Bubbles has been in our lives for 3 weeks now. And how life has changed! We’re experiencing very tiring days, the type when you fall asleep the minute your head hits the bed. Sometimes, even before that- like on the couch after you place your dinner plate down for just a minute before heading on to clean the kitchen, or at the study table as you wait for your kids to finish up their showers. To add to the misery, this wonderful nap doesn’t last long, as you’re woken up by a needy puppy, who’s either hungry, needs to pee or has already done it, or just wants attention. Wait! That sounds just like having a baby!! That’s both, true and not.
With kids, you are obliged to maintain certain standards of hygiene for fear of disease and sometimes, social disapproval. With puppies, well…you can get by with a lower standard, or you could say, a different standard because,
- Puppies don’t need to bathe everyday. Once in 15-20 days suffices.
- Puppies will pee on your bathroom mat, lie down on it immediately after and use it as chew toy a few minutes later.
- Puppies will eat most everything that looks small and edible, and fight you if you try to stop them. The list includes pebbles, twigs, leaves, ants, dropping of other animals, sometimes even their own, and other objectionable looking items on the street. So far, our guy’s health has been holding up in spite of this variety of eyebrow-raising snacks, and everything has come out of his other end just fine.
While that may sound “manageable,” “gross but funny,” and “cute,” what it basically means is that puppies are dirty. And when you bring them into your home, your home becomes dirty, too. If you’re like me, a person constantly teetering on the edge of being a clean-freak, but one who can’t follow through with every “hygiene fantasy” on account of having kids, this does not bode well. Because you will clean obsessively after every indoor pee/poo, and follow your puppy around like a hawk watching for signs of upcoming pee/poos. Most of your awake time will be spent thinking about better cleaning methods or preventing the next indoor pee/poo. You will also have random nervous breakdowns revolving around the cleanliness of your home and kids.
Moreover, mixing young children with puppies is definitely a patience-trying endeavor. I know I’m going to garner a lot of told-you-so’s for this! In our home, the older child and puppy get along fine. But the younger one (a toddler still) and the puppy have to be constantly watched. She likes the puppy and the puppy likes her. That part, no one can deny! But she plays rough, and the puppy plays rough in return. She treats him like a squishy toy and he treats her like she’s another puppy. This is not good when we’re trying to teach him bite inhibition. Keeping the two independently engaged for most parts of the day can be a logistical nightmare!
So anyway, after 21 days of the stay-at-home-mom-working-husband-young-kids-new-puppy routine, and researching various methods of house training puppies, I bring you these Pearls of Wisdom on puppy ownership.
- If your husband doesn’t already help with the kids and household responsibilities, consider upgrading to a better husband!
- Up your own threshold for chaos, insanity and pain. By a lot!
- Consider a husband with double upgrades- domestic help and increased threshold for all things crazy!
- Consider having no children, or wait till your kids are grown up. Or if you already have little kids, and still insist on bringing home a puppy, lose the kids!
My personal favorite, and the reason I probably get by is Pearl of Wisdom no. 3. Seems to me, I had foresight, and chose a husband who came inbuilt with the double upgrade! Sorry…I digress!
If you are about to dismiss the idea of a pet dog, do also know that after 21 days of the stay-at-home-mom-working-husband-young-kids-new-puppy routine, I am in love. With Bubbles. And I have uncovered another set of Pearls of Wisdom on puppy ownership, which is as follows:
- Puppies are cuddly balls of affection.
- Puppies will grow up, just like children. But they will never be embarrassed to run up to you and hug you in public.
- Nor will they leave you for college.
- They will show you the true meaning of puppy eyes. And you will melt each time you see them.
- You and your kids will learn a thing or two about unconditional love, trust and friendship.
- You will lose weight. From running behind your puppy.
In any case, let’s not kid ourselves. To have a dog is a lifestyle change, even if you are a dog person. More so, if you’re bringing the dog to a household with children. Things get crazy at times, tempers rise, chores increase, and schedules and routines go for a toss. The art of enjoying it (something I strive to do everyday) is in the ability of letting go. Chores will get done, things will be put in their places and messes will be cleaned up…at their own pace. We will deal with it together, Bubbles included- sometimes yelling, sometimes understanding, shouting, and laughing.
The chaos is transient, the bonding is not.