Puppy Love

If you read my previous post, you know that I love dogs and work with a local rescue. Well, last week, a group of dogs from the south came up to the north with my rescue to find a better life. My family and I are fostering one of them. He’s a puppy…

The last time my family had a puppy was 13 years ago. And, needless to say, I don’t remember it being as hard/crazy as it is right now. In the time it took me to write this post, I had to reprimand him 7 times!

When our new friend came into our lives, I was excited. And, when they handed him to me and we locked eyes, my heart melted. However, there have been many trials and tribulations over the last week that have tested my patience and given me even more sympathy for new parents and puppy parents.

One of the first things that comes to mind when I think about raising our foster puppy is the fact that I’m ALWAYS thinking about him and wondering how he’s doing if I’m not around. When I’m at work, I’m almost happy that I get a break, but I worry that he’s getting into trouble, or that he’s sick, choking, something horrific! My mind never stops wandering with possibilities. At the same time, if I leave him with my parents, I feel a slight sense of guilt. I feel bad that I’m off at work or anywhere else but home…where I feel like I should be 24/7.

Another thing that I’ve noticed while having a puppy around is that I can be completely disappointed in him when he shits in his cage, whines from a lack of attention, or barks like crazy, yet, I’m still so in love with him. My mind knows that he’s making bad choices, and I know that I need to discipline him for that, but I also want to give him a big kiss and scoop him up in my arms.

The third item that’s come to my attention is that I feel the need to reprioritize my days…if not my life. Having him around makes me focus on what REALLY needs to get done and what can wait until later. At first, I was spending way too much time with him and blowing off emails, job searching, and more. Now, I’ve finally figured out a schedule so that I can effectively train him, yet get my work done! I’ve noticed that over the last week I’ve spent very little time on Facebook, and generally surfing the web, and more time focusing on what really matters. If anything, our new friend makes me realize how much time I’ve been wasting in a given week!

Another major item that’s come up while the puppy has been with us is paying attention to our other dog. My dog is 13 years old, and I feel like I’ve been neglecting him this past week. Yes, I’m still feeding him, taking him outside, and giving him attention at the end of the day. But, so much of my day is spent in the same room as the puppy, for training and development purposes, that I feel like I’ve just let my dog fend for himself. I can see that he’s upset and even a bit hurt when my family and I are playing with the puppy in another room and my dog just gets to sit and watch. Unfortunately, we had to separate them because my older dog almost bit the puppy the other day…yeah, not fun.

I believe the last thing that’s really struck a chord with me is that I’m going to be so happy when the puppy finally finds his forever home, but I’m going to be crushed when he leaves. He’s bonded so well with every member of my extended family, and he’s working so hard to please everyone. Once he’s gone, I know things will be able to go back to normal, and normal will seem like a vacation, but when someone or something is a huge part of your life for any amount of time, there’s a bit of sadness that comes with letting it go.

What are your stories with raising your dogs, cats, kids? Are they anything like mine?

Granny Smith – over and out

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20 thoughts on “Puppy Love

  1. Yes some of the problems that you go through..we all have to make adjustments as whatever is in our life. but you do sound overwhelmed you need to take a big deep breath and relax and if you want your older dog to get along with the puppy when some of you are playing with the puppy one or more of you needs to play with the older dog than all of you go for a walk it does not have to be a long walk just around the block then come back they get a treat and let everybody relax, till they start interacting with each other, make it fun for all…which would be good if your puppy needs to go a home with other animals.
    Good luck

  2. I have two dogs (I left them at my parent’s when I moved out to another city to take a job offer) and I could totally relate to what you are going through. I went through all that when my dogs were just puppies, almost to the point of having obsessive-compulsive thoughts about them. At some point, I still think about them a lot. I even call my Mom almost every day to ask about how they are doing. I guess that, when you have bonded so well with your dogs (or any other pet), they own a part of you, and there is nothing you can do about it.

  3. I think raising a puppy is comparable to having a kid, based on what I’ve seen (but not experienced). The feelings and responsibilities are the same. It was interesting to tag-team raising a puppy with my husband before we were married. He lived a half-hour away and took the pup because I was in college (yeah, not the best time to get a puppy, but it was at the beginning of summer). I had to deal with feelings of being critical of the way he was disciplining the dog or, conversely, what he let him get away with. It wasn’t my style, and we had to work on compromises to give him a consistent environment. Even so, the dog learned quickly what he could get away with when I was around and what was appropriate with Matt. It was an interesting experience. 🙂

  4. Thanks for following my blog. I liked your story here, and relate. We presently have a rescued dog, Maggie, a mixed breed of Australian cattle dog, Chou and Shar Pei. She is about 4 yrs old and such a sweetheart. We have had labradors whom we loved so much and cried just as much when they got very sick after 10-13 yrs. with things like epilepsy, brain tumor and arthritis, paralysis and had to finally be put to sleep. We hated saying goodbye to our labs, as they were the ones we were most attached to, but Maggie is such a dear we cannot bear to think of the day when she too is gone after living a long ‘dog’s life’. 🙂 One can get so attached to them. They are like a family member we don’t want to loose but one day have to say our goodbyes to. Best to you with your foster pup and hope you will be able to find a good home for him.

  5. This is my pup…she’s nine months now but was only ten weeks when we got her. They grow up so fast! Raising a pup is hard work but well worth the rewards and you are doing such a great thing by fostering.

  6. I am late, Life has a way of tossing us to a curve. Dogs are curious creatures.
    Feel free to stop by on my blog anytime.
    My dog Sped, has a tendency to head butt me at times. I kid you not. He pounces at me, in a playful manner. Other than that he’s comfortable with the dried grass, and extra kibble to keep him warm. Once he was younger, he was making, Num, Num, noise when he tried to eat something that is partially buried in gravel sand road.

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