Getting a puppy is like having a baby, only there is no birthing process. Can I tell you more?
Having a puppy will bring you tremendous joy and angst at the same time. When they’re sick, you worry until all is well. You will experience a feeling of great helplessness when something is off and you’ll go to great lengths to make it right.
When Scout gets a sticker in her paw, she looks up at me with her big brown eyes that say ‘help mom’, with the reassurance that I’ll fix it and make her good again.
Puppy love is the best elixir there is, and it goes both ways. We’re pals to the greatest extent. We play, she makes me laugh, and sometimes she causes me to see things in a whole new way.
There’s nothing like being a puppy mom.
But, know these five things before you get a puppy:
- Plant a money tree. It’s expensive. Be prepared and get pet insurance right away. I use Healthy Paws and 80-90% of my expenses are reimbursed. There are annual exams, shots, and preventative meds that can run upwards of $1,000. Veterinarian emergency care can be costly. I had Scout for two days, she ate an earring and eight days later I was in the hole for $8,900.
- Be in it to win it. Potty training will take 12-16 months. We established an area in the house where it’s ok if she goes inside. Puppy pads really work, we use a thick bath rug too. Scout knows that in an emergency she can use the pad. But it took time to establish this process. But then, there are the emotional out lashes when Scout is mad, she’ll go where she pleases.
- Time is a puppy’s love language. Having a dog is a big responsibility. Just like having a child, your life changes. Be prepared for that change and you better be ok with it. Like having a kid, you must invest time. My schedule changed and I’m not gone all the time. Instead, I’m at home with Scout. My presence counts. Every day at lunch I come home and eat with her, then we go for a walk. I’ll skip the road trip and catch a movie at home.
- It’s the greatest love you’ll ever experience. Come home late, the puppy is going to love you. Walk in the door, it’s the greatest welcome you’ll ever receive and it happens over and over again. When you’re sad, they have the uncanny ability to sense you’re off your game and they’ll love you up. They’re the best cure for a broken heart you’ll ever find.
- 100% Acceptance. There is total and complete acceptance for the both of you. If she chews up my favorite shoes, Scout knows that I’m still going to love her and at the end of the day I’m going to snuggle with her when it’s night night time. And I know she does the same with me, every day, time after time, again and again. She shows unconditional grace and love and I do the same. It’s the best love ever.