What bed do I need, what training collar is the best, glass or ceramic food bowls, how big should the water bowl be?
Things are cool sometimes.
Things make us happy sometimes.
The act of acquiring things can make us feel organized or prepared in some way.
Gifting things can make us feel generous.
But the reality is, things are things. Objects that are easily replaced, easy to dismiss, often times thrown away, just to be replaced again.
I have learned over the years that there are really only two things that are essential when you get your puppy, especially your first puppy ever – understanding, and a sense of humor.
These two essentials will carry you through life with your puppy, and will be part of a solid foundation on which to grow. And just to be clear, a solid foundation creates an environment is which possibilities, in any direction, are a reality.
Without understanding, without humor, you create a ‘me vs. puppy’, push me pull me, type of relationship. It is a path that becomes conflict filled and edgy, and that almost always leads to a level of dissatisfaction with having a puppy that the relationship can never really come good.
For example, puppies need to explore their world with their paws and jaws. Sometimes this works for you, and sometimes against you. Chewing on a big raw bone is both calming and satiating, good for the puppy, the person, and the wellness of your chair legs. Chewing on your body parts is not so good, but with understanding, you KNOW that your puppy is giving you a heads up that their needs have not been met yet. So while you do an equal exchange, your hand for a bully stick, you can then run through the list in your head – did I potty you, feed you, play with you, exercise you, work on new behaviors with you, potty you again, give you something to chew on that was valuable, and/or give you the rest you need? You most likely will find that you have dropped the ball in one area, and fixing that will help preserve your fragile human skin.
Puppies also behave like puppies, they make puppy choices, and do puppy things, which almost always works against you. This is a fact, reality of living with a puppy. But with a healthy does of humor you can see the rawness and honesty of it all. The pure pleasure of being a puppy.
Me personally, when I go to choose my puppy, I look for the one that fly’s their ‘Puppy Freak Flag’ proudly, that is my kind of puppy, not everyone’s cup of tea, but most certainly mine.
Many owners take comfort in the saying ‘this too shall pass’, and if it is your first puppy, and you by chance got a lot of puppy, this saying is a good mantra. It will remind you that each stage is only temporary, each stage is another step in developing, you didn’t happen to purchase the spawn of Satan, normal, it is all normal.And just when you think you cannot take it, your puppy will go and mature on you, and on to the next stage, the next phase. If you are a well seasoned dog owner, or you have multiple dogs and have been in the game for a while, you are well aware that these stages go by way too quickly, in a blink.
So, if you have a wish for you and your puppy, if you want to get the essentials, well then beef up on your understanding, which always comes from learning more through education, and then sprinkle this with a healthy dose of humor, always, always have humor.
As always, it isn’t complicated. No relationship worth one’s salt should be complicated.
Enjoy every moment, enjoy the time spent together, enjoy – Nancy