lazy Boy. What am I saying? Clinging to our collective womb. And while we try to stay in our infancy, so we create and We can grow up? Not gonna happen. We could become truly independent. Do we want world peace and a chance at long-term perpetuation of humankind, or do we want the Lazy Boy Recliner?

I work at the Techno-Hut. Every year, I meet thousands of representative members of human kind. And I know what they want. I give them what they want. But I … I only offer them the choice, Reina. Barry hands Reina the envelope. Livi speaks to her husband Pax, who has been pushing her to explain why she didn't pursue her dream of becoming an actress I remember how everyone got quiet, okay? Like they were all connected to me. All a part of me. Even Dad and Barry — I looked out, even they were I mean, really seeing me.

And at the end of the show, when I stepped forward to take my bow the applause was—was— It was deafening. In a little high school auditorium. It was deafening and — Dad and Barry were applauding with the rest of them. They had these big smiles on their faces.

Afterwards Dad took us out to dinner. And I was thinking, this is it, ya know. We sit down. She was short. Dad wanted me to come work at the Techno-Hut. I live a good life here. Yes, yes, alright! I did it! You've found me out! I killed the cook in the kitchen with the peanut butter! But honestly, what kind of person goes into cooking with that severe a peanut allergy!?

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Yes, yes, I killed him. But if it hadn't been me, he would have eventually encountered a peanut on his own. How did I fool him into eating the peanut butter, you ask? Yes, I'm fairly certain Colonel Catsup asked just now. Because he's dying to know isn't he? But I'll never tell. Alright, I'll tell! If he insists. Oh don't be a dip Colonel Catsup, just insist. Everyone's waiting for you to. So I hid the peanut butter inside of Everyone knows the cook had a sweet spot for cacao!

But it was I who thought to invent a decadent chocolate treat with a peanut butter filling! Yes, it was shaped sort of like a very shallow cup. Why do you ask? Oh alright. I didn't invent it. You've found me out. I saw it on the check out line at the grocery store. It's not like you need a PhD to figure that out, Professor Prune.

But it was my idea to change the words on the packaging from "Peanut Butter Cups" to "Chocolate Cups. Yes I purchased the murder weapon at check-out in the "impulse buy" section, but I assure you the murder was perfectly pre-meditated. And by pre-meditated I mean, I meditated beforehand. I closed my eyes and imagined myself filled with light and the cook filled with peanut butter.

It was very soothing, since really the whole killing someone thing is not very zen. You see I'm not the kind of woman who would Why if that cook wasn't planning to expose our love affair to the world and ruin my husband's political career and my marriage Yes, that's right! The cook was my lover, my paramour! Don't look at me like that Ms. I know you've tasted his gentle consommes, lapped up his bisques, eaten his crabs So don't play innocent. He was a true artist in the kitchen. The kind of man who knows how to get into your pantry. I loved him. But it was only a short order affair for me and he wanted a 16 course tasting menu!

I kept metaphorically saying "Check! Check please! No he wouldn't bring the check! So I did what I had to do. I let him cook me his last supper and ended it with a very final "chocolate cup" for dessert. Falling to his knees Oh, dear, God in heaven. Please, please, please if you have any mercy, please just let me have her.

Just one light touch, one little kiss.

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Or a look. And last week, the only reason she looked my way is I threw my body, like a ragdoll, onto the campus green as she walked by. My perfect white jeans and white button up shirt grass stained beyond bleaching. I did it for her. I was jumping to catch a Frisbee some guy had thrown to someone else. I wanted to make it look like I was one of those cool guys who plays Frisbee on the campus green.

I had actually been reading Proust under a nearby tree. Our mommies would give us baths together. There we were, covered in Johnson and Johnson baby wash, rubber ducks floating by. Unbearable Hotness is available in print and digital editions. Do we want our tombstone to read "here lie two yuppies who liked to eat"? Let's face it, our website HungryYuppy. Now today, that homeless man who asked us for a handout, he looked truly hungry. You just walked on as if he didn't exist. How can you do that knowing our father was a hobo? I know you're angry that in the morning mother awoke to find a note scrawled on a used McMuffin wrapper.

