We've had a puppy for two weeks, and our lives have drastically changed for the better.
Before this year, Dave and I agreed we didn't want a dog. I grew up with dogs, but none of them really liked to be cuddled and the two we had the longest together barked incessantly at people and they could never make up their mind if they wanted to be inside or outside.
(Disclaimer: I did love and care about them. They just didn't fit the "man's best friend" ideal you see in the movies, and I don't think a pup snuggle every now and then is too much to ask for.)
Dave had never had a dog, so he didn't really know what life with one is like. We both figured it would be too much of a hassle to train a puppy and then not be able to just pick up and go whenever we wanted.
But gradually, we started talking about getting a dog. I honestly don't really know why. Maybe it was all the cute puppy photos on Instagram. We know a couple of people with golden doodles and they seem to have great temperaments. Plus they don't shed. I started thinking it might be nice to have a little companion around the house, since I spend a big portion of the day at home alone before I start working.
The more we thought about it, the more we realized we're not really spontaneous traveling types anyways, so the couple times a year we can't take a pet with us we could just plan ahead.
We casually browsed Kijiji a few times to see if we could find a breeder nearby. Eventually I found one in Ontario that seemed to have a pretty good reputation and it turned out there was a litter of puppies that could go home in April. The timing was perfect, since we absolutely didn't want to be training a puppy in the middle of a NL winter.
We paid a deposit in January and started a countdown. Dave started referring to the dog as our "Good Boye", but we officially named him Walter long before we met him. It just sounded like the perfect name, and also because our shared favourite movie is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
I won't lie, we wondered a few times leading up to his arrival if we were making a mistake. We just didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. But we were still convinced this would be a good thing.
Walter's flight was set to arrive on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning at 1:30am. Somehow our alarm didn't go off, and Dave woke me up at 1:45 to let me know we'd overslept. That was a long drive to Deer Lake, as I envisioned our poor little puppy going around and around on the luggage carousel. (Of course they didn't put him with the luggage. I'm just always a worst case scenario type person so this is what I was imagining would be a nightmare for a puppy.)
When we finally did get there, he was in an office waiting to be picked up. As we walked out of the airport with this kennel containing a real puppy, we had that feeling described by many new parents: "So that's it, we can just take him? And then what?"
(Totally not saying having a dog is the same as a baby, just so we're crystal clear here.)
Walter was really quiet and timid for the first two days. He only barked maybe once and I couldn't get over what a gentle puppy he was. He would cry every time I left his sight, and he couldn't get close enough to me.
Then he got comfortable.
And ever since day three, we've had a normal puppy. Wanting to play and sleeping lots, biting every item of clothing you're wearing, sniffing and trying to eat everything off the ground.
But oh man, do we love this little guy. We love his spunky personality, and how cuddly he is, and how much he just wants to be around people all. the. time. He's already learned that sitting and giving us his paw will get him a treat, so now when he wants pretty much anything, he'll sit in front of us and frantically wave his paw in the air. It's so cute it hurts me.
The list of adorable things he does is endless. But I won't go on, because I know how everyone thinks their pet is the cutest and smartest, and we are most definitely just as biased.
He's a lot of work, but he's one of my favourite decisions we've made and I love having him around when I'm at home by myself. We're certainly looking forward to the day he understands the concept of going for a walk and lets us know he has to go to the bathroom instead of having an accident inside.
But until then, we're so happy to have our home totally revolving around this little fluffy, clumsy ball of joy.