Apr 29, 2021
Getting a puppy will be greeeeat they said! It’ll be so much fun, they said!
And it’s true. Puppies are pretty great! Probably the most adorable thing on this very planet. Snuggly cuddles, wet kisses and pure joy when you walk into your home are just a few of the wonderful things about getting a puppy… But dogs aren’t just peaches and roses. MAN, they are a lot of work. Dare I say, sometimes they are as much work as a newborn baby!
Greg and I had been talking about getting a pup for over a year. In October 2020 we got married and Greg got a job with Amazon which required us to move across the country. Just a week before be moved to Seattle, I browsed online and to my surprise, we found a small, ethically raised-family run dog breeder. After a quick discussion and a bit more research, we decided that we wanted to support her and her business in our quest to find our perfect pal. I reached out to her, and she said she had a few ‘Biewer Terriers’ left from her newly born litter that would be ready as early as 3 weeks. 😱 I guess the buyer for her one male dog from this litter fell through, so he could be ours for the taking.
We were soo surprised, and not sure if we were ready to commit so quickly. Afterall, we’d never even heard of the dog breed “Biewer Terrier” before. But after seeing his picture, we COULDN’T say no. He was meant for us! Our little boy Walter came into our lives on December 10th, 2020 and changed our world furever! We love our little guy and he is our first step into creating a family together.
Inevitably, even after doing as much research as we could, there were many lessons we’d learned about getting a puppy over the last 4.5 months. If you’re thinking about getting a sweet pupper (COVID has proven to be the perfect time!), this list might be helpful. I write it all with honesty and love, so that you know just a few more facts before you diving into your own adventure.
Here are 7 hard truths we’ve learned after getting our furrst puppy.
1. Your sex life will be ruined for a little while. 😂
Ok I had to put this as number one because I feel like it’s just not talked about. YES, it’s very personal (sorry dad LOL). Also YES, we are real human beings, talking about real stuff!!
This is our truth: Getting a puppy 100% absolutely changed our rhythm for a little while. Not only from being exhausted and on edge while we navigated the waters of puppyhood, but also because he’s just always there, always around and always curious. It definitely took some getting used to, for everyone involved! Our relationship suffered for a few weeks, maybe even longer… But it has also made us stronger and better at communicating, so there are both downsides and upsides to this one.
2. Your sleep will be ruined for a little longer.
Ok, we are 4.5 months in and we STILL aren’t sleeping through the night! From potty training to crate training, sick nights, new surroundings – pretty much you can expect your puppy to whine and carry on every night for the first week.
If you’re starting out with proper potty training, you need to be diligent about setting your alarm every 2 hours to take your little pup to pee in the first months. Then move to 3 hours, then 4 etc. For every month a dog is in age, they should be able to hold their bladder for that length of time in hours.
This is not the case for everyone and is our personal experience, but Walter is particularly active in the morning and literally will not let us sleep in. We were hoping for sleepy morning cuddles, but he never EVER lets us sleep in and ALWAYS is ready to GO at 7am sharp! I will say, the sleep disturbances do get less over time, but in the beginning it’s significant.
3. Traveling is hard! ✈️
Traveling has now become a chore for us – Even just for an overnight trip! We avoid travel at all cost right now, because at this stage Walter is just not ready to go anywhere. As he grows up, we hope travel will get easier *but* still, a lot of work needs to be done. Walter is still too scared and timid in new places, and he gets car sick.
While I know this also is not the case for all dogs, but in our experience with our boy we are struggling MAJORLY! Even when he’s older, it will still be a lot of work: Arranging a sitter ($) or preparing him to come with, arranging flights (more $$), finding DOG FRIENDLY accommodations, restaurants and activities is difficult. There are many aspects of traveling with a dog and we aren’t really looking forward to finding all of them out just yet 😂 .
4. The guilt is REAL.
Does anyone else struggle with this?! It’s definitely worse for me than it is for Greg, but MAN… I find it so hard to leave the house…Or leave him in his play pen..orrrr leave him in his crate while he is crying at night. Or denying him basically whatever he wants. 😅 I mean… it’s those PUPPY EYES! We are trying our best to train Walter to be the best boy in the world, which means a LOT of strict rules, and doing things that bring him out of his comfort zone. But, we know it’s all needed in order for him to grow and understand his boundaries.
