I was caught off guard by just how easy it is to buy a living thing and take it back to your house. No questions are asked, like "Do you have a big enough backyard?"
Maybe you don't have a backyard at all. It doesn't matter. You can just drive to the store one weekend with the right amount of cash and walk out with something that's going to need care and love, not to mention regular grooming for the rest of its life.
I was disturbed to discover this. I could have been anyone off the street. I was sure there was going to be some kind of psychological evaluation done at the checkout. A questionnaire that I could satisfy to not only give the seller but also the buyer some confidence that, hey, maybe you can succeed at raising a living thing. Maybe you are capable of nurturing something from infancy. Instead I now live with this gnawing fear that I'll screw up, that I'll arrive home from work, step into my backyard and find a lifeless corpse. It's been three weeks and I still feel this way despite how big and quick the growth is coming. Life seems unstoppable, and that only serves to make me fear failure even more.
And if that's how I feel about the new grass I planted, you can imagine how I feel about the puppy.