Adopting a puppy is a massively huge life change. It’s kind of like deciding to become a parent (in my case a single parent) to a hyperactive, needy, headstrong (but lovable) fur-baby who has the advantage of having four fast legs and cupie doll eyes. This fur-baby has sharp pointy teeth and uses its claws as weapons. Things will get chewed up, your schedule will dramatically adjust, and both your place and your car will be distinctly cleaner and messier at the same time. You will be picking up things you never thought to before, and keeping all your shoes in the closet. There will be chewed up bits of dog toys, plastic water bottles, sticks and pine cones littering the floor. There will be wet nose spots on your windows and fur all over. You may have to invest in a new vacuum… and that expensive dog bed will get destroyed and will be replaced with a $5 blanket from Walmart. This puppy will need to go outside frequently to relieve itself, and will want to stay out longer when it is freezing outside. This puppy will use you as a chew toy, bark in your face, and have numerous strange quirks you never stop discovering. But this puppy will also follow you around adoringly, romp and play, and will curl up next to you on the couch with their head on your lap and your heart will melt. They will learn a new trick, greet someone politely or actually leave something alone that you command and your heart will burst with pride. Owning a puppy is one of the most frustrating, but rewarding things you can do.
Growing up I always had a dog or two, and so it felt like a space was missing when our last dogs passed away three and four years ago. This May after a lot of thought and after having waited several years for the right time, I decided to start looking. Of course my Charlie was at the very first shelter I went to. I had enlisted my brother to help and we both fell for him. How could you not want this adorable face?
My trainer said most new puppy owners go through a ‘honeymoon’ phase before the troubles begin. Charlie and I had no honeymoon phase. He’s as stubborn as I am, which is really saying something. It was touch and go for a month or so, but we found common ground and now I can’t imagine not having him.
He was a bit of a trouble maker at first:
Actually, Charlie is still a troublemaker:
No matter how many crazy things Charlie does, or how frustrated I get, he’s totally worth it. He makes me laugh, he is my personal space heater as well as my shadow, and he’s a snuggle bug with a heart of gold:
If such a big change isn’t for you, get an older and calmer dog. When Charlie gets a friend to play with that is what will happen. Remember, adopt- don’t shop!!
To see more goals I accomplished this year click here.