I'm pretty sure ever since I came out of the womb I've wanted a puppy. My first words were even "pup pup"! OK fine, maybe it was "papa" but they sound really fucking similar.
Growing up we had a dog who I loved to tiny little golden fluffy bits, but she was never my own -- she was our family's dog -- AKA my responsibility and full understanding of what it is to have a dog was very minute and somewhat hazy. After she passed and once I didn't feel like hurling myself into the street every time I saw a Purina commercial, I went back to pre-10-year-old me begging for another dog. My parents wouldn't budge. My mother had had enough 7 a.m. walks in -40 degrees, and my dad was all, "mraaaa ask your mother, she's in charge" (thanks dad!). The only thing that got me through was my mom saying to me repeatedly (because I asked about 100 times a day for approximately six years), "You'll have a puppy when you're ready for one and they'll be your very own!" In other words, "you're gonna think this sounds very special, but basically, you can get a dog when you clean up its shit and train it your bloody self!" And that's just what I did.
Six weeks ago my partner and I adopted a beautiful little boy named Opie! He's a Boxer/Shar-Pei/French Bulldog/English Bulldog and he's so darn cute sometimes I have to bite into a pillow just to contain my excitement. For the most part, we were pretty prepared for the challenges a puppy brings. We read the books, we spoke to trainers, we stocked up on odor blaster, paper towels and freeze-dried treats. What we've come to learn, however, is that no one prepares you for the various weird things that a puppy brings to your life. They are as follows:
- You will be forced to yell "GOOD COME! COME! COME! COME BOY COME!" over and over in the street until you realize you sound like you're shooting a porno.
- You won't be able to get anywhere because every single person thinks that you having a puppy is synonymous with you not having a life. They will also say, "you must not be able to get anywhere!" a hundred fucking times.
- If you live downtown, crackheads with long, questionably-colored fingernails will try and cuddle your dog. Your brain and your heart will have a serious battle, which may end in physical implosion.
- Never again will a small brown crumb on the floor be chocolate. Ever.
- People who would, typically, never give you the time of day will become your new best friends. You must utilize this optimally. It is your new super power.