Before I was born, my parents had a couple of parakeets. However, they had to get rid of them because that was what my mom’s doctor recommended in order to keep the baby-to-be (me) safe and healthy. I am not sure what the reasoning was since plenty of people have babies while caring for various animals. They might have been worried about some sort of infection. Better safe than sorry, they thought.
I remember having a dog since I was probably 6. He was already a couple of years old and stayed outside, so I did not really get to play or interact with him. Seeing the dog immobile several years later on a snowy, winter day was gut-wrenching. He was a legend.
When my dad took me to get a new puppy, I was beyond excited. I was going to train this dog so well that he would only listen to me. In my head, we were quickly becoming best buddies, spending all of our time together (aside from when I was at school or sleeping, of course).
The German Shepard puppy was absolutely cute. His parents were majestic, so I knew he would be, too, once he grew up. So much potential!
On our way home, I insisted that I hold him. That was to prime him to like me. He was being taken away from his family, but I was the one stroking his fur and planning our adventures as if he could read my mind. What happened next? He puked. None of the family dogs have ever like riding in a car. They preferred to run wherever they needed to go. Even though I was worried at first, thinking that he could be more than just car – sick, I quickly dismissed those thoughts. We just experienced our first embarrassing moment together. And surely, he must like me all the more for the fact that I did not run away and instead made sure that he felt better.
Once we got home, everyone tried to bribe him by feeding him all sorts of treats. I made sure to always be the one who gave him more of what he seemed to like. Once the treats were gone, we moved to entertain the puppy. Or should I say – ourselves? Multiple people doing different things, trying to get his attention must have been confusing, so I made sure to tell people to take turns. I was sure he would be grateful for that.
The puppy got his separate room so that he could pee without destroying the rest of the house before he learned how to do his business in a non-destructive-to-humans way. The thing was that his separation anxiety would kick in the moment he was left alone. The first night was absolutely terrible. I was torn between needing to sleep and wanting to run downstairs and console the puppy. “You cannot do this, or he will just get used to it and then you will never be able to sleep” – my father said when he saw me sneaking into the room. He sent me to bed, but kept checking up on our new dog himself now and again.
School could not end fast enough the next day. All I wanted was to get home to play with my dog. And I did. I did not train him all that much like I wanted to, but for the longest time, he really did like me and listen to me the best. We had a secret language. Unfortunately, once he went from puppy to a more mature, serious dog, I moved away for school. Seeing him only on the weekends was not the same. However, after years of me being away, he still had instances when he remembered him and I and reacted in such a familiar to me way. In the meantime, my father became his better friend. I felt guilty for having put all the imaginary scenarios in my dog’s head and then … practically abandoning him in a way. I wonder if he ever forgave me…
That is the story of my first puppy. Share your experience with a new dog (or any other pet).
Did you enjoy reading this post? Hit LIKE.
Have some thoughts on the topic? Share in the COMMENTS.
Do you regularly enjoy my blog? Be sure to FOLLOW.
Are my posts getting lost in your busy Reader? Try SUBSCRIBING.