Puppy Growing Pains

Sometimes I think about getting another pup. A little brother or sister to keep Huckleberry company since Steven and I are out of the house 8 or more hours every week day. Dogs are pack animals. He would appreciate the company. However, having one puppy in my little lake home is crowded, I can't even imagine having two! But who knows...if me and Steven get a certain house {more on this later --much later}, then we'd have the land and space to accommodate another pup.

To be honest though, we got VERY lucky with Huckleberry. Sure, he can be a pain at times but he still is just a baby! Dogs don't  know what we expect of them as soon as they're brought home. They play with us like they would their other litter mates. Good behavior is something they have to learn --just like you and me. Unfortunately, many people who decide to purchase a dog don't have the time, patient, or even money necessary to raise them. And far too often, after their puppy fur sheds, their breathe starts smelling icky, and their roly-poly tummies disappear, people bring their dogs to a shelter or even worse, simply abandon them.

So before purchasing that adorable, wiggly, cuddly ball of fur. You should be aware of a couple things.

1) The puppy will poop on your carpet. Go ahead and cover every inch of your floors with absorbent puppy pads and newspapers. I gaurentee that your pup will find that one square inch you left uncovered {you know, that one in the corner behind the floor lamp that you thought there was no way your puppy could get to} and poop there. 

2) The puppy will eat your favorite pair of shoes or that Marc Jacobs purse you adore. Here's what I've learned --if it's on the ground, it's fair game. You simply cannot leave your shoes, purses, even underwear or anything else on the floor when your pup is around. He/she will pick it up, chew on it for .8 seconds, and, more than likely, completely destroy it. If you don't want it eaten, don't leave it lying around. **However, this does work in your favor while cooking. You don't have to clean up any kitchen spills. The pup will take care of that for you :).

3) The puppy WILL NOT always obey you. Just like humans, dogs go through a regression period. It will be as if everything you've taught them is simply forgotten. Usually, they haven't forgot (unless you aren't consistent in your training), but rather they are testing their boundaries just like a child would. This happens around 4-6 months old, which is the most common age that puppies are abandoned or taken to a shelter. At this time they are experiencing a new sense of confidence and independence. They are more curious and less scared when introduced to new things. Like the neighbors porch that your puppy never ventured onto before and is now looking in their windows (much to your embarrassment), or suddenly you discover your pup in the middle of the street with the cars whizzing by all around him (yeah, that happened). When you call him to come...he won't. When you chase after him...he runs. It's going to happen and you will be embarrassed, frustrated, scared for the pups life at times! No matter how well behaved your puppy seems to be they can never be completely trusted when this young. Be patient. He will make mistakes and if you're negligent (even slightly) it may cost his life.

4) The puppy is going to burn a hole in your pocket. The expense of having a dog doesn't stop with routine veterinary visits and puppy chow. Unexpected medical issues and accidents happen and they are never cheap. For instance, shortly after we brought Huck home, he got extremely ill with something similar to parvo. Basically he wouldn't eat or drink and was getting more dehydrated by the second. We thought we almost lost him. Or, back to the chewing issue, your pup may have an accident like eating his harness??? Don't believe me? Read this. It happens, folks. Also, Huck has a week stomach so he can't eat the cheap dog foods. We have to buy him the premium stuff and it is not cheap! On top of that, if you are a responsible dog owner, you'll probably get your dog fixed. Cha Ching. And maybe you'll even sign your dog up for training classes. Cha Ching. Or, if you're really crazy like me, you might take him to doggie daycare. Cha Ching. The list goes on my friends.

5) The puppy is going to love you unconditionally. Whoever came up with the cliche "dogs are man's best friend" didn't need a PHD to figure that out. The love they feel for you is instantaneous. They completely adore you and trust you from the moment you place them in your arms and allow them to nuzzle your neck. Be aware of that. Be thankful for that. Other than your spouse, I think a dog is the best companion you can ever have. 

and lastly,

6) The puppy NEEDS you. If you're going to take on the responsibility on being a dog owner, take it seriously. Research the best breed for you and your family, take the time to visit shelters nearby and puppy training facilities, add up the numbers to ensure that you have the financials necessary to take on the, oftentimes, unanticipated expense of being a dog owner, and most importantly give to the dog what it's given you --companionship, entertainment, and immeasurable amounts of love. After all, you have the luxury of given these free gifts in small doses or however you see fit, whereas, not knowing any better, your pup will give you all he has for as long as he's with you.


