Puppy Parenting

Someday you and your partner might find yourselves staring at each other, terrified, in the middle of Petsmart with a two-month-old puppy on a leash that you just picked up from the Human Society. You don’t have a single thing for him at home, you aren’t even sure what you need, and he’s peeing on the floor.

Okay, maybe you won’t find yourself in this situation because maybe you’ll plan better than we did. We knew we wanted a puppy, but we also knew we had a lot going on and should wait a few months until everything settled down, and then we would start the search. Our debate on Golden Retriever (my favorite) vs. Husky (his favorite) was not yet settled, but we had plenty of time to figure it out.

But then, the gates of heaven opened and sent the Milwaukee Humane Society the perfect litter of mutts. Half retriever, half husky. Or as Chris Trager would say;

dd8c2fa76f528ed3161c29801ec0e181

It wouldn’t hurt just to go look at them right?

Two hours later, we were standing in Petsmart, looking terrified, and he was peeing on the floor.

We named him Indiana Jones (Indy for short) and while his adorable face, round baby butt, and puppy smell made us love him immediately, he didn’t make loving him easy. The first few weeks were filled with accidents seemingly every hour and many nights sleeping on the floor beside his cage. We went from having no responsibilities (except for paying the bills on time) to caring for a tiny, living creature that needed us every second. Everyone told us with a sympathetic mom look and a knowing chuckle that “It gets better, I promise.” Well, I would have felt a lot better if I had clocked them in that condescending smirk.

But in retrospect, they were right. With a little time, he has become sweet and playful, picks up commands quickly, and only chews on his toys. I wouldn’t take back the day we became puppy parents, no matter how much it was like an episode of I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.

That’s not to say that the job isn’t still annoying sometimes. Following him around the snow in -3°F weather picking up his excrement isn’t my favorite task. Or scrubbing his cage for the 100th time when he wakes up in the middle of the night and realizes the half of a plastic toy he ate earlier wasn’t such a good idea. Most of our weekend are spent in as we can’t just lock him up all evening. Drinking wine alone and watching Netflix gets old surprisingly fast. Also, I’m not sure he even likes us. I mean, he doesn’t NOT like us, we feed him and care for him, but I’m pretty sure he could take or leave the “us” part.

Regardless, I’ll love him and care for him forever, because he has big, floppy ears and he sort of holds still when I try to cuddle with him.