Having a puppy is like having a baby, except when it’s not

standard January 15, 2014 5 responses

It’s been two weeks now. Two weeks since our little fluff-ball took up residence under my desk and in our hearts. It’s everything like we’d assumed and at the same time nothing at all like we’d assumed.

So far I’ve learned that

1) Dogs are nothing like cats
I mean, duh, right? And yet, oh man. Cats are so low maintenance. Clean the kitty litter, dispense the right brand of food (woe is you if you get it wrong!), and be available to offer love when the cat desires it. Other than that cats leave you alone to live your lives as you wish.
Puppies… well they need constant attention, constant love, and constant supervision.

2) Puppies need constant supervision
Yes, that needed to be said twice.
Yesterday I brushed my teeth with my electric toothbrush. It took me maybe 45 seconds, possibly the full 60. In that time the puppy sat behind me and quietly happily shredded an entire roll of toilet paper.

3) This puppy likes to shred
Toilet paper, cardboard, paper, you name it, she’s shredded it. And yes, the remains are still littering the house. I can’t help it. I can’t keep up.

4) Dogs and cats don’t speak the same language
She (the puppy) just wants to play, play, play. She’s ecstatic when she finds the cat. She yips with unbridled delight.
He (the cat) thinks she’s the devil incarnate and every toy she brings to him is vile and repulsive.
We tend to think of us vs them. Humans vs animals. But it’s all different.

I catch the cat watching the dog with guarded interest.

But it inevitably ends like this when the dog sees the cat and comes running over to play.

It’ll happen. They’ll eventually get along. The cat is getting more and more brave, less and less defensive. It might just take longer than anticipated.

5) It’s just like having a baby, except when it isn’t.
There are so many parts of having a puppy that are just like having a baby. They need constant supervision. You have to do everything for them. They pee and poop whenever they want. They cry when you leave them alone.

But you can take a baby everywhere with you, and you most definitely can’t take a puppy everywhere, so grocery shopping has been a tad challenging these last two weeks.

On the plus side, you can’t legally lock a baby in a wire cage and call it a cozy den, so there is that, and she is getting better at enjoying her stay in her crate. Endless supplies of treats, nylabones, and kongs filled with apples and peanut butter help.

6) Having a puppy is very distracting
I sit at my desk and she lies at my feet and I tippy tap away at the computer. Suddenly I look down and she’s not there. That’s my cue to leap out of my chair to go find her.

When I’m lucky she’s just off foraging in the recycling bin to find some more cardboard to shred. When I’m not she’s off baptizing the rug… again.

7) Having a puppy is good exercise
In order to avoid any extraneous rug watering I’ve found that I’m spending a ton of time in the backyard begging the puppy to “go peepee,” or walking around the neighborhood, or hanging out at the park. I’m endlessly grateful that we live in California where the weather is on the warmer side. And I’m quite happy to be exercising a lot more than usual.

8) Puppies are really disruptive
Someone has to get up to let her out in the morning. Someone has to always keep an eye on her. She likes to cart our shoes to the four corners of the house. We can’t leave the house without her for very long. We often show up at places where we think dogs are welcome only to find that they’re not, leaving one of us stranded outside. Cats fit right into your life. Dogs bend your life around them.

9) Puppies are really fun
Despite all the hassles, all the challenges, all the changes, we’ve all got smiles plastered on our faces. She’s a love. She gives kisses. She cuddles. She’s thrilled to see us whenever she sees us, even if we just left the room and came back. She pulls us out of funks, she makes us laugh, and she’s doing wonders for the kids’ moods.

Wouldn’t this face cheer you right up?

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5 responses

  • Yep. We have a shredder, too. We had to purchase garbage pails with lids for our bathrooms and the TP no long hangs from a roll, but gets placed on the counter. Speaking of which, the dog has grown a little taller and longer than we expected and between his height and his Miley Cyrus tongue, our kitchen counter tops and table are no longer safe. He’s so wonderful to snuggle with on cold nights, though.

  • This is so true!! I love dogs, but they are a LOT of work! We have a standard poodle and a Shihtzu/Maltese.

  • You speak the truth! I remember those days. It’s been over 10 years. But they’re SO CUTE!

  • Making a mental note for when it is puppy time in a couple years!

  • Ha! My husband wants a dog, but we are SO not ready yet.

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