Allie Todd said...

This is too cute :)

I already know I'm way to irresponsible for a puppy, but I loooove my brother's pup.

Girls Love Fried Pickles said...

We have two yellow labs. The puppy Libby and old girl Mille and we live in 1200 sq ft. And last year it was 3 labs but our chocolate passed away. I couldn't imagine my life without my dogs no matter the size. It's worth it . And you would be surprised how Huck would love a friend.

Gail @ Sophisticated Steps said...

Could've written this myself. And over the course of the past 9 months, have. (Material courtesy of a particular Golden pup around these parts. Lol.) I can attest to all of this.

Great puppy post, Danielle.

The things we do for our crazy, lovable pups.

Don't you just love it when they stare at you, knowing full well what you're asking them to do, and they just walk away like "Whatev."


Three levels, 6-weeks each, of obedience training. Love it. ;)

I am Megan said...

All of this is sooo true! I love that you wrote this.

But believe me, we thought Mila was also lonely and when we got Jethro, we couldn't have made a better choice! Last night I went to the vet, just for their normal shots, and someone said: "Two puppies! Are you crazy?" And I just replied that it isn't such hard work.

I also think the sooner you get another puppy, the better. Huck will get used to the puppy quicker, and in terms of size, well let's face it, Huck isn't going to stay small forever...

Good luck with that certain house! Holding thumbs

Amira said...

Oh, I just love this! I'm such a passionate dog person, and I couldn't agree more with every part of your list :-) Thanks for sharing!

poptartyogini said...

Very well said. I love dogs but know you can't make the commitment going in half cocked. My husband and I aren't home enough, want to leave when we want and so we just pet every dog we see on our walking route. They really are the sweetest and most loyal creatures.

Zoƫ said...

This is all so true! I love our pup more than anything, but my boyfriend is always talking about getting him a friend and there's no way we could handle two! Huckleberry is so sweet :)

Cara said...

He is SOOOO cute! Couldn't have said it better and I think people get dogs without really considering all of the responsibility.

Jennifer Leible said...

Such a cute post! These points are SOOO true!! Gotta love doggies those! I have two very small ones so they're pretty manageable!

Roxy said...

Agree on all of it. It's a huge responsibility and before getting a dog you need to get some information about the breed. First of all match it with your lifestyle and personality. If you're not up for walks and you don't have an active life, forget a boxer, husky or anything else that needs to be walked for hours at the time. And learn all of the above! My dog ate about 6 of my bras. My fault, I left them out. hasn't touched any of my shoes though because I kept them locked. O.K. he ate my wellies - again my fault. HE ate my make up bag with everything inside, that was special, he stood up on twos and got it off the washing maschine in the bathroom, kind of didn't expect it. But don't blame the dog - he doesn't chose to be spiteful and eat your favourite things - he's just bored and full of energy. Looking for toys.

Bottom line - get some intelligence before you decide on a puppy. And never EVER buy pups as presents. Someone might be saying they would love one, but they might not mean it.

Tyah Ferguson said...

Love this post!! Huck is so flipping adorable!!!

MessyDirtyHair said...

awww i love this post!!! and omg huck is sooooooo cute omg!! i am ahuge animal lover - i cureently live w 4 cats and 2 dogs and i could SO have more! cute blog!

xx Kelly


Stephanie said...

Your puppy is so adorable! All these points are so true and apply to just about any pet, not just puppies. It pains me to see people get pets when they don't fully understand the responsibility. So many of them end up back in shelters unnecessarily and it's so sad!

Kate said...

I just found your blog and already searched for all the posts about your pup! I have a golden retriever puppy as well (well now she is a little over a year!) so I can relate to a lot of this. So cute!

Zara said...

This is such a good post! I'm totally creeping on your Huck posts right now :-).

You all could adopt a dog to keep him company. We adopted Lilly, and while she's still a pup, she is house broken and knows basic commands. :-) That way it's win win, and you save a dog's life :-D