dog

5 Tough Lessons You Learn by Getting a Dog

dog

My dog is the cutest. 

Isn’t that what we all think about our dogs?

The hubby and I met Lily at a pet shop who works with breeders. She’s a beautiful black lab; and at only 12 weeks old, she just melted your heart right away. 

We went in wanting to see our options, and walked out a few hours later with Lily and all her stuff (crate, bed, food, toys, etc,). 

Ecstatic about our ADORABLE, sweet new pup, we couldn’t wait to get home and begin having fun. 

We’re about a month and a half into our new lives together now. And let me just say: some of the toughest lessons I’ve learned in my 20-something years of life, have come from having Lily as part of the family. 

But I wouldn’t have it any other way. She is so smart, beautiful, and full of love. 

Plus she’s got a personality like you won’t believe. 

Here’s those five lessons. 


1. Patience

Training sessions are important for a young puppy. And sitting down for a long session of me just saying “Lily” 500000 times to teach her to respond to her name, with no progress, wasn’t really a good time.

Taking her out to pee, and 15 minutes later…still nothing. Then the minute you go inside, BAM. Accident. 

They will jump on everything, smell every inch of the house, and do just about everything they’re not supposed to for a little while; and you can really only just let them be, and train them to not do that. 

You have to wait until they learn not to follow their instincts, but rather your teachings. And that could take some time. Eventually your pup will be just as behaved as other dogs you’ve seen or been around. 

But a puppy is probably one of the greatest testers of patience. If you’re not testing your patience, you’re definitely going to improve it with a puppy. 

But it’s absolutely worth a little trouble for a long time of fun and memories. 

2. Perspective

Not only are you testing your patience with a puppy, but it can just be downright frustrating at times.

Especially when people came around and Lily just absolutely lost it, disregarding any manners I thought she learned, out the window. 

She chewed up and ruined about 3 pairs of my shoes. She peed on the carpet a few times. I have scratches and marks from her teething or incessantly jumping on me. And she will still eat anything she can get her mouth on. 

Luckily Lily wasn’t a big barker or whiner at all, but on the few occasions she did, it was loud. 

You have to be willing to lose a few things in your house with a new puppy around. 

But in reality, your puppy is just that: a puppy. They’re not a human to know how to behave and what to do. They just follow their instincts like any other animal does. And really, part of having a puppy is learning to communicate together and learning how to understand each other. You have to learn when their body language says “gotta pee!”, “let’s play”, or even “let’s not play” the same way they learn to not chew things, go outside, and sit on command (among other things). 

Plus, these little guys get separated from their families (most of the time) at only 8-10 weeks old. That’s extremely sad if you think about it. I’d probably whine and cry all night too the first few days. 

And trust me, it took me a few weeks to really understand this. 

dog 

3. Sacrifices

Before a dog:

  • Husband: Let’s spontaneously go away for the weekend.
  • Me: Ok!

With a dog:

  • Husband: Let’s spontaneously go away for the weekend.
  • Me: Who would watch the dog, take her out, and feed her on schedule? Who’s going to play with her and do training? I do NOT trust doggy hotels. 

It’s true that having a dog is kind of like having a baby, but about 10 levels easier (out of 20). 

If there’s one thing that will never be the same, it’s your freedom to go out and do things. You will either have to plan way ahead of time to leave the puppy in good hands, have to plan around to be able to bring the puppy, OR just not go and stay with your puppy. 

To us this isn’t really a huge deal, because we like to go to parks and outdoor areas. We have plenty of options where Lily can join us. 😁

4. Teamwork makes the dream work

I’m pretty sure having a puppy has helped my marriage a little bit. 

At first we clashed all the time over how to train her, and how to split the puppy duties (feeding, taking out, playing, training, etc), but it all worked out for the better. 

We read plenty of blogs, watched videos, then talked it out until we reached an agreement. 

If there’s one thing you HAVE to do in order to keep your sanity, is split the duties. Because if I had to do all the training, I might have lost my mind when I saw no progress. Plus our first few weeks we were extremely sleep deprived and tired, so we only had each other and coffee to get us through. It also really helps to have your partner in puppyhood calm you down if you ever are about to lose your sh%t. 
Our neighbors are mostly all doggy owners too. Their advice has helped out, and so has their fence (we put lily in to run around one night and play with the neighbor’s dogs to give her some exercise). 

Honestly, doing it all by yourself is a brave choice if you ask me. 

5. A special love for your new companion

Dog lovers are SERIOUS about their fur babies. We love our little companions like our own children. And we can all agree. 

Most doggy moms are probably pretty obsessed and will find new things to buy their puppy on every trip to Target. I know I’m very guilty of spoiling Lily, but I want to give the world. 

I’ve definitely given Lily more dog treats than I should, but I mean who can say no to this cute face? 

dog

I’m pretty sure in our family, IM the one with separation anxiety more than Lily.   

No one gets that excited about seeing you more than your puppy does. 

They’re especially funny to watch as puppies, and watch them grow into big ol’ majestic dogs with puppy personalities (at least lily will be huge).

As a fellow puppy owner, I can confrim to you it gets better, and I’m already looking into my next little pup.

It truly sucks that they’re with us for such a short time.