HELP! Ten Reasons I Shouldn’t Get a New Puppy.

by | Apr 10, 2019 | The Writer's Life | 18 comments

I have puppy fever. 
This is a serious disease and I need help to find a cure. I’m almost positive that I was coming down with it when I took off for Left Coast Crime in Vancouver this past March. I’d recently finished the edits for The Oracle, which comes out this June. That means time off that I could devote to a pup.
BFFs. Best Furry Friends.

We have two dogs. One is a 12 year-old boxer, a pound puppy rescued when she was one. She’s been having seizures. The doc put her on phenobarbital, saying she’d act drunk, but she’d start to adjust. Only she didn’t. She started losing function of her backend (unable to walk), which made us suspect she actually has a neurological problem that will only worsen. Doc took her off the pheno, put her on prednisone which should slow the progression. She’s doing great, considering. Our other dog is a standard parti-poodle (black and white). She’s almost 9. A 9 year-old puppy that could really use a more active sister.

I really want another poodle. I’d take any standard poodle puppy. As adults, they’re not high-strung or yappy like most little poodles. They come in a rainbow of colors. Not sure about white or cream colored poodles, because they’re almost too beautiful, but if someone gave me one, I wouldn’t turn it down. Honestly, I’d take any color from apricot to black. The kids want a parti like our black-and-white. Doesn’t matter what color. They’re super-easy to train, because they’re super smart. Even so, I need to talk myself off the ledge, and to that end…
Ten reasons I shouldn’t get a new puppy:
10.  I need to start a new book, but don’t know what to write about. I have several very good books started, many abandoned when a new contract got in the way. One of them is even a mystery/thriller. But do I work on one of those, or start something new? (As you can see, indecision is an issue.) A puppy might get in the way.
9.  I have not yet finished getting my new house unpacked and in order. We’ve been here a year. My office is not set up. (Hello, laptop!) I should really work on it. And my closet. And the garage. Unpacked boxes… I think I’ve worn out the “excuse the mess, we just moved” excuse. But I could say, “excuse the mess, I have to watch a puppy.” 
8.  We already have two dogs. Adding a puppy to the mix…?
My first poodle pup. 4.5 pounds of fluff. 
7.  I might want to take my daughters somewhere for a couple of weeks this summer before ThrillerFest. My husband would take care of the puppy. But that means we’d miss at least two whole weeks of puppyhood!
6.  They cost money. Food, vet bills, grooming… Ignore that recent money from old books I wrote that I wasn’t expecting… just burning a hole in my pocket… puppy, puppy, puppy.
5. Puppies are really cute. How do you even narrow down the choice?
4.  Puppies are so soft and fuzzy, who would ever want to put one down to write?  
3.  No, I really did not spend the entire past day searching the internet for a standard poodle puppy. It was closer to two days. Maybe two and a half.
2.  Did I mention they come in so many colors?
1.  What do I name her? No. I haven’t gotten a pup. The above photo is from nine years ago. But look how cute she is!!!
Help me, Rogue Readers! 
Do I get a puppy? Or do I start a new book? I. Need. Help.
Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Rogue Women Writers

    The answer is "yes" — you get a puppy…you KNOW you want one, they are not only super cute, they "give back" so much more love than they are ever given!!! You are right about poodles being super smart! We have two Labradoodles — they don't shed and are "hypo-allergenic," – something to consider as well. AND a puppy encourages your older dogs to be more active! As for your writing, you might be inspired to create a mystery about a dog (a great one involved the dog who didn't bark – remember that one?) Finally, remember this saying: "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." Go for it!….Karna Bodman

  2. Robin Burcell

    Thanks, Karna! You're not helping me, lol. 🙂 (I have a feeling that if a vote is taken, I will lose!

  3. Gayle Lynds

    Oh, my, Robin, I want a puppy, too! Dear friends just adopted two mini schnauzers, and they are criminally adorable, and growing like fuzzball weeds. The antics. The kissies. The galumping, pouncing, and exhausted napping on the back, tongue lolling out. Who can resist. I'm trying. Best of luck to you. 🙂

  4. E.J. Copperman

    Things you should do: 1. Rescue a puppy or full-grown dog. 2. Start a book (it's easy to get an idea while petting a puppy or full-grown dog). 3. Get in touch when you're at Thrillerfest, because I'm only a 45-minute train ride away!

  5. Robin Burcell

    Thank you! I need all the luck I can get!

  6. Robin Burcell

    Ha! 45 min. isn't that far! That whole start a book thing, though…

  7. Jamie Freveletti

    If I got another dog it would be a Standard Poodle! I had a toy poodle that was the smartest, sweetest dog ever and from then on I was hooked on the breed. The standards are so smart and elegant (and don't shed!). There may be a standard rescue group somewhere. Loved the photos of your two and hope the boxer feels better!

  8. Robin Burcell

    Once you have a poodle, it's hard to imagine not having one. The standards are great! Sadly, they get snapped up quickly as rescues! I've been watching!

  9. Lisa Black

    That’s how I am about kittens. You must resist!

  10. Robin Burcell

    I'll let you know how that works out for me!

  11. K. L. Romo

    Ha!!! I went through the same thing last summer. I kept trying to talk myself out of one, but…I just had to have her. Got a .75 pound Malti-Poo who is actually more Poodle. Who can resist a smart soft ball of fluff?? (And she's now over 10 pounds – yikes!)
    Yep, you should get your poodle. :o)

  12. Terry

    If you haven't read A Reckoning in the Back Country, at least read the part where Samuel gets a puppy. If that doesn't give you second thoughts, nothing will. You know you want one, right?

  13. Robin Burcell

    .75 pound ball of fluff??? I feel myself slipping already! What color was that fluff??? (I already hear that poodle calling to me!)

  14. Robin Burcell

    Sadly, Terry, I'm not sure any fictional version of puppy mayhem will stay me from my course! Not even sure the real versions will. I'm suddenly remembering that 9 years ago, my current poodle puppy chewed the seat belts in the back of my SUV. $2000 later… (Something makes me think getting a puppy is like child birth. How quickly we forget the pain!)

  15. Chris Goff

    I have puppy fever, too. We just lost our miniature parti-poodle — note, not yappy either. I think it may be in the training. Very smart. Little Winston. I miss him everyday. I have been browsing the internet. My take, puppies are time consuming and might impact your working on a new book, but in a very short time they become young dogs that add so much to your world. I say, go for the pup. You may not have the time later that you have now. That said, we love your books, so….

  16. Robin Burcell

    Hugs to you for little Winston! Sigh… Anyway, I'm with you. I may not have time later! And I'd rather do puppy potty training when the weather is good, because I can write on the back porch and aim the puppy for the grass. So much easier when they're not worried about going out in a rainstorm–especially when they've never experienced rain before! (It was so cute the first time our poodle experienced rain when going out to potty. Kept spinning around, wondering what was hitting her fur! (Lucky it was a light rain! Not sure how cute it would be if she was scared!)

  17. Chris Goff

    We were lucky. We had a doggy door and two older dogs, so Winston simply followed their lead. Potty training was never an issue. The big issue with Winnie was keeping him corralled while we were out. We used to put him in the bathroom with a gate in the doorway. Every day we'd come home and he'd be running around with the other dogs. We figured Gus, our standard poodle, was helping him escape. We set a trap. Waited. And what we found was Winston scaled the gate. He free-climbed his way to the top, then swung his butt over and dropped to the floor on the other side. That's the point where we gave up and just let him have free range.

  18. Robin Burcell

    OMG! That is too funny, Chris! What a little daredevil!