Our sweet Abbi is 5 years old. She is literally the best dog ever (seriously), but that just made me want another dog. After months of planning and secret keeping, my husband surprised me.
I have wanted a dachshund for years. They’re naughty, funny, cute and just plain awesome, so he pulled off his surprise beautifully. Meg is now part of our family, and we adore her.
We’re going on 3 weeks as a 2 dog home, and boy do I realize what a truly awesome dog Abbi is. She slept through the night her first night home, and required almost no effort to potty train. Other than some pesky chewing, she was the easiest dog you could imagine training.
Meg, not so much.
Don’t get me wrong, Meg is the cutest, sweetest, funniest puppy I have seen in 5 years, but doggone, she’s just not the quick learner Abbi is.
It’s not that she’s a pain in the ass…but she actually kind of is.
And that’s what I’m getting at. Puppies, in general (with the partial exception of Abbi), are a giant pain in the ass.
Let me be clear. I couldn’t love Meg more. She is a part of our family. Period.
But, if I were working outside the home or didn’t have the time, energy or inclination to do the heavy work of training her (which I do), I would be getting resentful right about now.
And that’s why puppies end up in shelters.
Meg is an absolute handful. Hannah laughed at me and reminded me that I wanted a naughty little dachshund, but I’m not sure I knew just what I was getting myself into. She potties in the house every day, a couple of times at least, no matter how diligent I am about taking her out frequently. She’s a velcro dog who doesn’t like to sleep in her crate, and wakes during the night almost every night. She chews incessantly. All of these are things which she will need very long-term, committed, loving training on in order to become a socialized, happy, well-behaved dog. And if I didn’t feel like fulfilling that responsibility to her, we would either all be miserable, or we would give up on her. Which happens all the time.
And I hate it.
So here is my message to you. I have put about a million adorable pictures on social media of my dog. If you find these tempting, pause. Then pause again. Then stop. The sweet photos and videos are only about half of the story. The other half is cleaning up potty accidents, caring for a needy, clingy baby, waking up during the night, and worrying that my fingers will turn to hamburger from all her gnawing. I endure along with her because she is worth it. She is our family, and we are 100% committed to give her the time and loving care that she deserves to grow into a beloved, lifelong family pet. If that were not the case, she and I both would be miserable right now.
My long term outlook, goals, and committment are my focus, and they give me the mindset to enjoy these early days, shrugging off the frustration and relishing the sweetness.
If that’s not the case for you, or if you aren’t sure, then whatever you do, do not bring a dog into your family. It’s not kind, it’s not fair, it’s not okay.