If you’re new to my blog, I started this blog for two general reasons: 1) to process my thoughts/experiences of becoming an adult, and 2) to share what I have learned through different “adulting” experiences. I like to share my experiences with the world in hopes that it will resonate and help someone else.
Last week, I reintroduced myself to the blogging world. I’ve been on a little haitus from blogging but I am excited to get back into the swing of things, especially with some exciting things coming in the future. In today’s blog post, I am talking about my new(-ish) puppy and the ups/downs of owning a puppy. Now, you may be thinking that owning a dog is easy but let me tell you, it’s not…at least not at first. So, let’s get into it.
This is Dawson! He is a Black, mini Labradoodle puppy from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania. He started growing gray hair around 4 or 5 months old, which gives him a really unique look. Like me, he loves to eat. He loves running outside in the backyard and playing with his squeaky toys. His favorite foods are salmon skin, green beans, and ice cubes. And today, also happens to be his birthday; he’s 1 years old.
When I got Dawson last year, I was on year two of teleworking due to the pandemic. Working from home allowed me to spend lots of time with him and take him on walks throughout the day. When he got older, I put him in basic obedience training and then doggy daycare to socialize with other dogs. Things were going well, or so I thought.
I noticed that my feelings were changing towards Dawson. I later found out that I had “puppy regret.” It’s exactly what it sounds like, regretting ones decision to get a new puppy. Now, this isn’t to say that I didn’t love Dawson. No, it just meant that I found myself comparing my current life with him versus my life before him. Before Dawson came into my life, I had the freedom to go wherever I wanted, when I wanted to go. I also had the freedom to do whatever I wanted for as long as I wanted, like sleeping in on the weekends. With Dawson, especially when he was a little puppy, I had to make sure that I was waking up early to take him out and spending my “free time” playing with and training him. To be honest, I went through puppy regret for most of his life until maybe last month.
What changed? you ask. Well, I put Dawson in a behavior training class in March. I have been working with the trainer to understand Dawson better and to establish a mutual respect. I learned that if the dog does not respect the owner, then he will not listen and obey them. While we’re not at the level that I want to be at, we have definitely made progress. So if you are/have experienced puppy regret, know that it will get better. However, I do acknowledge that owning a dog is a huge responsibility and not everyone has the ability to invest their time and money into the pet. If that’s you, there’s no shame at all. Do whatever you believe is best for the pet. With that said, here are some lessons that Dawson has taught me over the past year:
- Life is not always about getting from point A to point B. When we go on walks, I plan the walk and try to stick to it. Dawson, on the other hand, likes to smell the grass and look at the people on the sidewalks. While it was really frustrating and annoying to continually stop on our walks, it reminds me to enjoy the journey.
- Respect and trust go a long way. We have experienced a lot of success and breakthrough once I changed Dawson’s schedule. When he was a little puppy, I put him in his crate for a morning nap (9-1030a), an afternoon nap (1-430p), and bedtime. Now that he’s older, he enjoys sleeping under the curtains when he’s tired or following me around the house. He has also stopped levitating towards socks on the floor, which has made me happy. I trust him with more freedom and he respects me more. Win-win!
- Time management is key. The time for doing whatever I want, whenever I want has passed. But instead of being upset about it, I have tried to embrace managing my time better. While I’m still trying to figure out the best schedule for me, I have found ways to have “me time” to do the things I want and need to do. Since I naturally wake up around 6a, I have incorporated a morning routine where I read the Bible (or do a devo), get ready for the day, and do some work. Then at night when he’s gone to sleep, I read and work on some side hustles.
Well, Dawson is getting a little restless while I write this blog post, so I’ll end it here. If you’re dealing with puppy regret, interested in getting a puppy or have questions about my experience as a fur mama, comment below. And if you’re interested in watching Dawson grow up, follow him on his Instagram page (@Dawson_TheLabDoodle). Until next time…
Britt (and Dawson)♥