Happy National Puppy Day!
Today is national puppy day, and I can’t help but think back to two years ago when Bruce was a just a young pup, causing havoc and getting into trouble. Having a puppy can be a lot of fun, but in those first weeks and months of bringing Bruce into our family, there were plenty of ups and downs. Getting a puppy is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Here are the five stages of getting a puppy.
You’ve finally decided that the time is right, you’re ready to get a dog. You’ve decided that you want a puppy, you’ve researched breeds and found the perfect one for your lifestyle. You’ve found a trustworthy breeder or registered with a rescue centre. Mission puppy is GO. You’re so excited that it’s all you can talk about, you can’t sleep and when you do sleep you dream of puppies. When you’re at work you spend all day doodling dogs and writing down lists of potential names. Every one you meet knows about the dog that you haven’t got yet, and frankly they are sick of hearing about it, but you don’t care. This is potentially the most exciting thing to ever happen to anyone.
Your puppy is nearly ready to go home and become part of your family. You’re still excited, but the excitement has reached a whole new level of hysteria to the point that you are completely deluded. You talk a lot about how you are going to train your dog, that they will be the perfect pet and you will be the perfect owner. You’ll never feed them table scraps and they’ll only be allowed on the couch with your permission. They’ll be house trained by the end of the first day, and will just skip past that whole puppy mouthing stage. Your head is so far in the clouds, you can see the space shuttle.
The day is nearly here and all your thoughts of perfect puppydom are starting to wobble a bit. The delusion has worn off and you’ve started to face up to the reality of puppy ownership. Nervousness doesn’t quite cut it – this is straight up fear. You’re going to have to keep a helpless creature alive, and not only that but happy, healthy and well fed. You’re going to have to teach it how to behave so that it isn’t a complete terror and ruin the next 15 years of your life by going to the toilet on your West Elm rug every morning. Your confidence is faltering, and you pray that you’ll make a good puppy parent the night before you go and pick them up.
Nobody likes to admit it, but in the first week it’s totally normal to have a few ‘WHAT HAVE I DONE?’ moments. You knew that puppies were hard work, but nothing could prepare you for this. There are a few times when you are filled with regret and mourn your previous life when you could leave the house for more than 20 minutes without having to worry about coming home to chewed furniture and soiled floors. These feelings are often followed by immense guilt, and perhaps a little cry… in the bathroom, because you don’t want to worry the puppy.
You made it through the first few weeks and you can’t imagine life without your bundle of fur – nor do you want to. Those feelings of regret have gone, and you wouldn’t trade your beloved pup for the world. Your puppy is part of the family now, and snuggling with them at the end of a long day is pure bliss. You’re in love, and nothing will change that.