You resent that I keep that wrapper with me always, the only words we have of our father's. No, I won't "throw it away already. However, I am married to a prostitute and we try to stay monogamous. Me more than her. I stole your purse, please don't think that diminishes what we shared. You are special. XO" Replacing wrapper into his pocket Don't you wonder if he is still out there somewhere?

Wandering the streets of the city? Every beggar I encounter, I wonder, could this be him? I look for similarities. Does his nose look like ours? Does he have our chin? I know you say you don't ever think about him. But, I don't believe you. You who sit there, seemingly unaffected taking small dainty bites of what appears to be a maple candied pork belly lollipop.

Like a pork pacifier. The key is knowing where to beg. To finding the right begging spot. That's what we should be working on! Mobile digitized heat maps with the best begging spots in hot red! Get your butts down here! So we'll raise capital on Kickstarter to get cheap phones into their hands. We can probably get a celebrity endorsement from Gary Busey, I'm sure he was homeless at one point.

If you remember sleeping with this woman," a picture of our mother circa will appear on their screen,"please press 1. Our pictures will appear to him, "Tis us, your twin sons! Please remain where you are. We have geolocated you and are on our way. What do you think? Are you in? There is no one else for me except your daughter. Scared of it worse than death. Rather be in a coffin than bent over a toilet. Anything with even the remotest risk of making me sick I avoid. Except with your daughter Jill. Which terrifies me.

Worse yet, she has us do these high vomit probability activities together … like whale watching in Bar Harbor, Maine. She found us seats on the top level of the ship. About an hour out, everyone on the boat, myself included, seemed good! But Jill started feeling not so good. They were running for the railings and garbage cans. The sheer number of them was alarming, as if seasickness were a highly contagious virus spreading fast.

I flagged down a crew member who got me a few sick sacks. Least rocking there. It had become like a Casualty Clearing Station on the front lines of a battlefield. Nauseous people lay splayed across the seats, rocking and moaning. We took our place among them, toward the back. Jill was positively green, her eyes bloodshot. I felt something shift in me. Realized some part of me had been holding back with Jill. I had it wrong. Will you marry me? Of course, a second later, something else escaped her lips.

And that was too much for me, and I followed her into sickness. And that brings me to you, sir. Standing before you. The road to ruin is paved with kittens. Althea and I were so happy. Until one day that little kitten wandered into our apartment through an open window and changed everything. It was a mangy, skinny little thing with wild unkempt white fur.

It made her happy, and I liked to see her happy. She doted on that little kitty. I started to feel something strange creeping in. I guess you could call it jealousy. But what kind of man is jealous of a kitty? The kitty lie atop the upright piano. I walked over to it. Remnants of rich cream sticking to the fur around its mouth. All you do is lap up cream and sleep. What do you contribute to this household, huh? I wanted the kitty gone. I opened the window and took the kitten in my hands. She demanded I tell her what was going on, and what I was doing with the kitty.

She was looking at me like I was a monster. Prove you still love me! Rub it! I put the cat down and left her for the night. The kitten is usually in the window, staring down at me. I feel like it has a smug look on its face. Or is it? That kitten is living the life I should have lived. I really do believe the road to ruin is paved with kittens. But enough about me. We've given you a gift, now please give back the Matzah. Beat You know, we can't finish the sedor until you return the matzah.

Yes it is traditional for the children to steal the matzah, the Afikomen, and demand a ransom for its return so the sedor can be concluded. Beat But we have given you a gift Beat You don't want Passover to end? Beat That's clever, young man. Its true we can't end the sedor until you provide the Afikomen. Beat And you know how religious we are so you've really got us by the matzah balls, don't you?

Beat Are you smirking? Are you smirking at me?! You think this is all a big joke, do you? Myself and your uncle have work tomorrow.

What happens if we're still sitting here around the table waiting for you to return the matzah tomorrow? We could lose our jobs, do you want that? You want us out in the streets? Beat The boy wants us on the streets Meryl. And you just sit there eating brisket! Beat Do you want your uncle Meryl to die of a heart attack? If you don't return the matzah so we can end the meal your uncle Meryl will just keep eating Brisket all night long.

