I sure did not know there was a national puppy day. I for sure do not own a puppy. My ole girl is 13 now. That being said, sometimes especially when food is involved, she still seems very much a puppy. I think back to when she was a puppy, we did not like each other very much even though she put the “ute” into Cute.
Thinking back and learning so much since that cold January day that we found our Belle – we were so silly. To begin, let’s take a step back. I had to leave my elderly cocker spaniel back in Louisiana. She had too much wrong with her to move her to a cold climate she was not used to, much less a place she didn’t know. See she was going blind and deft. So, she stayed with her other mommy. Honestly, it makes me feel sick talking about it. So, I had been in tears from the first moment of arriving in NY. I had never had a block of life where I did not own a dog. I have always constantly had a dog or dogs. In fact, I don’t ever remember a time without an animal or ten.
My ex and I had a hard first holiday season together, so come January we were ready to have a new start. We decided we needed a dog. (Later I am going to point out this was a mistake and why.) We begin googling and keeping an eye out for any dog for sale signs. We decided we wanted a St. Bernard; it was the only animal we could agree on. I wanted a big dog that would make me feel safe and He wanted a big fuzzy dog to survive the elements and we both wanted one that would cuddle. However, we made this decision without researching St. Bernard’s…. We even contacted a seller and put in an offer which we soon took back. I spent some time researching St. Bernard’s and the thing I found out about them that totally set me off was the fact they produced so much slobber. I still remember this one line, “As I cleaned the slobber off the ceiling, table, and cabinets for the third time today before noon I wanted to kick myself for purchasing our family dog, a St. Bernard. That was enough, that poor woman’s experience was enough for me… NO St. Bernard.
Then we decided we just needed to go to pet stores and see what was available. This took us down a dark path. We found about five stores that sold dogs amongst other things. The dire conditions these animals were in were horrible. We went to 2 places where the animals were so drugged and the places smelled terrible, that I left both places sobbing for what I had seen. We then went to a few more just somewhat better places but could not agree on anything. Then one day we were taking a random drive to get out of the house and we saw a pet store.
This pet store was in an up-and-coming shopping center area. Its sign was new and the shop looked fairly bright and like it was probably kept well. We walked into the store and it smelled as if you had gone into a Petco or such, not bad just like grain and pet food. This was positive. Then you look through the store and see a well lit, very green and white area, where a symphony of puppy voices was coming from. This was a great sign in our minds. In all the other places we went the puppies made no noises, just sad little whines. We could see the puppies that were in the middle fenced-in area jumping and playing as we got closer, we could see class display cages for other puppies who were equally playing. I went straight to the bigger dogs like the golden retriever, Labradors. My ex went straight to the fuzzy Pomeranian. This may be a good time to say that the only dog I said I did not want at all was a Pomeranian. I honestly do not think that my ex moved from that one spot. So, I move back towards him and he says to me would you like to hold this one, just pointing… I assumed he was pointing to the sweet little terrier, so I said yes yes yes. I knew he could not be talking about the little Doberman that was not us at all. Then the only other one in there was the Pomeranian. He knew I did not want that for sure. I go, oh that one is just like our friend’s dog. Then we realized we were not excited about the same dog. Long story short we held both but there was no real chance in hell that I would have gotten to pick the dog that day. So close to 2000.00 Dollars on a credit card later we were walking out to the car with this little baby wrapped in those blankets they give new human babies in the hospital.
Eventually, Belle and I would become fast friends. However, those first few months were a very unpleasant time.
This being National Puppy Day I’d like to give you some tips, insight, and advice about what you need to do before you buy a puppy and where to buy them. I always say adopt, so many good animals that need homes, but if you just can’t find what you want be informed before you buy.
- NEVER go into dog buying on a whim, Like National Puppy Day, birthdays, Christmas.
- Never go into buying a dog without first doing research on the breed you are looking for. Then research other breeds that might also fit your lifestyle.
- Adoption or buying
- An older dog or a baby
- What is your climate like?
- How much exercise do they need versus how much exercise can you give them?
- Are they social animals, or are they independent animals?
- Will they be ok home alone?
- Will they be ok to be around kids?
- How much do they shed (remember it is never a Do they question it’s a How much question?)
- How much do they cost a month to feed?
- What kind of a home will the dog be most comfortable in?
- How well trainable are they?
- Are there local breeders?
- Will you have enough money to purchase the dog, the crate, the food, toys, treats, bed, pay for veterinarian expenses and puppy shots.
- What do you want from the dog? Protection, cuddler, vocal, not vocal, etc.
- Never spend outside your income.
- Once you have figured all the above out, picked the animal you are looking for you can move on.
- If adopting, make sure you’re going to a no-kill shelter. You do not want to give any money to kill shelters.
- Remember your needs, wants, and research in what you’re looking for, and stick in that realm.
- If you want a specific breed, always request a visit with the parents of the pup you’re looking to buy. You can tell so much from the parents of the pups (like temperament, color, etc.) By doing this you will also be able to see if where your pup will be born or was born is a clean, humane place. You don’t want to support people that do not do right by their own animals.
- Be aware of asking prices for the dogs you’re wanting to buy so no one cheats you.
- Be prepared to love and care for your new little animal like it is your child. DO a house clean, baby proof the entire house even if you think the puppy wants to be in a certain room baby proof it anyway. They are sneaky!
- Pic up all small items a pup could get lodged in their throats. (Especially kids’ toys like Legos)
- make sure all pillows, stuffed animals, valuable memories items that can be chewed, Slobbered, peed, pooped on up are put away.
- Electric outlets should be covered or use those kid repealing tabs, also you can use the same cabinet locks parents use for their kids to prep for your pup.
- Don’t wear shoes in the house, make sure you get a cabinet or some way to put your shoes out of reach or sight of the pup.
- Baby gates are a great idea, in the beginning, to keep your little pup in a certain area of the house or apartment
- Make sure to mop and vacuum all the floors
- Get the crate (in a low traffic low light area) and pups bed set up days before you bring pup home. Set out the bowls, get toys, and lay in a specific place or basket, this helps you know if these areas are coinvent for you.
- If you’re getting a new puppy, you’re going to have to potty train so pee pads and holders will need to be bought and placed in a convenient place near a door. Or if you’re just going to be training to use the pee pads make sure you have them where you want the pup to train.
- Lastly, get ready to be loved unconditionally.
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