I just didn’t know. I thought dog lovers were all crazy until that magical day when I became an owner of my first puppy.
Me and my wife Dawnta got engaged in December 2008 and got married in June 2010. I know a long engagement right! As we were making preparations for the wedding to be held in Punta Cana Dominican Republic, my wife suggested that we get a puppy. I was resistant against the idea since I never owned a pet before. But she insisted that we own one as it was an important part of her upbringing.
We didn’t have any kids at the time and I didn’t realize she was secretly preparing me to have a baby. I wasn’t thinking about kids then and I sure didn’t want a dog. So we went back and forth for weeks before I finally gave in. I had no Idea what I was getting myself into. But I figured she would assume the bulk of the responsibilities caring for the dog so I would be okay.
I was open to any type of dog other than a big one. My wife originally wanted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but we settled on a Yorkipoo. We knew someone breeding them and the selling price fit our budget. After looking at pictures we agreed to name her Sundae based on her chocolate and caramel complexion. She was born in May 2010 and we would pick her up after we got back from our wedding the following month.
The first time I saw Sundae, I fell in love. Now I wasn’t in love as much as my wife because honestly ‘it was just a dog.’ But she was so little and cute. She wasn’t much fun though because she was scared of everything and just sat there. On top of that, it was such a hassle cleaning up her poop and trying to train here to not use the bathroom in the house.
We bought her a bed and a cage and all she wanted to do was lay in our bed. We tried to keep her in the cage at night, but she would just cry and cry and cry. So we gave in and she got used to sleeping with us. Eight years later and she’s still sleeping with us.
As Sundae grew older, she grew more attached to me. I’m not sure if that’s the female/male dynamic or the fact that I’m the only one that would wake up at 3am every night to let her out. Regardless she stuck to me like glue. Wherever I went, she went. When we had our first baby Bryce, she got even more attached to me. And once Bria was born, she only wanted to be around me. Bria made it a little easier because she treated Sundae like she was Elmyra from the old school cartoons. The kids took turns terrorizing Sundae so we became inseparable.
Our dog turns 9 soon and I couldn’t imagine life without her. I try to focus on loving and enjoying her every single day. Whenever she’s gone for an extended amount of time, home doesn’t feel the same. Who would of ever thought I would feel this way about a pet. I got used to cleaning up poop and piss, dealing with doggy periods (ugh gross), and going to the vet in the middle of the night. None of it bothers me now. Her unconditional love is what got me through some very difficult times. She is family and I’m convinced that owning a dog provides us the needed loyalty, happiness, fulfillment and a companion for life.
Anyway, here are my 7 reasons why owning a dog will change your life.
1. Dogs teach responsibility
You constantly have to walk, groom, and feed your dog. And you can’t be reckless and hang out all night partying. You must get home in a respectable time because you have someone special waiting for you that needs to get out.
2. Dogs teach us unconditional love
With dogs it’s all about the heart and not the ego. They don’t care what you look like or how much money you make. Dogs are thrilled to see us each and every time you walk in the door, no matter what.
3. Dogs teach selflessness
We are all a little selfish, but owning a dog teaches you quickly that it’s not all about you. Dogs don’t see our flaws or imperfections. They will always put your needs first, and they never shy from a chance to comfort you.
4. Dogs teach the importance of getting out the house
Dogs are always excited about getting out the house and going for a walk. When you have a dog, you will spend more time being physically active and not being cooped up in the house. They encourage a more healthier and active lifestyle!
5. Dogs teach us about exploration
No matter where you go, your dog wants to come to. Unless it’s the vet or groomers, they really don’t really care where they end up. Dogs just enjoy the ride and the journey that comes with it.
6. Dogs help you figure out if your partner is ready for parenthood
Caring for a dog is a fantastic way to figure out what type of parent your partner will be. You have to make sacrifices and compromises to make sure your dog stays healthy and happy. If your partner never wants to walk the dog or pick up food, buyer beware.
7. Dogs teach us how to live in the moment
Dogs don’t talk so we don’t know exactly what they’re thinking. But we do know they’re not worried about bills, work, family drama, or any of the other countless concerns most of us encounter. They teach you to appreciate how good things really are and enjoy the present.