And then where will he be? Dead and your dear old Auntie a sad widow. Do you want me to be a sad widow? Beat You know, we could have you arrested for this. Technically, you're a thief. So we can make a call and Oh yes we will! You've been Bar Mitzvahed - you're a man and we'll have you sentenced like a man! Beat You think I'm bluffing! Dialing I'm calling them now, last chance to return the matzah. Beat Hello. Yes I'd like to report a theft.

Of matzah. My nephew has stolen the matzah and refuses to return it, and soon I'll be jobless and my husband dead. Please send someone. Hangs up There it's done. Someone is on their way. They'll probably sentence you to ten years of Passover. Beat Yes that's a real thing. You like matzah so much they'll feed you nothing but matzah for a decade!

Your insides will be dry like the desert, and everyday you'll suffer in agony. You'll call out "please lord, I'm sorry for what I've done, please let me just return the Afikomen! Beat Well, it's not too late yet. You can still give it back. Beat What's it going to be young man? Joe, you want a no-drama, conflict-free relationship. Believe me, Darlene is not the answer.

The fighting fast sex, the makeup slow sex are incredible. I get you. I been there. First it burns so good, then it burns you out.

It's easy to get wrapped up in all the wonderful, exciting aspects of bringing a new dog home.

And you think you see a light at the end of the tunnel. Not so long as she keeps Cat Mozart. Darlene and I were actually happy, before that fat stray wandered through our window. First time he heard us fighting, he started playing our piano. We thought we hit a gold mine. A piano playing cat. Sure the money from YouTube ads was off the charts. But start digging into your significant other. Start eating into their confidence, questioning everything they do … oh the music starts playing.

He loves the drama. But those golden tunes he lays down, they come at a price. Go ahead, try and really love her. The music just stops. There was one week, I refused to yell back. I just bought her flowers, and wrote her love poems. She took it out on the cat Mozart. Play something, damn you, play something! I kept at it, hammering away at her with gifts and chocolate and encouraging words. Kill that mouse!! But boy did I love her. I mean I do get you. I got down on my knees and I proposed, pulled out the biggest rock you ever seen.

But think about it, why would she want me in your wedding party? Hello, my name is Jay, and I'm a burger addict. Savory juicy patties on fluffy white buns fill my heart. Probably with grease. My doc quite his practice to follow his broadway dreams. He still sees a couple patients backstage during intermission. But you have to pay for and sit through his shows. He takes my vitals and sing diagnoses me.

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With no spinach in your soul and no quinoa in your bowl, you can't say you're satisfied? I run out and don't stay for the second act. Next thing I know I'm at a gastropub slinging back angus sliders, and the barmaid is staring at me. The ecological footprint they leave collectively is worse than every automobile on the planet combined. But she gets me thinking.

Are burgers hurting more people than just me? That night I look at the burger stack on my bedside table and begin to shed tears of guilt. What am I doing? I put a burger in my mouth and suck on it like a meat pacifier to calm myself down. And I drift to sleep. I dream I'm living in ancient times, part of a lost burger loving civilization. Hieroglyphics of burgers line the walls of our cave dwellings. The cows all have names like "Steero the elder", "Vealo the younger," "Goldie the yummy.

The tribesman want to have something special. I suggest adding bacon.

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They all get very excited and nominate me to prepare the sacred dinner. I set off to satisfy the cravings of my people. I ascend mystic mountain, where bacon bushes grow wild along flowing streams of mayonnaise. I gather these toppings and descend the mountain. On my way down, I can see the tribesman below dancing in a frenzied circle around Goldie. Two of the tribesman with larger bellies grab their chests and fall over. A loud crack of thunder can be heard. A puff of black gas emerges from Goldie's behind and rises up into the air merging with a monolithic black cloud that hovers above my people.

