This “life event” we’ll call it, has been a long time coming. Pause. Let me back up to talk about some things before I get to the good part. My parents got a puppy, Lilly, a little over two years ago. I love that (not so) little dog so much but ironically enough, I wrote this post after watching her for a couple of weeks describing why when I said, “I want a puppy” I didn’t really mean it. We’ve had dogs my entire life but Lilly was the first puppy that I was… Let’s be blunt with this… Mature enough to fully look past her cuteness and think, “Hmm. You’re more than just cute. You’re a lot of work.”
It might sound stupid, pessimistic, negative, whatever you decide to call it but I think a lot of people are so oblivious to that very important fact. They see a precious dog on Instagram, go to the pound or breeder, see a dog with sad puppy eyes, and decide right then and there, “I want it!” Don’t get me wrong, they need homes and they are so stinking cute but that doesn’t negate the amount of work that has to happen once they are yours. I think it would be really easy for people to quickly think, “Don’t be such a Debbie Downer, Jordan. These dogs need homes or they might be killed.” Unfortunately, that can be true and it breaks my heart to think about but it also breaks my heart to think about them going to a home where they aren’t loved, they aren’t treated properly, they are left alone most of the time, or they aren’t taken care of.
Numerous friends of mine have said to me, “I want a dog.” and I go through the same spiel with them. I think about these things all the time and I think it was because growing up 4/5 of our dogs were pound puppies, three of which came from homes where they were so poorly treated that my parents had to work especially hard to train them. Looking back on it I didn’t realize at the time just how hard they worked to make them feel loved all while getting them to behave by our house rules (potty on the grass outside, don’t chew our things, sit in the dining room while we eat in the kitchen… Just to name a few). Let me make this clear too… Remove the entire “pound puppy” situation and let’s say you get a puppy from a breeder. News flash- it won’t be any easier. Pound or breeder it doesn’t matter.
Babies Dogs are a lot of stinkin’ work. Not only do you now have a living being relying on you to feed them, love them, and care of them but on top of that, they’ll deem anywhere in the house their own restroom, they will chew up your things (and you), they will wake you up in the middle of the night and did I mention they aren’t cheap? I sadly wasn’t surprised when we were at the humane society a few weeks ago and saw multiple puppies up for adoption. I believe people get them and realize well, “I can’t do this.” If only they had read and understood something like this slightly tough blog post earlier…
Did I mention we got a puppy? That’s probably really hard to believe after reading all of that but like I said, it has been a long time coming. I thought about everything written above for a very long time. Finally, after assessing our situation over and over again I thought, “Okay, this just might be a good time.” By the way, for any of you fellow military folks out there… It’s never a good time for a dog. Ever. You’re always going to have some move on your horizon, your spouse will most likely be deployed or TDY for months at a time, I could go on and on. However, we realized that every single one of our friends in the same situation all have dogs and their biggest piece of advice, “You make it work.” With that aside and knowing that I’m working from home, we were finally to the point where we knew we could add a little furry runner to our pack that would be well loved and taken care of.
