We just got a dog, and it’s basically like I had another baby. I am overwhelmed, sleep deprived, and totally smitten all at the same time. I always wanted four kids, and now I have them! Our family is complete.
A couple Saturday nights ago, I was sitting on the couch and mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. And then I stumbled upon this adorable face. My friend shared her friend’s post; he was looking for a new home for this precious 15-week-old Aussiedoodle.
It almost seemed too good to be true — the dog doesn’t shed, he was already crate trained, and he had received all but one of his vaccinations. Before I even spoke to my husband, I commented and said, “I want him.”
My children have been begging me for a dog for years. I was not opposed to getting a dog . . . eventually. Just not now. We have three kids, which
can be is a lot of work. I own my own business. My husband works long hours. We don’t have a fence. Our youngest isn’t potty trained yet. So, I have always told my kids that we would get a dog once the youngest started kindergarten. I can only handle so much.
But then I saw this dog and I fell in love. I spoke to my husband, who was totally on board, and we decided to surprise the kids. I talked to the dog’s owner, who lived in Nashville, that evening and arranged to meet him halfway the following day in a Cracker Barrel parking lot. Because, you know, this is the South.
I brought the dog home the next day and my kids were completely surprised. It was so fun to see their jaws dropped in shock and the little one shrieking with excitement! We are a couple of weeks in now, and we are settling into a routine and getting used to each other.
During the many trips outside to potty, I’ve had time to think about the process of getting a dog. In some ways it’s very similar to bringing home a baby. And in some ways it’s completely different.
Like a baby, you have to get to know each other. It takes time to settle into a routine. There are nights with little to no sleep. You snuggle and bond and breathe in their smell. And you are dealing with a lot of poop.
There are some key differences. This baby doesn’t wear diapers and has no problem going potty anywhere, or even on the run. This baby also has the oral fixation of a 6 month old, the boundless energy of a 2 year old, and the quickness of an Olympic sprinter. Also, there is no maternity leave when you get a dog. Or parents/in-laws who come to help. Or dinners from friends and neighbors.
I never really “got it” when friends talked about getting a puppy. I heard them, but didn’t really HEAR them. I understood that they were busy and tired. But I didn’t REALLY understand them. Well, I hear you, Dog Mama. I am with you. I get you.
Meet my fourth child, Norman.