5. All your money will disappear 💸
Much like children, dogs love to soak up all your extra fun spending money. We expected the routine bills like check ups, vaccines, neuter, grooming etc. What we did NOT expect was the amount of food and supplies to keep him happy, healthy and occupied. We also did NOT expect for Walter to get sick multiple times and need last minute vet visits and medicines. Everything costs double or more than what we expected. So make sure to have a healthy savings account for your little pup before you commit to taking him home!
6. Your household hygiene will suffer
This might be a non-issue for some folks out there, but for people like me (OCD, very clean, white furniture lover) a dog will change your household hygiene forever. Dogs are messy! There is just no way around it. From digging in the dirt, to rolling in the grass to eating rabbit poop, to walking around dirty/busy city streets, to getting sick and barfing or diarrhea on the carpets or sofa. Then theres bugs/ticks, bully sticks, smelly bones and smelly chew toys (trust me, after a while those toys STANK!) After they go outside when it’s raining or snowing, paws get wet and you either have to wipe thoroughly with a towel or dry with hair dryer. It’s just so much work! And the list goes on.
DOGS 👏 ARE 👏 NOT 👏 CATS. They don’t know how to clean themselves! So I’ve had to mentally prepare myself before he arrived, and also just learn to let some things go. No matter how much cleaning I do, or preventative measures I try to take, sometimes the mess is not salvageable, and that’s OK… You just have to learn to change your mindset about things – I think it’s a good challenge for me.
*On a side note, I purchased a slip covered sofa, washable rugs and put washable throws on just about EVERYTHING when we got our rental in Seattle. We needed a whole bunch of furniture anyway, and knowing we’d have a dog soon it was the best case scenario. The alternative to redecorating your entire house is to not allow your dog to jump up on things – I think this is a good solution… but we love cuddling our little guy too much and just can’t deny him his spot beside us on the sofa, so this wouldn’t work for us.
7. Say goodbye to free time 👋
This one is particularly difficult for me, because I truly cherish my alone time. My life and freedom has completely changed since Walter came into our lives. I no longer can go out for a quick errand, go on a date night, meet up with friends or just sit in peace and quiet, without planning first. And although it’s getting better as he gets older, we believe Walter is more needy than most dogs. Some days he can be a little TERROR! So – not everyone will relate to this fact.
Since Wally is a COVID pup, he seems even more attached since we haven’t left the house since we got him LOL. Anyone else experience this? Walter is laying all over me and my laptop right now as I try to type. 🐶 He barks at our desks while we try to work so he can be close to us and sit on our laps. I don’t know if it’s the breed or the circumstance, but Walter is a needy dog and probably will be for quite some time. There are pros and cons to this as well, but it’s something we will have adjust to as time goes on.
All in all, those are the 7 difficult truths about getting a new puppy. I do want to say that it’s NOT forever! We are putting in the hard work now, so that when he’s an adult puppy he’ll be the best ever. Work before reward. Walter is getting better by the day, and as he gets older, we know he will start to calm down, be more independent and find his own.
Now that I’ve thrown Walter under the bus 😅 I want to move onto 7 of the most amazing things about getting a puppy:
- Ohhh the puppy cuddles and kisses!! There’s truly nothing better.
- I’ve started exercising way more -specifically going for long walks.
- I always have a friend, constant loyal companion, and I always feel unconditionally loved.
- The proud feelings I get when seeing my puppy’s training progress. It’s like a pat on the back for all the achievements!
- I meet a lot of people – we are new to Seattle and have no friends, but Walter has worked his way into so many strangers’ hearts, and opened their doors to us unexpectedly. That’s been really nice.
- Knowing I’m coming home to a house full of joy and happiness – there’s nothing sweeter tan the happiest dog, greeting you at the door.
- My state of mind changed (this actually happened when my sister got her first dog). I started to see animals differently. I even started having more compassion for wild animals and realized that humans and animals are all the same – we just all want to be loved and feel safe.
ANNNYwayy – this has been our complete puppy experience! I realize not everyone will have the same situation as us, but I wanted to put this out there to be helpful. Thanks fur reading!
PS. Do you have a pet? If so, please give them a shout-out by leaving their name and breed in a comment below! I love hearing pet names and being connected with other fur baby pawrents 🙂