The tribesman come into focus, I realize, they all look exactly like me. It's a whole tribe of me! I call down to my selves. Worshipping Goldie the calf! I allow both to fall. On the ground I see two stone tablets. I call out to my selves "You must cease your worship of Goldie the Calf! From this day forward you shall follow these tablets!

On the second - kale! My selves look up at me, Goldie makes a run for it, sun parts the clouds. I am exalted. The sun begins to pulsate and beep loudly. My alarm, waking me up. I open my eyes and remove the burger from my mouth. It sucks. Sometimes I try to shape them into patties.

Its not the same. My name is Jay Posted 2 March Quiche isn't Sexy. I think people who eat Quiche are pretentious. I just think Quiche is pretentious. Quiche is just an egg trying to be more than breakfast. Its sweet that you had me over, tried to prepare me dinner. But this is a pretense of dinner. This is basically an omelet disguising itself as a savory pie. When you think eggs … do you think romance?

You feel … almost starved as you first approach each other. A Quiche is eaten in tiny, dainty bites. Do you want to take me in tiny, dainty bites? Do you want me to take you in tiny dainty bites? One does not devour a Quiche. And by serving me a Quiche, you are telling me something. You know … an egg is basically immature chicken. It really does look good on the plate though. Ok then. Well … Goodnight. Posted 31 Jan Before I started practicing yoga, sis, if I found out you slept with my boyfriend … I might have not shown up today, for you. And left you without a maid of honor on your wedding day.

But yoga teaches faithfulness. I might have stolen your wedding dress last night and sold it on ebay. But yoga teaches non-stealing. But yoga teaches non-greed. But yoga teaches truthfulness. By my fist in your face. Yoga teaches that underneath everything, we are part of the same underlying ultimate essence. But right now, I bow to that essence, to all of this pain, this agony - because you must feel it too, to do something like this.

Bowing to her sister Namaste Bitch. Posted 20 Jan You take my face gently in your hands, pull my lips to yours. Then bringing your arms down around me, your hands come to rest softly but firmly on my shoulder blades. You pull me into you. I breath in. My nose buried in your neck. I breath out. In your arms. I let it all go. My shoulders drop. My neck relaxes. With you. And its less than one minute to midnight.

If you stay here. Their champagne will flow without us. Afterwards, their year ahead will march on without us. Just you and I. Because you cared enough to be here with me. Really here with me. Down there w ith them I can't feel your touch. Your father said if you want to run with the big dogs, you have to get off the porch. Only a few seconds left. What will the new year bring? Posted January 1st, You are all of humanity?

All of humanity? To talk some sense into you. And I appreciate your time. I'm told the opportunity to address you comes but once in a lifetime … No pressure, haha. You are incredibly bright and capable.

You put a man on the moon, created an international space station, flew a rover to mars! You are on your way to growing up, becoming independent! But you seem distracted to me. Always playing video games instead of doing his homework. Obsessed with earning "virtual gold" on World of Warcraft. Like my nephew, earning the highest possible numbers drives you. Don't you want to be able to live on your own someday?

Get your own little place out in the cosmos? And you sure are angry a lot. Like my nephew, he's always fighting with his sister, or anticipating a fight with her, or coming up with great ways to one-up her. He loves drama, he loves conflict. You frustrate me, humanity. Because you have all the knowledge to take care of yourself, but you don't apply it.

Sure, you have small areas, tiny pockets of health, vitality. But overall, just look at you! Those numbers don't lie, buddy. Right now, your parents' house is well stocked and you can use the resources there to mature. To study and learn those real numbers and make something of yourself. There's enough so you can nourish all of yourself. But not if you keep multiplying like you've been - please keep those hormones in check. Like I tell my nephew, there will be plenty of time for dating when you go off to college.

Oh no. I hear my snooze alarm going off. I guess this is it, my two minutes is up. I hope this is all sinking in because Bottom line, you may not have the time you think you have. A rock could fall out of the sky. You could catch a bad cold. Or have really bad weather Use every moment. No more distractions, cut out the fighting and the games. Get serious. Pull yourself together. Prepare to move out of your parent's house. Grow up, Humanity. Grow up. World peace, world peace. Everyone wants world peace. Or everyone pretends to want world peace. Everyone knows it, no one wants to say it.

