Before you get that pandemic puppy...

Two months after the death of our beloved dog, and three months into the pandemic, my family agreed it might be time to re-dog ourselves. "We're spending so much time at home anyway," we told ourselves.

My daughter, like every other daughter on the planet, wanted a puppy, because duh. I did not, because duh. But, in the end, she won out. Mostly because when we went to meet the puppy Maxine had found on PetFinder, I locked eyes with that mangey, smelly rescue mutt and, in an instant, knew I wasn't getting back in the car without that dog.

Pearl is just about the sweetest animal I've ever met. So tolerant and friendly, and those eyes. I will be the first to say: No regrets.

But, man, guys: Puppies. They're no joke. We've had Pearl for four months — she's about eight months now — and the destruction is jarring.

And before you ask: This isn't separation-anxiety; nor is it boredom or a lack of things to chew on. We give her lots of walks, spoil her with tons of toys — and, as stated before, we're home. All. The. Time. The dang animal has never been left alone for longer than 15 minutes!

This, as it turns out, is just what puppies do.

Here is a list of things she has damaged or destroyed. Go ahead, laugh it up.

So here's my humble advice:

If your pet dies, or you just feel like it's the right time to get a dog, look really, really hard for dogs over the age of, say, ten months. Don't listen to your daughter; she's not going to stop the dog from eating things you care about; she probably won't even walk the fucking thing. But if you happen to find a Pearl — that is, a puppy who makes your cold, dead, pandemic-stricken heart start beating again — do not hesitate.

Take that puppy home, and never look back.

Just stock up on your prescription glasses before you do.