The Self-Discovery Journey I Wasn’t Expecting to Go On…
It’s been four months with our gorgeous puppy Dash and boy, have learnt some things along the way. Writing about the things I’ve learnt since getting a puppy is off-topic from interiors and entertaining. However, I think it’s an important subject to talk about.
Many see getting a puppy as this romantic, lifetime movie event. The reality is somewhat different. We go into getting a pet with these rose-tinted glasses, and we get blind-sighted by the real-lifeness of what it’s actually like to own a puppy. And I’m not talking about the practical side of puppy ownership, the early mornings, the bathroom training, etc. I’m talking about self-discovering, the inner learnings that I discovered since taking this little fluff ball home with us.
I’ve wanted to write about the things I’ve learnt since getting a puppy from about week two. However, I wanted to write this once I was on the other side when the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and much brighter. And whilst I don’t want to discourage anyone from the amazingness that is having a puppy in your life (you can find Dash’s highlight on my Instagram Stories). But I want to be real with you guys and talk about things you may learn about yourself along the way, or perhaps you’ll want to think about now before taking that leap. Here are the top five things I’ve learned since getting a puppy.
I’m Actually a Selfish Person.
Prior to this, I wouldn’t consider myself one, to a fault. I always put peoples needs and wants before myself, never really speaking up to not disrupt the peace. However, turns out I am selfish when I’m on my own and dealing with my time. Let’s talk about the freedom you lose. Before, I could come and go as I please, stay out of the house for however long I wanted. Meet friends after work on a whim. Now, my day is broken up into sections, making sure Dash’s routine is not messed up too much so we don’t have a tiny terrorist on our hands in the evenings. I have to be home at a certain time to make sure he can uncross his legs, have a run and play and of course, his lunch.
Nights out are planned around will my husband be home in time to give him dinner, or do I have to get some cover for us to go out on date night. Even mini staycations, will Dash be able to handle the car journey? Is the hotel pet-friendly?
Honestly, I’m really glad I got a puppy before having a child if I will even have a child. The freedom I have right now is something I’ve certainly taken for granted in the past. And yes, we’re on the other side where Dash can be left on his own for a couple of hours (prior I couldn’t even leave the room without him crying), my freedom is slowly coming back. It’s certainly confirmed we will not be getting another puppy (perhaps a rescue dog, but no puppies). As for children, ask me again when Dash is a year old, no longer crate trained and is a little more settled.
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I Really Love My Sleep.
Don’t even get me started on sleep deprivation. Turns out I’m really not a functioning person when I don’t have enough sleep. And even though I spent many nights staying up until 2 am working on a blog post, only to bounce back the next day, at my age, this is not happening anymore.
I would never consider myself a person who needed or love sleep, but I really do. For those first few weeks when Dash would wake us up every couple of hours, I could not see any light at all. Children were an absolute no at that time. Now, our baby angel sleeps through the night and I’m a new woman.
People talk about getting up to let the puppy out to relieve themselves whilst they develop their bladder control. But no one talks about the effect on themselves. Hey, I know mate. It sucks. You feel horrible and that it’s never going to end. I promise you, it will and boy are you going to fly when you get your eight hours of sleep back.
Puppies are So Expensive.
Boy oh boy, do puppies eat up your pennies. Day to day living, it’s manageable, you can certainly fit it into your budget. The things we pay exactly every month (as in the costs that live within my budgeting spreadsheet) are his raw food subscription, his pet insurance and his worm & flea treatment subscription. One would say that they do cost a fair penny, but I was aware of these costs prior to getting him.
However, what no one talks about is the excessive spending. Some things you are aware of, some not so much. Our puppy is an only child with dual income parents. He’s spoilt. A coat there (cause we don’t want him getting cold and wet on his walks), a toy there. These costs rack up and fast. What’s more, puppies grow, so once you finally got something that works for them, such a training toys, they have out-grown them and are onto the next level.
My advice is whatever you think you might spend on your puppy a month, double it. Look for second-hand things where you can. Also, get to know your local puppy network, they are lifesavers when it comes to not only advice, but swapping out things once your puppy moves onto the next level. We’ve donated quite a few toys that Dash has outgrown to new puppy owners.
You’ll Get alot of Unsoliceted Advice.
Suddenly, everyone in your life is a dog expert, especially those who have never owned dogs. Everyone, much like I’m imagining when you have a baby, will have a story, advice and tips on how you’re meant to do things. Even dog trainers, no two are alike and they will argue with what you think are most common training tips.
The trick to this is to trust your gut. When it comes to a dog trainer (which I recommend everyone gets when they get a puppy, schedule them before you even bring puppy home) I spoke to a couple before I found ours. Jacob’s methods may not be for everyone, but in my gut I knew it’s exactly what Dash needed.
As for unsolicerted advise, always take it with a pinch of salt. Most of the time, it’s coming from a good place, especially fellow dog owners who just want to make sure your journey goes smoother than theirs. However, don’t be afraid to politely say no thank you if someone wants to give you their opinion. At the end of the day they don’t know your dog, you do. So trust your instincts.
There’s Nothing Like the Love From Your Puppy.
I’m ending this post on a happy note, which is that the lovely you get from your dog is like nothing else. It’s true when they say a dog’s love is unconditional. Even when I’ve told Dash off and walked out of the room, I come back in and he’s so happy to see me. His little tail wag when I go to get him up in the morning is the best part of my day.
Yes it’s hard. Yes it’s difficult. But boy is it worth it. I actually cannot remember my life before this little guy and I just wanna take him on adventures and have cuddles on the sofa. In fact, that’s what I’m going to do now.