Hi all! Alyssa here:
I would like to start off by saying I have confidently walked in and out of the same puppy store multiple times in the past with my mind made up that I would not leave wanting or with a dog. It was for leisure and entertainment really (and torture for Jim who constantly asked for a puppy). So just like any other time, we walked in with some time to kill, but this time left with a three month old boxer.
First things first: you truly do not need to plan for a puppy. I am completely Type-A personality through and through, so for those of you on the fence of purchasing a pup for this reason, TRUST ME, you will be okay…and probably better!
We had no plan and I had no intention of getting a puppy any time soon. I am not a “dog person” per say. Like Jim mentioned before, we saw Benny and I pulled him out right away to have the “one on one” time with him away from the other puppies. I think this part is very important, and it’s actually what convinced me to want to take him home. Benny was so mellow, he wasn’t chewing on me or anything around me (HUGE selling point in my opinion) and SO lovable. Now I know what you’re thinking, “they all are”, but you will know based off of how the puppy interacts with you if he or she is a good fit. And TAKE YOUR TIME. Take all the time in the world with this pup to make sure you’re making a good choice. We stayed in the caged area with him for an hour and a half and he stayed on my lap almost the whole time. I knew if we were ever going to get a puppy in the future, this was the one to get.
After an hour of “what should we do’s” back and fourth and part of me dying a little inside over 1. leaving without him and someone else taking him and 2. the shock of me even contemplating getting a dog, we decided to leave to “think about it”. The puppy store closed at 6:00 that night and we were back at 5:30 to take Benny home.
My only precaution and real hesitation which is stating the obvious: puppies are EXPENSIVE. From the unnecessary 20+ toys just because they are cute, food, bedding, shampoos, treats, to the actual necessities of vaccines, neutering and monthly vet visits to make sure your little one grows up healthy…it does add up. And any unplanned event that falls in between can put a hole in your pocket. HOWEVER, we obviously weren’t “saved up” or financially prepared for a puppy, so be conscious, but don’t let the expense discourage you. Here’s an example of what we started with on the first day to put things into perspective:
Puppy Starter Kit
- A Crate
- A crate pad, blanket, pillow, or dog bed (we have all of the above)
- Food/water bowl
- Food/bag of treats
- A few toys
- Name tag
Now I KNOW that a crate is a huge debate for some people, and some are completely against it…perfectly fine. I will say if you take the time to make it a comfortable snuggly space, this crate will be your little pups safe haven and *potty training tip #1* dogs aren’t going to pee or poop in their cozy safe haven.
For Benny, his crate was a hit and he went into it to sleep on his own.
I will say this pup changed my life in the most positive way and I can’t remember life without him now, it had to of been so boring without a dog? But, I can’t pretend everything went perfect, because we ran into both small and big bumps along the way. Our biggest bump was only 9 days after bringing him home when we found out he wasn’t the healthiest puppy. Read on about potty/crate training tips, expenses, and the unpredictable issues we ran into as new puppy parents!