It takes a village to raise a kid. As a mom, I know this is true. It’s the same with puppies.
Two weeks ago I brought a puppy home for the first time in 16 years and surprised the kids. He’s a cutie. And that’s all that’s saving him at this point. That and the fact that I had a whole squad of supporters standing behind me, especially at work. Even as a vet you forget (or block out!) how challenging life with a puppy is. It moves when the wind blows? Sure, I’ll eat that. It’s soft and important to you? Sure, I’ll eat that. Lego? Sure, I’ll eat that. Clearly, I went with a Labrador (lol). But there’s more, of course. You just cleaned there? Yep, I’ll pee on that. It’s negative 25 degrees outside? Gotta pee. You looked at me funny? Whoops, I just peed. Sleeping has taken on a new priority status. Because of course, 4 a.m. is the best time to play.
But the hilarity of watching a puppy in the snow for the first time, the quiet presence of someone next to you when you finally sit down at the end of the day, the snoring by your feet while you work, the adventures outside, and most importantly, the joy it brings to your children, more than compensate for all the chewed up, peed on objects and sleepless nights.
This has been a good reminder for me of what the reality of puppy-hood is like. And it helps me be a better vet every time I get to experience all the things my clients do. From the trials of early puppy hood all the way to the challenges of aging and agonizing loss at the end. If you plan to embark on this adventure, plan the logistics, find a puppy friend (thanks Murphy!), embrace your supporters, arrange your work schedule, and give us a call to get all the basics figured out. But mostly, be prepared to be surprised. That’s where the fun happens.
(Enjoy Murphy schooling Max. Yes, apparently veterinarians DO play with puppies all day!)