I have always loved dogs. As an adult, I always wanted my own but was too busy working or traveling and never made time to get one. I would buy things for a dog continuously, in fact, the entire area behind my sofa was filled with dog toys, crate, playpen, grooming kits, YOU NAAAME IT! And yet I had no dog. As years passed I felt like that was mainly the thing I felt was missing from my life (other than a husband, lol). Enough was enough and this winter I decided I would change that. I would get a dog and things would be great! I kept my eye out and finally found my dog. A cockapoo (toy poodle/cocker spaniel mix) puppy that would be available in June.
All my attention went into pre-puppy nesting. I bought and built more things and read more websites on dogs and puppies and training. You could say I was super ready…Then June 3rd came and I was on my way down to get her. I plopped her in an old Eloquii box and drove her to my home. Pretty much she slept when she got there, but then she woke up and it was…me and her. Now what? Hey dog are you hungry? Thirsty? Need to Poop? Why won’t you poop where I made this super cool puppy patch for you? Why won’t you eat? What do you want? What do you need? Why are you crying so much?
I decided I would track everything and soon I had lists with over 30 entries a day of her eating, drinking, peeing and pooping and I was hanging on to hope that things would be fine. I read on a site that new puppies need to go to the bathroom every two hours including at night, so at night and during the day I took her out EVERY TWO HOURS. The first night she screamed and hollered even though I did what the websites said. I was so confused and frustrated and SLEEPY. The 2nd & 3rd day things went the same way, sleep went the same way and I found myself even more tired and more frustrated.
4th day came and I had had it! What the heck is wrong with this dog?!? What is wrong with me?!? I wanted this dog so badly. Why did I do this to myself? I loved my old life! Doing what I wanted when I wanted. Now I am literally stuck here picking up poop and trying to entertain a dog that has boundless energy while I have none! When I talked to friends, they said, “It will get better”. But they never said how. I called my girlfriend who had gotten a puppy maybe 3 years before and started crying. How could I be the only one this is happening too? She told me the same happened to her. She was overwhelmed and gave me some sage advice on puppies: They are basically babies. 8 weeks ago she didn’t exist. She is figuring out her place with you and missing her mom and littermates. She has her own personality and will take time adjusting to yours. This actually made sense to me. I was glad I was not alone. I googled and found out there is actually something called “Puppy Depression” I was blown away. I googled more and more and found out that many 1st time Puppy Owners struggle especially if they have no children (definitely me). I felt like my entire cool life was replaced with a demanding being that was not even fun for more than 20 minutes a day! Rude.
Well, the following days I figured out where I was making errors, and as I changed my approach things did SLOWLY get better although I was and still am overwhelmed. I warmed up to the dog more and actually enjoyed her some of the time, lol. Keep in mind all of this post happened in a matter of a week and we have a LONG waaay to go but I think at least for today that things will get better and my super dog Barkley will be the companion I dreamed of!
I wrote this for all the people out there that want a dog and don’t realize the work that goes into puppies. Why should we settle for “it will get better” with no details on how!?! That is not what should happen, so I am here to break it down and give you the facts. Puppies are crazy hard, and crazy trying but there have been at least 2 moments this week that let me know that when her puppy phase is over and sleep returns for me I will love Barkley just like every other obsessed puppy mom out there. So if this is your week one, keep hope alive baby and try to look in that sweet puppy face and remember she needs you and you need her. It just takes time to find your groove, and I totally forgot that.