In September a co-worker walked through my office with a “needs a good home” flyer for a very cute puppy. That should have been a warning – she sniffed me out. The pup was definitely cute and was described as a “sweetie.” I needed some puppy time, so I went to play with it. Honest, that was all I was going to do.
That same day found me, pup in arm, wandering the aisles at PetSmart to find the new dog owner necessities – leash, collar, food bowls, food, toys….Yes, I had done my research on what a dog cost, found a bunch of coupons, reworked my budget, got the appropriate permission, and picked him up that very afternoon after playing with him in the morning. Who can resist a cute, well-tempered puppy that needs to be rescued? Not I!
I used to wonder at moms who could tell their kid needed to go to the bathroom simply by looking at them or some weird maternal clock. Apparently it happens to dog owners too. I can tell from his antics that he needs to go out and I know the schedule for his bowel movements. Never in my life had I expected to remember that, can’t keep track of it for myself!
Routine is necessary. It will be stuck to no matter how you feel. The pup will wake you up at 7am on the weekend because that’s when you wake up all the other days, of course. Dog parks are awesome for that. Take them, let them play, run off all the energy, and then they come home and crash – all by 10am! I have never had so much time on the weekend to get my cleaning and cooking and projects done.
Dogs go through phases just like kids do. Mine went from cute puppy “I want to learn!” to obstinate 2 year old “I am ignoring you; I have no idea what you mean.” I also know less about training than I thought I did. And I cannot keep a straight face when what he’s doing is wrong but makes me laugh. He’s also probably the one dog that doesn’t get super excited about going outside and will sometimes run the opposite way to grab a toy when it’s time to go outside.
I now have the most adorable alarm clock in the morning. He started with sleeping in his crate during potty training, but once that was done (2 weeks!) he got to sleep outside of it. Eventually, that became my bed as he’ll quit making a racket if he can see me and sleep on top of me….or steal my pillow. Seriously, what’s cuter than a pup that curls up on half your pillow and rests his head on yours? Or in the morning, nudging you awake a few minutes before the alarm actually goes off? Half the time I can’t remember if I helped him up in the middle of the night or if he got up there himself (he can jump now!).
Right before I got the pup I had purchased a Misfit tracker ($20 on Amazon!) to track my activity and sleep. I definitely get more activity with him around, although my sleep isn’t so great as he wakes up in the middle of the night sometimes having to pee. I have also gotten to know a bunch of my neighbors because I’m outside now. The kids love him and I’ll hear from across the parking lot, “Is that Rocket? I miss you, Rocket!” My dog has a bigger fan following than I do!
While he’s a small thing, he has greatly relieved my struggles with feeling safe. He may be happy to meet almost everyone around him, but there are still some people of whom he’s wary. He has sensitive ears that perk up at sounds that go “thump” in the night and I definitely am more calm when I’m alone in the apartment when he’s around.
The timing was not what I was planning on, but the pup has been a perfect addition to my little family. And while yoga may be more difficult with him around there are certainly plenty of laughs to make up for it.
Here’s to rescues and abandoned animals finding new, loving homes!