Dog-tails: Dog Mom Life (2)
Sometimes I wonder what good deed have we done as humans to even deserve dogs. Dogs are the best thing that happened to this earth, with their contagious positivity and selfless love. When I was planning to adopt a dog, many people advised me against it. Everybody seemed to believe that managing a dog alone would be a really tough task. Sure there were hiccups and days when I was running around the whole day, but I was receiving just the same amount of love. There was a reason to come home, a small fluff ball, waiting for me with his big kind eyes. If you are planning to adopt a dog, you might be confused as to how you will take care of them when you are away, especially if you live alone. There might be many suggestions, pros, cons being imparted upon by friends, family and loved ones. Then there would be your own mind battling with your heart. Been there, done that. After infinite articles and hundreds of videos, I realized, nothing mattered!
You know how many people knew the day when I was going to get Leo? Two. Me and the friend who was helping me get him. Turned out to be the smartest decision I have made. I know sharing your thoughts and getting the views of your loved ones on them is important to all of us, but in some cases, we are left more confused when we listen to others. Listen to your heart and do your research, if you believe you should do it, so be it.
Sure the initial days were hard, trying to figure everything out, and fit everything into the routine. A good thing was that my office was hardly a ten-minute drive from the place I lived in, so I could easily check back on Leo during lunch. If you have any such arrangement, it could really work well. If you can take a longer lunch and come to visit your pup or arrange for someone you trust to come and check on the pup during the day, or if you could work from home most of the day. Here, it is not an option, it is something which you have to do. Initially, you cannot leave the puppy alone for the whole day, 4 hours at the max in worst-case scenarios. That being said do not pointlessly worry when you are away. If you have kept him in a comfortable environment, he would be fine. They mostly sleep the entire day! With the environment, I come to my second point.
I never put him in a crate. From day one when I was leaving for work, he had the whole room to himself. I had an attached bathroom in the room I used to leave him in, so I had long term plans in mind. Of course, they are going to soil the whole room in the beginning, and training them to do their business in one place will take time. Also, each dog is different, as each kid, so they will have their own pace of learning things. I had baby-proofed the room, wherein nothing that could be dangerous for him was in his reach. But one day I got home and saw that the side table which was much beyond his reach was compromised. There was tissue all over the room, which has been his favorite work, pulling out tissues from his mouth. Another day, the sliding wardrobe door was opened and my others were pulled out, and were replaced by his toys! Yes, he was trying to put his toys in the wardrobe. Another funny incident was when he had opened the faucet in the bathroom and was trying to take a bath. All of these were a shock to me, I was worried. But then I learned that the only way I can deal with this is by being NOT worried. So I tried my best and dog-proofed everything around him, yes it was demanding, but it was worth it. I used to feed him in the morning, leave food+water for him, feed him at lunch, leave some, and then in the evening again I used to feed him.
Your social life would certainly take a toll. I mean I could do only house parties at friends places who were fine with a pup in their house. Going out was limited to only weekends or to cafes where pups were allowed (which are very few). So if you are a party person, who must be away and you not ready to compromise with your lifestyle, please do not get a pup. For the rest of you, it would be fine! Yes, there will be changes required, but they would be the good ones also keep in mind that all they do most of the day is sleep! If you can afford, get two dogs (read about the breed compatibility before going into it). They keep each other busy and you will have less guilt leaving them alone. Go get a pup, they would make your life heaven.
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