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:
- There is no such thing as personal space. Ever. EVER.
- 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.
- 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.
- My sock budget has skyrocketed due to weekly (and sometimes daily) decisions by Kobe to repurpose them from footwear to chew toy.
- 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.
- Water bowl + hardwood floor x dog slobber = slip ‘n slide.
- The couch is absolutely, 100%, without exceptions, off-limits. Until I leave the room.
- 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/