Babies and Puppies: How to Keep Your SANITY
Your heart melts.
The furry head tilts to one side, her eyes big. The puppy seems to say, “Buy me.”
You can’t resist.
You rub your bulging belly and walk away with the fuzzy creature, future exciting. What could be better than a soft puppy and newborn?
But then you realize something.
The tiny beast whimpers all night. It pees everywhere.
And it chews everything.
The puppy is like a diaper-less kid.
Puppy Love, Smiles and Noise
This was us.
I was the pregnant mother walking away with a new puppy bundled tight. We couldn’t resist the idea of a sweet, hunting dog.
My son was the most excited. He finally had the brown and gold puppy like the one from the cover of his book.
His smile melted me.
My daughter didn’t notice the puppy at first, but soon the dog was licking her tiny toes and making her giggle. She was in love.
But it wasn’t easy.
My son had a love/fear play/ fight relationship with the new puppy. There were times when I had to separate them so my kid wouldn’t accidentally kill the still-fragile animal. As my little girl started to grow the puppy would come running past and knock her over. There were bumps and bruises. For everyone.
And the noise.
Imagine trying to make dinner from scratch while calming a whining baby, listening to a chattering little boy tell you about everything, all while your puppy is howling loud enough for the neighbors to hear.
It felt like my ears were bleeding.
At times I wondered what we had been thinking.
Is It Worth It?
One night the dog had escaped her kennel while we were out
· She drank the toilet dry.
· Toys were destroyed.
· The house was a mess.
But that didn’t matter. Our beautiful puppy was sweating, shaking and peeing every two seconds.
I thought she was going to die.
It made me realize that all those annoying things she’d done since we bought her didn’t matter. She was ours. Our family.
Life eventually became routine. The puppy lost its razor-like baby teeth. The howling became less like a fire alarm, and we could pet her without her chasing us like we were prey.
She finally started to calm down.
My son learned how to act around dogs. Respect. He learned responsibility by feeding her and letting her do her duty.
And my daughter is best friends with her puppy. Every animal is now a ‘how how’, even the chirping birds flying by say “bark”.
My husband got the hunting partner he dreamt about. Plus, I have an excellent living- vacuum for those dropped pieces of rice or cheerios.
I wouldn’t change anything.
But I do wish I had known a few tricks.
Tricks To Keep Your Sanity
Things do get better, but it takes time. Here a few tricks to help you on your way.
Prepare — Know your breed. Read and buy their new bed, a few toys and food. Plus, it’s fun.
Play — Give as much love and affection to your new puppy as you can. Much like the children they need to let out their energy. If you have an older kid, try and let them play with the puppy. They might both sleep well that night.
Treat — Reward the good.
Oops — Remember, puppies make mistakes, too. Try to be calm and don’t get too angry over the little things.
Consistency — Dogs love consistency just like kiddos.
Train — Train as early as you can. It may save you stress later. The first thing we did with our puppy was give her food. But she had to sit first and wait. She still does this before meals.
Enjoy! — They say your kid will grow up fast. So do puppies. Enjoy the time before it slips away. Watch your kids’ joy, fear and excitement before it's left to video memory.
A puppy is work.
There will be frustration and even tears.
But know that things will get better. Be patient. The dog will calm down. The kids will get used to the new creature, and so will you.
And you will all be better for it.
So go ahead, take a deep breath and buy the puppy of your families’ dreams. Let those big eyes melt you.
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