Fire the boys. Fire the boys! I said it. The boys have been mostly in charge of the world for a long time now, and look at it. The world is a mess. A mess created by boys. And why are we surprised by this? Go into it. Is it tidy? Are the pants crisply folded, the shirts carefully hung, the socks darned? Sure, sure. Some are. But the majority? The majority are a forgotten wasteland of dirty laundry, empty beer cans and old pizza boxes! We should put this guy in charge of the entire world! A girl did not make that decision. No, boys have been putting other boys in charge for a long time now.

And yeah, we girls get some middle management positions, a few leadership roles here and there. Things are changing. But meanwhile, the boys really are still mainly in charge.

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Wild baboons have proved that girls can do better. Let me explain. The baboons stopped fighting amongst themselves, and spent more time socializing and grooming each other. Making them less mean and more clean! And it was good for the boys! The boy monkeys who used to be all stressed out, worrying about competing with the other boys , learned from the now dominant girl culture how to groom each other.

In no other baboon troupe does one male monkey groom another. The girls taught them that! And when new boys come into the troupe, they teach them how to do it too. And the result is healthier boy monkeys! The scientist who studies them — Dr. Regular monkeys, especially the lower status ones that get picked on all the time, have the same problems we do - high blood pressure, obesity, and impaired brain function from stress. Not only will it be good for your individual health, it will be good for the entire world! I put a bowl down, I put Cheerios in that bowl, I pour milk in that bowl.

I return the milk to the refrigerator. I return here. Here you are, eating the Cheerios. Did I call you - "Hey Bob, breakfast is ready! Let me ask you. Who am I to you? I'm your bro. Your frat bro. And bros don't prepare bros cereal. Pledges sometimes make bros cereal. But I'm not a pledge. I'm just your bro. Yet there you are, eating my Cheerios. What is this, the third day in a row? I don't even know where you come from. I turn my back for less than a minute.

And there you are. Do you hide under the table, lie in wait? Are you in your bedroom, ear to the door, listening for the rustle of oats pouring into plastic? I don't want to make a big deal about this. Having said that, this is like an act of war. You are declaring war on my personal breakfast space. And it is uncool. I don't think war is a strong word.

I've like established my territory, marked it with my milk and Cheerios. And you're encroaching. Why are you laughing? Stop that. Stop it. You've got milk coming out of your nose. That's disgusting, dude. No, I don't want it now. There are canine good citizen classes or agility classes or rally classes or scent work classes. What if you travel a lot and need to board your dog with someone while you're away?

Or what if you work all day and need to hire a dog walker or enroll your pooch in doggy daycare so they get enough exercise and don't tear up everything in the house? So when I say double what you quadrupled, I'm not exaggerating. You're not paying for an adoption fee, a collar, leash and some food — oh, not by a long shot. Still, all this doesn't add up to not getting a dog. It just means you'll need to do some serious thinking about budgeting for and making decisions about what you're going to spend money on and preparing for that fact. Leashes, training Now that your wallet is empty, it's time to start emptying your mental and physical energy reserves.

I joke, but really, it is important to understand just how much energy goes into a dog. When you come home tired at the end of a long work day, the exuberance with which your dog greets you is absolutely wonderful. And now the dog's stored-up energy needs to be burned off for sanity's sake. For the most part, any dog of any size or age needs at least an hour-long walk every day, bare minimum.

Dogs with more energy need more walking or better yet, running and fetching and exploring new hiking trails or park paths. If you're lucky, you may have other people around you who can take on some of that walking. But if you're not, that means as soon as you walk in the door at the end of the day, you need to turn around and walk out of it, dog in tow. It's not just the walking and games of fetch that are necessary.

Training is also a must, and that means investing mental energy in your dog — providing the patience and guidance needed to help your dog learn how to be a stable, confident, well-behaved best friend. Depending on your dog, this could be a piece of cake. Maybe your dog is already super well-adjusted and friendly with self-imposed good manners. But more likely, your dog may have some things to work on, such as recall when off leash, a solid sit-stay, polite manners when greeting other dogs, walking on a loose leash, and so on.

