03 October 2014

How my puppy is preparing me for motherhood

First of all...I used to hate the terms "fur baby" and "fur mama". I felt like people who used those terms were implying that they love their dog or cat as much as they love their children (or children if they had any). My reasoning is: I don't care how much you love your dog, there's a problem if you love an animal as much as you love a human being that formed in your womb from an intimate act with somebody you love deeply. No way. 

Buuuut that being said, now that I have a puppy, I kind of get it. I take care of her and she depends on me for everything...so there is definitely a special bond there. I will not refer to her as my "fur baby" but I will admit that the love I have for her as an owner is almost mother-like. Now when I hear people call themselves a fur mama, I assume that's what they mean and I am surprisingly okay with it now.

Almost against my will, my view of those terms changed and I had to start admitting to myself that taking care of Sadie might be giving me a glimpse into motherhood. I've never had a baby, but here's what she has taught me that I think might overlap:

1. Waking me up in the middle of the night. 
This is a no-brainer, she needed to be let out at frequent intervals when we first got her and yes, that includes night time too. It's only been a couple weeks but she is sleeping through the night now in her crate.

2. When I try to wear her out, I get more exhausted than she does.
Mercy me she has a lot of energy! I want her to sleep well (refer to point #1) but when I try to wear her out it just makes ME tired haha.

3. I feel like people are judging me for my decisions.
I'll just come out and say it: I take my ten week old puppy to the dog park! Oh the controversy. She has had her first two shots and I was told that the most important time of her life to socialize was between 8 and 12 weeks. I was also told that as long as she had her first couple shots she would be fine. Que rant: speaking of shots, I give them to her myself! Go ahead and judge me, but it's super easy and super cheap. Yes, obviously there is a risk of anaphylaxis - but that chance is SO small. If you're so worried about that minuscule risk, you might has well have a vet standing by the first time you give her any new food as well. She loves the dog park and hasn't died yet, so I think we're good. 

4. Mama bear comes out when someone hurts my puppy.
At the dog park, Sadie is as excited as can be. She crawls up to other dogs wagging her tail and jumps around them, asking to play. Sometimes they say no...the second time I took her to the dog park, another dog nipped at her because apparently he didn't want to play! I felt an intense mixture of worry and anger and sadness all at the same time, and I imagine that's the same way mama bears feel when someone messes with their cubs. 

5. I have to remember to give my husband loves too.
The first couple days it was hard to pay attention to him because Sadie demanded so much of my attention. I think we've balanced out a little bit now, but it was a weird transition.

6. My puppy wants to be everywhere with me...even the bathroom.
The weird part is, it's not even weird for me to have her sit in there, haha! 

7. She cries when I am not giving her enough attention.
Sadie is not afraid to tell me when she thinks I should be paying attention to her instead of doing the laundry. She's actually gotten better at this, but dang was it annoying at first.

8. When I leave her, I worry more than she even cares.
ESPECIALLY at first! We have a non-carpeted room set up for her in our house with everything she could possibly need. The first few days I went to work, I would be so worried about her all day and rush home during my lunch to check on her. She was always sleeping when I got there! She seems to be completely fine on her own, and will even go to her room to play with herself sometimes, even when we are home. I still want to get a friend for her, but I refuse to feel guilty for leaving her because I spend an hour with her before work wearing her out, and then my husband comes home a few hours before me to wear her out again.

9. I think she is literally the cutest ever.
Ever. THE cutest dog ever. Everything she does, even normal dog stuff, is adorable to me, which leads me too...

10. It's hard not to spoil her because she is SO cute!
When she bites or jumps up on me I kind of just want to let her because it makes me sad to tell her no, but I realize that will be a major problem when she gets bigger. When she cried the first few nights after putting her in her crate for bedtime, I totally wanted to give in and let her sleep in our bed. Now I'm glad I didn't but it was harder for me than I thought it would be. Taking care of her in general is harder than I thought it would be!


ashleynicole @ [real life, real love] said...

I'm glad you love your pup :) but I'm also glad you've said you're not going to call her your fur baby . . . I'm holding you to that! Haha :)

.candace. said...

ahhh what a cutie!! Great lessons learned by all. ;)

Lynsey @ Eternally Wanderlyn said...

So cute! I definitely refer to myself as a dog mom and my pups are my fur babies. :) I even wrote a post about 'How Dogs Are Basically Like Babies.'


Kristen said...

awww she is so cute! I have 3 cats and they are basically children, especially the bathroom part.

Sherri Briggs said...

What a lovely post! I've heard of similar stories on how pets helped expecting first-time moms prepare for post-natal care. I'm happy for you with that nice realization about love for one's pets and the list just makes me crack up. My particular favorite is #8, because I can totally relate with that. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I hope that everyone in your family is in the best of health!

Sherri Briggs @ The Pet Glider

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