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  • Sophia P

My first puppy

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

I had been mulling over getting a dog for almost a year, but I realized I didn't want just any dog. I wanted a dog like the dog my ex had. He is a sweet, snuggly, clean, potty trained 14 pound lovable furball (the dog not my ex -- although he is also potty trained as far as I know 😂). At the very least, I wanted a potty trained small young adult dog. I browsed various re-homing and shelter sites for a few months periodically, but none of the dogs seemed like quite the right fit.

I've had several dogs before, but I've never raised one from puppyhood, and then Taro came along... I was walking in Discovery Park with one of my closest friends and was telling her about how I realized I didn't just want a dog I had a very particular dog in mind. On our way back to the car, we saw two puppies and a larger dog being walked by a man and a woman headed our way. The two puppies joyously bounded over and immediately started to snuggle. One of them even nestled into my backpack, and I knew I was done for. I started chatting with the family who had brought the dogs over. They mentioned that they were fostering the puppies, and they would be available for adoption soon if I was interested. We exchanged numbers, and on the car ride back to my apartment my friend and I talked excitedly about the puppies. It felt providential.

I knew that a puppy would be a challenge to raise, but I couldn't get her out of my mind. I texted her foster family who graciously gave me information about the shelter and said they would let me know after she had been spayed and was available for adoption. The whole week I kept turning the idea over in my mind and reading about what it's like to raise a puppy. It sounded a great deal like raising a baby with razor sharp shark teeth, which isn't something I felt ready for, but on the other hand puppies grow very quickly so I convinced myself I could stick it out for a few months.

During the course of the week, I heard back from the foster family that the puppies had been spayed and would become available for adoption that week. I knew I had to move quickly since puppies tend to get adopted right away and submitted my application. The following weekend, I arranged a time to visit the puppy again. Seeing her again on the weekend confirmed that she was the one even though she was more rambunctious than what I had seen in the park, but I liked that she could vacillate between spunk and mellowness. Their foster mom mentioned that if I wanted to adopt her, I should probably go to the shelter that day in person, which was much sooner than I expected. But with my friend's support, we headed down to the shelter and I filled out the paperwork, and within a few hours she was mine!

Next came a shopping spree at Petco, which was conveniently located across the street from the shelter. I really am not sure how large she will get so I bought a medium-sized crate. (I'll provide an update in a few months on how big she gets!) Luckily her foster family was kind enough to keep her for a few more days until I could get my apartment ready. Two days later, I brought her home. I was worried that she would feel afraid and lonely so had brought a towel to her foster family's home and rubbed it over the dog she was used to playing with. It turned out she slept just fine (as far as I know). I made the mistake of not setting an alarm but she was so quiet she never woke me, and I slept 7 hours the first night she was back. I felt like a terrible dog mom in the morning, but she didn't wet the crate, which felt like a miracle for a 10 week old puppy.

The first two weeks with her, I cried multiple times, was exhausted at work, and felt overwhelmed as a single 'pawrent'. I debated whether I had made the right decision or not after days of seemingly non-stop nipping, waking up in the middle of the night to take her out to potty in freezing weather, and cleaning up countless 'accidents'. Somehow, little by little, we've started getting into a routine, and now the thought of her belonging to someone else or anything happening to her breaks my heart. She didn't check any of my 'boxes' for the dog I was looking for, and yet somehow she is even better. Her solemn wistful eyes, her sweet morning kisses, the very slight corn chip smell in her paws, and even when she's naughty I can't help but be charmed by her independence. In short, I'm in love, and writing this as a reminder on the difficult days when she's fussy and nippy, chews on the furniture, interrupts my calls, or does any other one of the numerous frustrating puppy things. She's worth it.

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