Maybe your dog is fearful, reactive, shy, or dog-aggressive and you need to invest even more work in figuring out how to make the world a less scary, more navigable place for your dog. No matter who your dog is, you're likely to have some things that you have to invest mental energy into working on every day, on top of the physical energy that goes into making sure the dog is exercised.

Let's talk a little more about training. I wish I'd have been told that training is an every-day-for-life thing. When I adopted my first dog, I thought you just go to obedience class, teach your dogs some obedience, and then you have an obedient dog. Dogs are not static beings. They have their own unique personalities and their brains are always churning, always coming up with new ways to get what they want whether that's to get to the park faster, or to sneak the roast chicken left unattended on the counter, or to cuddle on the no-dogs-allowed couch.

Dogs have impulses, temptations, fears, triggers, bouts of energetic silliness or thoughtlessness just like any other being. To help a thinking being navigate the world requires active training, every day, for life. Sometimes a dog that is trained to sit before being allowed to go out the door will be too excited to remember this requirement and, if the dog gets away with it a couple times, he will start to test the limits of the rule. Thus, training begins again. Sometimes a dog will develop a new fear of, say, trash cans, and new training has to begin for how to help the dog walk calmly past trash cans.

Maybe your family is bringing home a second dog. That means your first dog will need new training on how to deal with having a second dog around at meal times, on walks, during cuddle sessions, sharing toys or in myriad other ways. Life is always offering new challenges, and this fact along with your dog being a thinking being means that training is a non-stop, life-long process. Unless you live alone, there are probably going to be some things that pop up that require family meetings , or maybe even family therapy.

Who is in charge of what aspects of caring for the dog — and who slacks in their role — may be an issue. Family members who let the dog get away with something another family member is trying to train the dog not to do may be an issue. Aspects of the dog's personality that one family member finds endearing while another family member loathes may be an issue. Perhaps a new person joins the family, which changes the dynamics and new problems need to be addressed.

A personal example comes from my very vocal dog. He likes to tell us everything he's thinking, when he thinks it. For me, the barking is kind of annoying but I know he's just telling me what's on his mind and I can mostly get him to stop. To my wife, on the other hand, his barking is nails on a chalkboard. One or two barks makes her tense, but when he goes into one of his frenzies, she's ready to pack up and leave.

We've had many discussions about how to handle one of his freak-outs, who takes the lead role in getting him to settle down when he goes into a flurry and, importantly, how to be supportive of the other person — me being understanding that his barks are extraordinarily grating for my wife and so taking no-bark training seriously, and my wife learning to take some deep breaths while letting me try to mellow him out, and not adding to the commotion by yelling at him to knock it off.

It was important to recognize that this was an actual stressor in our relationship with one another, and something we needed to address on a human level, let alone on a training level with the dog. You and your significant other or family members may go into owning a dog all rosy-cheeked and starry-eyed, but there are real issues that are almost guaranteed to come up. And the hard part is they're almost impossible to predict until they become an issue. It is important for the whole family to be on the same page. Not only does that mean deciding what rules and roles are going to be put in place before the dog comes home, but also being open to talking about problems as a family when they come up.

Your traveling life is different once you get a pet. Having a dog is a bit like having a kid in that unplanned weekend-getaways or random all-nighters aren't really in the cards. Now that you have a dog, even a late-night dinner date — let alone the basic camping trip — takes more planning. Spontaneity is tough when you have an animal percent dependent on you. For one thing, dogs need to potty.

You can't leave straight from work to happy hour, then dinner, then night caps or dancing until 2 a. If you do, you may find a little unpleasant present or two waiting for you on the rug. Not to mention a lonely dog that has been cooped up all night, uncomfortable and confused. Another issue is travel. If you're planning a weekend getaway, it means either finding a pet-sitter you trust, or a hotel that takes dogs. Even for camping, you'll need to check that the campground allows dogs and what the rules are.

Road-tripping it? Or flying?