Eight Things I’ve Learned About Raising a Puppy By Myself

Eight Things I’ve Learned About Raising a Puppy By Myself

By Taylor Newell

About a month ago, I adopted a 5-month-old black lab puppy. His name is Kobe, and he’s my friend.

For as long as I’ve been alive I have always had at least one dog at home – until I graduated from college and was living on my own for the first time. So, for the past couple of years, it had felt really weird not having a dog around. I missed the constant nagging to play, the ebullient greetings at the door when I got home, even the occasional frustrations and clockwork food and potty routines (basically, what I imagine it’s like living with Mr. FitzGibbon).

So then Kobe came along, from a friend of a friend who couldn’t take care of him anymore. I met him on a Friday afternoon after work and he got mud on my shirt and chewed on my shoes. Having not given the prospect of raising a puppy any meaningful consideration (despite the fact that it worked out for me, I don’t recommend being this impulsive about getting a dog), I was back on Saturday early afternoon with the seats down in the back of my Jeep – I loaded his crate and a half-bag of food in the back and he sat up front with me. And then we were home.

But what I never experienced in all that time that I had a dog was what it’s actually like to raise a puppy on your own. It really is awesome. And frustrating. And fulfilling. And frustrating. But more than anything, it is so much fun to watch a puppy grow up in front of your eyes – it happens more quickly than I expected.

But I have learned a few things about puppy ownership, even starting at five months:Kobe

  1. There is no such thing as personal space. Ever. EVER.
  1. You learn pretty quickly to pick your battles. For example: I have now accepted that for the next few years, I will not have a yard without at least two massive holes dug in it.
  1. Having a young dog with a ton of energy gives you a great excuse to get outside and explore your neighborhood in ways that you never would otherwise.
  1. My sock budget has skyrocketed due to weekly (and sometimes daily) decisions by Kobe to repurpose them from footwear to chew toy.
  1. The 3:00 a.m. wake up call of a squeaky toy being squeezed directly in your face is exactly as bad as it sounds.
  1. Water bowl + hardwood floor x dog slobber = slip ‘n slide.
  1. The couch is absolutely, 100%, without exceptions, off-limits. Until I leave the room.
  1. Nike flip-flops look an awful lot like chew toys to a puppy.

Sure, it’s a sacrifice, but it’s worth every lost sock, mud track in the house, flower dug up, and dollar spent. It took not living with a dog for awhile to realize how special the relationship can be. He’s my morning wake-up-call, running buddy, dirty dish cleaner – but most of all, he’s my friend, and he’s a darn good one.

Feature Image Source: http://www.babble.com/pets/25-of-the-most-hilarious-dog-memes-on-the-interwebs/

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