The new puppyLong story short, my family adopted a puppy.  I’ll leave the why’s out of this, and just share the end result, but just know that we have two little kids under eight, and a dog that’s twelve.  We believed we were prepared, because about 20 years ago, I raised a puppy.  My wife never has.  We were not prepared. So here are the 5 6 things we have learned.

1. Don’t Believe Everything You Read
What this means is don’t believe everything you read about how the adopting agency lists the dog.  Spayed/neutered? Check. House-trained? Check. Shots up to date and de-wormed? Check.
Reality? Check please!!  Turns out that “copy and paste” errors affect the website author just as it does the rest of us.

2. Get To Know Your Carpet
Learn and inspect every inch of your carpeting about every 22 minutes.  About half of my first floor in my house is carpeting, the other half being flooring of some kind (hardwood, tile or vinyl).  The entire second floor is carpeted.  Puppies seem to appreciate carpeting in the same way that theylike dropping their asses on grass outside.  It must be the feeling between their toes.

3. Get Up and Personal With Your Dog’s Poop
Poop, crap, excrement, shit, number two, Crohnsicles, doo-doo… no matter what you call it, if your Vet says to keep an eye on it, you better.  Much like our own brown deposits tell us volumes about our health, eating habits and excessive drinking, the Baby Ruth’s that these tiny beasts drop sometimes contain living creatures of their own.

4. Your Vet Is Your Friend
By “friend” I mean that friend that is always asking you for lots of money, and shows you no compassion for the journey you have now decided to undertake.  The only good thing is they are probably the only people in the world that you can hand a bag of crap to without any repercussions.  I add to this tiny pleasure of mine by bringing in a good eight pounds of the steamers when they only require about an ounce.

5.  Establish Dominance
Puppies aren’t very bright.  Much like their bladders, they don’t seem to have large brains.  She makes up for brain power by exerting pure energy, mostly at inopportune times.  Our old dog just wants to be and live out his remaining time in peace.  He, much like me, just wants to lay around and be left alone.  Our puppy has other, very playful, thoughts.  She nips and jumps, and his irritation has given way to growling, to baring teeth, to vicious barking… we fear what’s next.  He can snap her scrawny neck quick, but she doesn’t seem to recognize that possibility.  She does act submissive, but unfortunately our old guy is blind, all he knows is that she’s nearby and annoying as hell.  With me, on the other hand, she bites my hands, arms, ankles and calves.  Trust me, I will always be on guard when exiting the shower.  I have to flip her on her back and hold her there while trying to stare into her eyes to establish my dominance… all the while she is making sounds like “The Tiny Warrior” from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.

6. It’s Worth It
For the expected “awwwww” moment, I have to say it was all worth it.  It is one of the most rewarding things to know that you saved this loving and needy creature from a possible horrible fate, either by the cruel and heartless acts by those out for their own sick enjoyment, or by the financial shortcomings of the organizations trying to save the animals.  We adopted our first dog almost twelve years ago, and found out that he would have been put down the following day if he wasn’t adopted on that day.  Our newest pup was rescued “from a very bad situation” down in Virginia.

Welcome to our family, little girl.

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