After years of struggling to justify the cost of dog ownership, I have compiled a list of chores for my dogs to do that save me money and time. Training was simple, since most duties are derived from their natural instincts. I find myself with more time, more money and less stress. Most dogs would love to be productive members of society, if only humans would let them do their thing.
I no longer buy vacuum bags. My dogs eagerly take care of accidentally dropped food. They will sit under the table at mealtime to provide our family with instant clean up service. As a bonus, dogs will also clean up other dropped items besides food, like pencil erasers and thumbtacks.
There is no need to buy a paper shredder or sign up for expensive identity protection services. I simply give all my financial papers to my dogs and they are unreadable in no time. The dogs also do a wonderful shredding job on old magazines, towels, and even blankets (when playing tug of war) which cuts down on overall trash while making all of it so indistinguishable that not even an identity thief would want to try and decipher it.
I no longer need to pay for background checks on my mail-person, delivery drivers or my neighbors. My dogs will give every visitor a thorough sniffing before allowing entrance to my yard. They also come with a convenient built-in alarm system if the stranger does not pass inspection.
Heating and Cooling
I no longer need to turn on my furnace. In the spring and summer, I save up fur that has been shed and throw it in the attic for insulation against the extreme cold of winter and heat of summer.
I don’t waste money on a gym membership. I hook my big male dog to a leash and let him pull me through the neighborhood. I get a good run from the forward momentum and my biceps are starting to bulge from restraining him. Also, it’s a great opportunity for him to pre-screen our neighbors during our walk.
I have remodeled for free. My exterior doors have a new look since my dogs scratched on them. Their design work on my wood doors is lovely, but they are especially proud of the sliding-glass door etching. This was no easy feat and it took them several tries to get it just right. As a bonus, the smears from nose and tongue prints on the sliding glass doors provide an opaque privacy screen against anyone fond of snooping.
I don’t need Styrofoam peanuts. I use fur for packaging material in my shipping boxes. My most fragile items are nestled in fluffy luxury for their journey. I have received interesting feedback for my packing method, but I’ll bet the recipients are just jealous because they don’t have such useful dogs.
I save water. This is good for the environment as well as the wallet. I put dirty dishes on the floor and allow my dog to pre-wash them. No scraping or rinsing required. Caution: Do not try this with knives. I’ve discovered that dogs aren’t too smart when it comes to sharp objects.
I fired the exterminator. My dogs will stomp ants, snatch flies from the air and chase rodents to the house next door. Moles and squirrels have also been eradicated from my yard.
I grow my own vegetables, but I don’t break my back doing all the work myself. I let my dogs do the digging. They are quick and efficient as long as I am not too picky about exactly where the hole will be dug.
Sometimes I dream about owning an entire pack of dogs. I could make money by renting out my dogs’ services to the unfortunate, dogless members of society like my neighbors. They could provide custom door scratching services for building contractors. I could even sell bags of the fur at auction. But wait — what would I use as packaging material?