One aspect of postgrad, mid-20s life that nobody prepares you for are the status symbols that you will inevitably buy to demonstrate that you are a beacon of success and progress from the stinking primordial ooze of vomit and urine that you grew out of senior year in college.
Things like a new car, a downpayment on a house, maybe even a dream vacation, these are all very fine things and worthy goals to strive and save for. Postgraduate degrees do not count; those are for people who fear the real world and have no concept of money.
One of these status symbols that enraptures quite a few folks on the cusp of their quarter life crisis is to get a dog. This is a worthy endeavor, but once that must be undertaken with caution. For as sure as you are to realize that you have nowhere near the level of maturity to care for another life, the type of dog you get will also say a lot about the kind of person you are. So let’s sally forth into the types of dogs 20-somethings have, and what they say about their owners.
Black labs, yellow labs, chocolate labs, labrador retrievers, the whole squad. These are the pickup trucks of dogs. They are good, reliable, semi-functional and give off the appearance of some sort of manly pursuit. But beware, because a massively overweight lab is basically the same as a body lift on a 2×4 truck. You might think it looks cool, but everyone knows you’re a lazy douchebag. Also, you are BORRRRRING. There’s like a million different kinds of dogs and you chose the one everyone has. Use your imagination for once.
Great Danes look awesome, and let everyone know that you are a member of the landed gentry and can afford $150 worth of dog food each week. Your dog’s poops will be small pyramids in homage to your family’s history of fox hunting and coal plant ownership. They are also lazy and great apartment dogs, so keep that in mind, if you live in a city.
Like all Golden Retriever owners, you like the outward appearance that they are extremely smart and friendly dogs, so you’re probably a dumb asshole. Due to their highly trainable nature, you will likely spend lots of time teaching them useless tricks, for which they will secretly resent you. You will also lose out on at least one hookup opportunity or job promotion due to the presence of dog hair everywhere.
Any sort of hypoallergenic crossbreed
These would be cavachons, goldendoodles, and other assorted affronts to God. You are the 21st Century version of Victor Frankenstein. You would rather spit in the face of the laws of nature than actually deal with consequences to your actions. People get these dogs because they don’t want to have to clean their houses, or because they have relatives that are allergic to dogs, or whatever. They’re ok I guess, but they’re just an excuse because only super lame breeds like poodles and chihuahuas are naturally hypoallergenic. Like driving a prius out to your job on the oil rigs.
They look cool, they are revered as a cool mascot in college football and professional wrestling, and their name acts as a verb for aggressive behavior. This will all belie the fact that you are fat and worthless. Due to inbreeding and other Victorian dipshittery, your dog will have hip problems, need to be jerked off from time to time, will suffer from terrible headaches and breathing issues, and then die a painful death, possibly by drowning because it can’t swim. Enjoy!
Pit Bull mixes
You are a social justice warrior. There is a sixty percent chance you are a lesbian that has a “Who Rescued Who?” sticker on an early model Subaru. Your hobbies include telling people how puppy mills are evil, acting superior to anyone who put thought or money into their dog breed of choice, and ranting about how Denver’s pit bull ban is an ugly legacy of racist laws. Shaving is an afterthought for you.
The city-dweller’s dog of choice. You appreciate the spaniel’s homebody behavior, and the fact that it gets worn out by running 20 feet, because you can’t throw a ball correctly. You keep a supply of dog poop bags on your person at all times, because you’re not resourceful enough to use your surroundings to dispose of your dog’s mess. Your childhood hobbies were exclusively limited to combing your sister’s doll’s hair. They are super sweet, though.
You are cocksure and confident, striding through life free of judgment and concern of your mental wellbeing. I found Sherry when I was 16, collapsed outside of my high school job. She was emaciated, panting, maybe six weeks old and on the cusp of death. I scooped her up, she was too weak to fight back or run away. Once she was healthy, she embraced air conditioning and food that she didn’t have to hunt for, acting like a princess despite her past. Though she delighted in her fake diamond collar and dragging pillows to the best place of sunlight, she never grew out of her rough childhood, fighting raccoons and birds, hunting snakes, and even picking up a police charge for scratching a toddler in the face.
As a single guy, she perturbed everyone who visited my apartment. It was unthinkable and bizarre that a handsome ex-athlete had a cat. We were misunderstood, but we were misunderstood together. She had a reputation for drawing blood from every person or dog she encountered, but she was never mean to me and was surprisingly sweet and playful in her old age, once my son came around. She went out one last time to prowl the neighborhood, and to let everyone know she was queen of the domain. She then passed from old age, fat, happy and content. She had been a companion for half of my life, and I’ll probably never get another cat. Thanks for all the good times, Sherbear. I’ll miss you..