I have never wanted a dog; even as a kid, the joys of playing with and petting a dog were far outweighed by just the idea of having to pick up dog poop everyday. I enjoy other people’s dogs because I get all the benefits of a pet without any of the responsibilities. I now have a virtual puppy (which is about all I can handle), named Godiva and have been enjoying her so much, I wanted to share how I got her with anyone else who wants a virtual puppy.

By now nearly everyone has either a Facebook or Myspace account or both (I have both under the user name Elainetravels). My friend Darrin (a real friend, as in I actually have met and known him for more than 10 years) on Facebook introduced me to his virtual puppy, Dagwood, and asked me to adopt him, which in turn introduced me to the application Pokey created by Bonehead Labs. The application is slightly different on Facebook and Myspace, with the Facebook version offering more choices of puppies, and more general possibilities for play, so if you want more options, sign up for the Facebook version. Although the application takes awhile to load, once it is loaded, you can play smoothly (it has trouble loading on Firefox, but works fine on Safari or Explorer with the latest Flash Player).

In both applications, you can pet, play with (throw a frisbee or a tennis ball), feed, and decorate your pet’s environment. (I have made my puppy an indoor pet with a nice bed and cute doghouse.) You get credit (bones) for having your puppy catch what you throw, for feeding your puppy, and for petting or feeding other pups. You can also earn bones by buying products or doing an endless customer survey, but I prefer simply having the puppies go fetch bones.

I learned that even even with a virtual pet, you must give it water and food every day, or it will get very thirsty and hungry. I guess even a virtual pet requires some responsibility, but that’s ok because my virtual puppy is poop free, and that is only possible in a virtual world.