Getting a New Puppy
Four months ago, my family adopted an English Cream Golden Retriever puppy named Luna. At the time, she was about eight weeks old and was as cute as a button. With her extremely fluffy white coat, small round face, and dark black nose, she looked exactly like a baby polar bear and had the playful spirit to match. As soon as I met her, I knew that Luna’s arrival in our lives marked the beginning of an exciting new chapter.
After months of thorough consideration, my parents decided that they were finally ready to bring another dog into our lives.
Previously, we had a Golden Retriever named Princess. Princess was the first pet I ever had and had been with me since I was four years old. Sadly, Princess passed away in May 2018 but will always continue to live on in our hearts and memories. In the 14 years Princess was with us, she taught me so much about love and friendship while I was growing up. There wasn’t a day I could remember where Princess hadn’t been in my life and dealing with her passing was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. As other dog owners know, it can be incredibly difficult to even consider getting another dog after going through the heartbreak of losing one. However, after two years of healing, my family felt like it was the right time to bring another dog into our lives.
Luna’s arrival played a very important role in our lives. My dog Princess had meant the world to my mom and her passing in 2018 took an enormous toll on my entire family. Then in May 2019, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and life as we knew it changed forever. After seeing the pain and depression my mom suffered from as a result of her cancer treatment, my dad wanted to do anything he could to help cheer her up. Seeing how happy Princess had made my mom, my dad decided that the best thing he could do for her was bring another dog into her life. It took some convincing, but my mom finally agreed and we adopted Luna. Four months have passed since then, and Luna has brought an indescribable amount of joy into my mom’s life.
The Challenges That Come with Being a Dog Owner
While I absolutely love being a dog owner and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, I must admit that it does come with its own set of unique challenges. Dealing with a puppy takes an immense amount of hard work, patience, dedication, love, time, and sometimes even money. As a dog owner, some of the challenges I have to deal with on a daily basis include:
> Waking up to an energetic puppy barking loudly at 6am every day.
> Constantly vacuuming up dog hair and lint rolling my clothes like my life depends on it.
> Becoming a human chew toy while Luna goes through her teething stage.
> Potty training, picking up dog poop, and cleaning up any accidents Luna has inside the house.
> Trying to work and write articles (including this one) while Luna walks all over my computer keyboard typing gibberish with her paws.
> Dealing with Luna’s counter surfing, jumping, sudden bursts of intense energy, and love of mess making.
While these behaviors are perfectly normal for a puppy, we’ve found that exercising Luna on a daily basis is a great way to keep her high energy level under control.
Exercising My Puppy
Luna is incredibly energetic and smart. So, we’ve had to come up with various creative ways to play with her and keep her mind stimulated. Whenever it’s cool enough outside, we take her swimming in our pool. In order to help teach Luna how to swim, we bought her a little red and white striped dog life jacket. Every time we take her swimming, we put her jacket on. Then we throw either tennis balls or treats in the water for her to fetch. She absolutely loves to swim and wants to do it every chance she gets. However, living in Arizona, the typical temperature in the summer averages well over 100oF so we quickly had to find a way for her to exercise indoors.
In order to safely exercise her inside, we decided to clear out some space. We then bought a mini indoor obstacle course for her to use. So far, we’ve taught her how to jump through a hoop and how to jump over a bar. With the way Luna loves jumping, I’m sure she’ll be ready for the Dog Olympics in no time. After months of training and a lot of failed attempts, we’ve also taught her how to sit, lay down, come, shake, fetch, touch, and more. I’ve also had the opportunity to watch her form an adorably deep bond with her blue bunny and pink llama stuffed animals.
My Favorite Parts of Being a Dog Owner
Being a dog owner is a lot of work. However, in my opinion, the amount of love you get in return is well worth it. I personally love the simple moments the most. It’s in those moments that you’re really able to appreciate the beautiful little things that the presence of another being can bring.
For me, these meaningful moments include:
> Walking through the front door and seeing Luna’s face light up as she comes running to greet me with a goofy grin.
> Seeing how the simplest things such as the throw of a tennis ball or the act of going on a walk can get her so excited.
> Feeling her heart gently beating and hearing her breathe softly as she peacefully sleeps in my lap.
> Running around laughing like crazy as my sister and I let Luna chase us around the kitchen.
> Knowing that no matter what happens, Luna will always be there with her unconditional love to brighten my day.
> Seeing how much happier my mom has been since we got Luna.
In my twenty-one years of life, I have honestly never seen anything quite like the selfless love from a dog. I hope that everyone reading this gets to experience that kind of love at some point in their life.