The positive effects of bringing home puppy…
We are three weeks into puppyhood. Alpine, or Little Al, is now 11 weeks old as I write this. And let me start out by saying, I have lasted an entire week more than my mother ever did with a dog. We had several dogs enter our house during my childhood, all of whom went back to wherever they came about two weeks in as my mother could not handle the crazy puppy stage – at least not with two toddlers at home.
Which brings me to say that if you would have asked me any earlier in my kid’s childhoods if I wanted a dog, the answer was Heck NO! I didn’t want to take care of another life (up until that point, “pet’s” have been a fancy mouse who has been adopted by a friend, a long gone sea frog I killed by accident, a hermit crab who suffered an untimely death and several praying mantids – my son’s favorite insect).
So, when my 9-year-old daughter announced she wanted to make organic dog treats and pass them out to our neighbor’s dog’s, at the same time my husband went to look at a litter of Vizsla puppies (in Alpine, hence his name) without telling me, we knew we were finally on the same puppy page.
I finally started to tell people we were getting a puppy and their responses were mostly the same – “don’t do it! Do you know what a big commitment that is? You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into!” And I’m thinking, um, yeah, maybe not, but did I utter those same words back to you when you told me you were expecting your third child????? My response became, “I know – it is going to change our lives – good and bad, but let us experience it for ourselves.”
So here are just a few ways in which the puppy has changed our lives, for the better.
- I hate to admit that I let my kids eat wherever. In the living room watching tv, in the formal living room – as long as they ate and I could go back to whatever task I was doing while they ate- great. But now, I don’t want crumbs all over the place for the puppy to find and eat and so, food is confined to, yep, you guessed it, the kitchen and the kitchen ONLY!
- And yeah, my kids are 9 and 10 and I would still make them their chocolate milk because I’m their mom… But now, since I am busier with the puppy, I caught my son making his own grilled cheese the other day!
- They finally experience loving something other than themselves.
- A bit more sacrifice. I have had to miss going on several field trips because the puppy can’t last that many hours in the crate. My kids accept the trade-offs in order to have their own puppy.
- And lastly, they are finally picking up their stuff off the floor and putting things away! One too many flip-flops missing is all it takes!
- I was becoming complacent. I am still building my marketing consulting biz, and everything else took precedence because I had “time” to get things done, if not now, later. But later came, and I wasn’t getting things done. With the puppy, who demands a ton of attention, I am now consolidating my work and doing it when the puppy naps or when the kids are home to watch him and I have regained my capacity to be productive again. Yippee.
- We are all on our devices less
- and outside playing more. Enough said about the benefits there.
So, yes, it’s a lot of work – along with many other things that flourish when given attention. And I can’t remember other than “real people’s” infancy when I have been this tired. I am in the midst of cleaning up puddles of pee, figuring out how to get him to like riding in the travel crate in the car, dealing with razor sharp puppy teeth and perfecting my very own puppy-approved voice I use to praise my good boy.
But life is also becoming richer, funnier and sillier with our new fuzzy being.
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