I hear you just got a puppy!

Feeling lonely, because you are stuck at home most of the days?

We got a puppy about 9 months ago. It was a result of a very drunken husband.

On and off, my husband and I had been looking up puppy adoption opportunities on the Internet for years. We could never agree on the breed. Everything changed at the Canucks vs. Bruins home game night. He leaned over and asked if I wanted a puppy as Canucks scored the 9th goal. I looked over and thought to myself, “he’s beyond drunk. This could be my one and only chance”, then said “yes, let’s do it!” Next thing I know, we were up at 6AM in the morning driving down to the suburbs to meet a group of pug babies.

Henry was a runt of the litter. He and his two other brothers were placed on a pile of newspapers, in a dark basement, waiting to be inspected. The house looked like an illegal puppy mild.

It wasn’t a rocket science for us to decide which one to bring home – while the two puppies were jumping up and down, yelping for attention, Henry sat still quietly away from the crowd. Even after I picked him up, he just laid on my lap, looking a bit timid. My brilliant husband made me promise not to bring any puppy home on the first visit. We ended up leaving a deposit on Henry.

The owner of the puppies met with us at a vet on the day of exchange. There were only two of the puppies there, Henry and one of his brothers. The lady told me that she’s going to keep the other boy and replace the “dad”. I held Henry tighter as she was explaining to me about her plans, Henry’s teeny tiny long nails dug into my skin. He was frightened.

Potty training was hellish in February. It was cold and rainy. We had to take him out every couple hours. What made it worse was that we went into the first lockdown a few weeks after we got Henry. Downtown Vancouver was immediately taken over by the homeless. We tried training pad at the beginning, but he would just tear it up. Luckily I removed any type of carpet/rug from the common area ahead of accidents.

The first 4 months of having Henry gave me mental breakdowns. Most days were just me and Henry, working away. He developed an attachment issue with me. That means, every time I got dressed and about to take him out, as I was approaching his crate, he’d look into my eyes and pee, either on himself or into the space. For the longest time, my daily routine incorporated with washing Henry, washing his toys and beddings, wiping down the floors and deodorizing everything he peed on. Pathetically I started to get anxiety attacks each time I was left alone with Henry, which was every weekday.

My husband and friends kept telling me to be patient as Henry would grow out of his puppy phase eventually. My patience ran out by the fourth month as Henry got enrolled into puppy training school. Until this day, I don’t know if he learnt to de-attach from me, or my husband’s stepping up to relief me from time to time worked, or he just needed new friends. By the time he graduated his puppy school, he seemed to have many things under control, including his urge to pee whenever he got near to me.

Do I regret getting Henry? Absolutely not! He is my prince and I love him to pieces. Were there any moments that I wish I didn’t have him? Many! All those late nights and early mornings standing with him in the coldness, all the mental scares I endured, all those lunch hours during which I had to run home and attend to him, and all the steps we had to take to clean after his mess – to be frank, having a puppy is more chores than joy. But having a pet, not just a dog or cat, any type of pet, teaches you to be more responsible and patient. They intend to bring out the best version of you, with their endless, unconditional love.

It’s up to you to implement rules or let your pet dictate how your life is going to be. Because they don’t understand any better. If you let your pet in bed, expect it’s going to get soiled one day. If you encourage your pet to wander between rooms, don’t be surprised if you find out little “presents” here and there. You are responsible for their actions.

We ought to learn our ways with our pets, just like with any other relationship. But remember, with this one, you can’t call it quits that easily.