Who can resist a puppy?
They’re cute. You can pick them up. Their feet smell like corn chips.
You’d have to be crazy to hate puppies.
Okay, I don’t really hate puppies. I’m not insane. Even Hitler smiled at puppies (honest, click the link for the film).
But I don’t get the whole puppy thing. Just look at how you suffer with a puppy in the house.
Puppies are like tiny sharks wearing fur coats. Those tiny teeth are as sharp as razors and catch on everything—sweaters, upholstery, and most of all, skin.
I’ve never cried more in my life than when my mouthy Golden Retriever was teething. Ouch!
Puppy Bladders Are the Size of an Eye Dropper
What is it like to spend a day with a puppy? Aerobic. You’ll definitely get a workout carrying the little fuzzy thing downstairs to the yard ALL DAY LONG.
And you have to carry the pup because, if you don’t, he’ll squat five feet from the door. Inside the house. Over and over again.
Puppies Cause Guilt
If you aren’t careful, you’ll screw up your puppy for life. If she has an accident in the house, it’s all your fault. If you don’t expose him to new things during his socialization window, he’ll be fearful as an adult. She’s learning every day. Are you teaching her the right things?
OMD! The guilt is unbearable. If Honey is scared of something or misbehaves, it’s all my fault. I don’t have anyone to blame for messing her up.
Have I convinced you? Because, if you’re freaking out right now, I have a solution.
Adopt an Older Pet
November is Adopt an Older Pet Month. And the solution to puppy sharks, rugs that smell like pee, and unbearable guilt.
I should know.
Shadow, was my dog before Honey. That’s her in the header of this post. She was nine years old when she came home with us from the SPCA.
Did she chew on me? Or anything in the house?
Did she have a single accident in the house?
Did she cause me any guilt?
Nah. If she was screwed up, it wasn’t my fault. I’d just blame her first family.
The Perfect Dog
Shadow was the perfect dog. The first day she was home alone, we put up baby gates to keep her in the kitchen. We didn’t know what bad habits she might have brought from the shelter or her previous home.
After two days, it was obvious Shadow was perfectly trustworthy. She had the full run of the house.
Shadow was sweet. She didn’t bark. She was calm and quiet.
If we never left the house (like many people who have dogs), she would have been perfect.
Outside our yard, we discovered some reactivity toward other dogs, a tendency to pull on leash, and a nose that would lead her far from home if she ever got away from us. And yes, we had to work together on those things.
But in the house, she was perfect.
Older dog: 22 hours a day of perfection. 2 hours a day of pulling on leash and barking at other dogs.
Puppy: 8 hours a day of biting, chewing, pooping, and peeing. 16 hours of sleeping (interrupted by all the other activities on an irregular schedule).
Older dog has a pretty good ratio, huh?
The Truth About Puppies
Of course puppies are adorable and fun. If you don’t believe me (and who wouldn’t?), just wait until you see the video I plan to post on Friday. Squeeeeeeeee!
But they take a lot of work to raise properly. And puppies are a big responsibility.
So when you’re ready to bring a new dog into your life, consider one with a little worldly wisdom. So you can keep loving puppies.
Because there’s nothing more likely to make you hate puppies, than having one.