So I’m a new parent all over again, only this time it’s to a puppy and not an infant. We’ve had our new addition, Cooper, two weeks now and I can’t help but see the similarities.
First, there was the pile of books I devoured ahead of the actual delivery. And once again, I read too far! Many years ago, once I found out I was pregnant, I not only read all there was to know about pregnancy; I read all about labor, delivery and postpartum recovery. I remember thinking, “yikes, I change my mind!” Apparently I didn’t learn the first time, because here I was reading not just about puppyhood, but aging dogs, disease and ailments. You know, things that I hopefully won’t have to worry about for a good ten years. But that’s me.
In addition to the reading that I had been doing for the past several months, there were also the numerous trips to our local Petsmart. Pushing a loaded shopping cart with list in hand, it felt like the baby registry all over again. And what I lacked in expertise, Petsmart strategically made up for in choice. Four aisles of dog food — are you kidding me? There were long aisles for toys, beds, treats and every other dog essential. And don’t forget the baby gates! Just one question: Does this mean I get a puppy shower?!
After unpacking all of our purchases at home, it was time to puppy proof the house. There I was, down on all fours, channeling a puppy to see what might be interesting to chew on off the floor. There, I made two discoveries: 1) We should start saving for the surgery the dog will have to have to remove a tiny, dangerous object from the depths of its digestive tract and 2) I own one heck of a dirty house!
When the big day came, we were lucky we didn’t get pulled over for driving under the influence of puppy (i.e. driving too slowly and keeping our eyes on the back seat and not the road!)
Once we arrived home, there was that feeling of, “Now what?” And, “I can’t believe they let us take him home.”
The first few nights were rough, as we had expected. And just like with a baby we were told to not respond to the nighttime crying. We’ve been following a strict feeding schedule; if only we could control the other end. Twelve trips outside each day; diapers sure sound pretty good right now since we’re still dealing with accidents on a daily basis. And when we take him in the car, I’m reminded of how the doggie bag (with leash, poop bags, toys and treats) has replaced the diaper bag. And then there are the vaccinations that have you running repeatedly to the pediatrician/vet early on.
One of my favorite moments? Naptime. It’s heavenly. I breathe a huge sigh of relief and scurry to tackle a task that’s hard to complete with puppy in tow. There’s a reason why babies and puppies are so cute!
If only our two cats would adjust to their new sibling! Here’s hoping we’re not far off from becoming one big happy family!