The way it happened…
I had been looking at dogs in the area for quite a while (I mean… Literally before I had even moved here) and out of curiosity, decided to look at the adoptable dogs at the local humane society. There were tons of great dogs available on the website but I thought “No, Stephen wants to find out where we’re going next before we get one.” so I closed the window and moved on with my day. The following day I took another peak on the page and saw this precious little boxer mix puppy, Delilah. My friend Aubrey was visiting and somehow I ended up showing her Delilah on the website. Before we knew it, we were on the way to the humane society. We stopped briefly at a pound we saw on the way and played with some dogs. The place reeked of urine but they were doing their best to care for that large number that they had. We saw a few that I really liked there but I couldn’t stop thinking about Delilah. We moved on to the first humane society location and met one puppy named Sir Sausages. He was the most precious little lab you’ve ever seen but I was so determined to meet sweet Delilah so we decided to visit the other location and if I wasn’t “feeling her”, we’d go back and visit Sir Sausages again. We drove through traffic and finally got to meet 7 week old Delilah. We learned that she was left in front of the shelter in a box by herself. When they found her she was so severely dehydrated (I mean we’re in Phoenix… It breaks my heart just to think about it) that she couldn’t take in any water at all. Despite the rough week that she had, her health had drastically improved; she was so darn cute and so full of energy. We played with her in a room, she peed on the floor, she bit my finger, and then I held her…
Within minutes I asked how to proceed with the adoption process. Stephen was flying that day so I didn’t have the chance to talk to him before signing the dotted line. Do I regret that? YES! I sure did love having Aubrey there but I would’ve really loved to have Stephen there to make the decision together. Would I suggest pulling this move on your significant other? Absolutely not. If you want the dog to be taken care of by both of you, do not sign your spouse/SO up for something they didn’t first agree to. Trust me, it’s a lot easier to take care of a puppy when you both are on the same page! Also, it’s not a small financial task you’re taking on… Just don’t do what I did. My husband is the sweetest man so we talked it out and moved on but I always will wish he was there to get her with me. Anyway, we had been talking about a dog for so long that we knew we wanted a larger, running dog that we would name Adi (Ah-dee). Stephen and I met while running in college and one of our favorite running shoe brands is Adidas, so Adi it was.
We went to PetSmart and got everything we needed for her first night home- a crate, training treats, dog bowls, a few toys, and puppy pads (her food came with her from the humane society). You can bet an entire post on all of this information will be written as some point. My biggest suggestion- utilize Amazon! Of course for the first night we weren’t able to do that because we needed some stuff immediately (especially the crate) but definitely use it if you can. It’s much cheaper on there compared to the pet store!
It was finally the time to surprise Stephen. I was 100% more nervous for this than I was on our wedding day. After what seemed like an eternity, he finally made it home from work to meet little Adi. When he walked in the door and saw her he had the funniest nervous laugh. Thinking of it just makes me giggle. In an instant she won him over and they were on the floor playing with each other while she tried to rip off the patches from his flight suit.
Life with her so far has been great! She is HANDFUL but since we went in with that mentality I think it has helped. With that in mind, her training is a priority. She is currently 9 weeks old and is already potty trained, can understand and perform commands like sit, paw, and lay down. We’re currently working on “roll over”. She thinks we’re just trying to play with her so she neglects the treat and puppy bites us… We’re working on that. Stephen and I are both covered in bite marks… That’s our biggest problem with her. Not necessarily biting our things but more so just biting us. Lilly was the exact same way; they just want to play! My dad calls it the “rippin’ and tearin’ stage”. It’s at its prime when she’s sleepy. Speaking of sleepy! She sleeps probably 14-18 hours a day. It’s great but I’m always on the ready with toys nearby for when she wakes up. I hate leaving her. It’s so terrible to hear her cry from the crate but she falls asleep within minutes. She’s definitely so much better about it at night when it’s time to go to bed. We tell her to “get in her crate” and she’ll get in, take the treat, and lay down. Some nights are worse than others and she’ll scream, “NO! PLAY!!!” but those are far and few between recently. One of her favorite things is when Stephen comes home from work. Her tail wags a mile a minute. They LOVE each other.
Some of her favorite things:
After years of talking about it, we’re so excited to finally have our little Adi. She’s a loving handful that requires a lot of attention and care but now that we are able to give her all of that and more as she deserves, we are so thankful to have her. It sounds so cheesy but until I had my own dog I didn’t realize how much I could love something else. Oh Lord… I can only imagine how children will be… Anyway, I’m really sorry if I scared some of you into thinking, “I’ll never be able to get a dog.” That wasn’t my goal. Like I said, we’re so thankful to have gotten her but also remember that we thought about this for years. Not just a day, week, or even months. YEARS! That is a long time but Adi didn’t deserve anything less than that. Maybe you don’t need to think about it that long and that’s fine too! Here are some questions to ask yourself when making the decision whether or not to bring a dog home:
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