My First Dog: What I've Learned In Two Months

My First Dog: What I've Learned In Two Months

I've never wanted a dog.  I'm not against dogs, it's just that they never really excited me either.  I got bit as a kid which might have something to do with it also.  In general I really just didn't think much about dogs other than to know for certain that they are way better than cats.

My wife had a dog growing up.  A great beagle.  I enjoyed her dog when I met her, but as she was toward the end of her life I didn't see her do much.  My wife has wanted to get a dog as have my kids, but we didn't feel that the timing was good because of all of the kids activities and our travel schedule.  We also lived in an area that was a bit hilly so walking the dog would be an issue.

Recently we made a move and as part of the move we agreed to get a dog.  When my kids were born I had more of a "holy crap, that's my child" feeling than an instant bonding with them.  With the dog, even though I wasn't crazy about the idea of getting her, I fell for her right away.  In the two months since we've gotten her I've learned a lot.

  1. Dogs poop.  A lot. We have a vizsla puppy and while she'll grow to 40-50 pounds, I assumed that when she was younger that she'd poop once a day.  Well that was wrong.  She's a pooping machine, but fortunately it only took her two weeks to figure out that it needs to happen outside.
  2. Cleaning up dog poop isn't much different than changing a baby's diaper.  In other words, it's no big deal.  Yes it smells and can be messy, but you just do it.  Within a month it became something I didn't even think about when I had been dreading having to do it.
  3. Like a baby or young child, a dog gives unconditional love and it makes you feel great.
  4. Puppies bite a lot, but it doesn't hurt and has to do with them teething.  I had no idea.
  5. A puppy will lick you until you don't let it lick you.
  6. It's an incredible way to meet people.  Everyone wants to stop and chat when you have a cute puppy.
  7. Dogs will eat just about anything.
  8. Just like with kids, people will tell you how to raise your dog or what to do with them.
  9. Just like with kids, I'm so impressed with the things that she can do at a young age and have to fight the urge to tell people about it.
  10. Buying new, nice items when you get a puppy is a terrible idea.
  11. A puppy can go from 0 to 60 in no time and from 60 to 0 in no time.  I wish I could fall asleep that fast.
  12. When my dog is at "60" it's like she's a toddler who drank seven Red Bulls.  It's fun to watch, but also a bit nuts.  She's like a coke head without the coke.
  13. Dogs nap a ton. I had no idea.  Just like when a baby goes down for a nap that is the time to get stuff done.
  14. At least where I live, it seems like everyone has a dog.  Not sure how I didn't notice this before.
  15. We chose a vizsla in part because we wanted an active dog. Her love of running essentially leads to an extra workout a day for me.
  16. One of the reasons I was against getting a dog is because I'm the first one up and I thought I'd have to take care of her. It turned out to be true, but is now the best way to start the day. Who wouldn't want to begin their morning with someone who is ecstatic to see you?
  17. If you feed the dog at the dinner table once, she's going to be looking for it every time you eat.  And she won't understand when you don't share the next time.
  18. A sweet puppy can bring out the best of a moody teenager.
  19. Seeing your dog discover something new for the first time like a dog park is like the feeling I had when our kids went to Disneyland the first time.  You have so much joy because they are so happy and love to watch them process everything.
  20. My dog can eat anything that is on the ground when we walk and usually I'm pulling junk out of her mouth. The stuff she does eat seems to do nothing to her, but one slice of beef jerky that my son fed to her did a number on her.  Makes no sense to me.
  21. It's impossible to see a cute dog toy and not think to yourself that your puppy would love it.
  22. Dogs like going to the vet like kids like going to the doctor.

So I'm a changed man thanks to Cubbie.  It's been an incredible experience for our family.  I've learned a ton and my opinions have changed.  I still know that cats are the worst though.

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  • This was a cool post. I thought I was the last American human standing who has zero interest in dogs (but still prefers them over cats). Well maybe now I AM since you've crossed over, and it's not likely I ever will. Many people who can't see life outside of pet ownership seem to forget that not only is this a pretty America-based phenomenon but it's also a characteristic of the last few generations in America. I liked #5, #11, and #19. Thanks for posting.

  • In reply to Rooted in Chicago:

    Thanks!

  • We've never had a dog but my family is contemplating getting one, in part because of #18. As novices, this was really helpful. So glad that it's going well for you and your family and Cubbie!

  • In reply to Shannan Younger:

    Thanks Shannan. I'm definitely a novice with the benefit of a spouse who really knows what she's doing. It's great to see the kids have to take care and responsibility instead of them being taken care of.

  • I had dogs growing up and even when my first daughter was young. Turns out any dog triggers her asthma so no dogs for us. I thought I had hardened my heart to them but lately I am so taken with dogs. Your post really increased my dog yearning. Enjoy!

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    Thanks Kathy

  • Sounds like your dog is doing a pretty good job getting you trained. Good luck, welcome to the world of crazy people.

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