Puppy Madness?

In my persistent semi-stupor following our return home on Tuesday (jet lag really sucks as one gets older), I started to research all the shit we’re going to need to do and buy before we bring home our puppy in October.

Yes, you’ve read correctly. I didn’t think my life as Chief Mom Officer would be complete without adding a dog to our household.  So last spring, after a couple of years of pleading by the girls, we bit the bullet and put down a deposit on a future Australian labradoodle pup.  Our litter was born last week. The girls are thrilled about this.  My husband not so much.  But at least we’re getting a boy so that Papa won’t be quite as outnumbered anymore.

I am excited and little bit terrified because in some ways, getting a dog seems more complicated than having a baby. But I’m sure looking forward to having a faithful companion when I need to keep up my exercise in the dead of winter.  The girls promise to help care for the dog, but I’m not counting on it given my own experience doing everything possible to avoid taking care of our miniature schnauzer, Jake, when I was a kid.

One big difference between babies and puppies is that pet stores don’t offer puppy gift registries.  They should because those dog supplies really add up.  The shops do provide puppy supply checklists, however, which are almost as long as checklists for newborns.

I read a tutorial for cutting dogs’ nails and it frankly made me a little queasy.  Now I understand the origin of the phrase “cut to the quick.” And I’m not sure how great I’ll be with ear cleaning, but I’ll give it my best shot.  And then there’s the whole nonsense about puppy-proofing the house.  Oy vey.

I’ve started to research pet insurance.  I wish I had started a pet insurance company.  We need to fence in our yard.  We may need to carpet our stairs.  We’re going to enroll our pup in obedience training, although I suspect that we’re going to need more training than the dog.  And I am going to need to find a new job to pay for all this. At least we don’t have to save for the dog’s higher education or retirement.

We’re driving to central Pennsylvania in a few short weeks to see the litter in action and choose our little guy. And three weeks after that, we’ll return to the breeder to take him home.  And I really hope there’s some kind of 24-hour puppy assistance hotline.  Because if not, our dog-owner friends are going to get sick of us real quick.

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