Meet Albus Puppledore
It’s been a little over a year since I made a commitment that changed my life forever – I got my first dog! Scary doesn’t even describe the first few weeks spent with my little guy.
After doing a bunch of research and trying to find out which dog best suits my lifestyle, I settled on getting a small hypoallergenic dog. I know, I know, no dog is TRULY hypoallergenic, but stick with me on this one.
As soon as I saw the small ball of fluff, I knew that he was the one. I can’t really quite describe why, it was just a feeling. Maybe it was the Force, who really knows. And thus, we welcome Albus Puppledore the Teddy Bear Dog, into our home and into our hearts!
I’ve Made A Huge Mistake!
“I don’t think I can do this. OH MY GOD, what have I done! Should we return him? Why is he crying? Is he sick? I just need sleep and not to think about this.”
That’s what the first night with Albus was like. It was going to be fine, he was a puppy – that’s what puppy’s do right, cry?
Looking back at it now, Albus was the BEST first puppy ever. The first night together was anxiety filled, mostly on my part. He wasn’t used to being in a crate in a dark room, and the poor guy was probably wondering where the hell he was.
DISCLAIMER: This is where I profusely apologize to my past roommate, Laura, for bringing a random dog home without talking to her first. Laura, thanks for putting up with me and not killing me those first few months.
4 Crucial Things I Had No Clue About
A fiercely loyal and adventurous Gryffindor, Albus preferred to be right by my side for all adventures and mishaps. There were a lot of things I had zero clue about, being a first time dog owner. We shared a lot of firsts and here are just a few things we learned along the way:
Crate Training: Crate training is hard! Not only the process, but the range of emotions you as a dog parent will feel through the ordeal. I had to read a lot about how to do this correctly. Don’t push the dog in, make it a comfortable and den-like environment, don’t get a crate that’s too big and so on. But dear god, the crying! Oh the crying. It broke my heart every time I had to close the crate doors and wait until he was tired out. Eventually I kept moving the create closer and closer to my bed, so I was in his line of sight.
- The Vet: I was and still am very much the overprotective Dog Mom. Every time Albus coughed, sneezed, or generally looked anything less than healthy, I would call the vet and schedule an appointment. Thank god for doggie insurance. Yeah…I got that. It actually payed for itself, given all the shots a new puppy needs. The vet tech ladies were kind enough to indulge me, and to answer every question I had about owning a dog. Thanks ladies!
Dog Parks: This was where we met some really cool people and dogs. Did you know that there is a whole community centered around dog parks? I sure as heck didn’t. Albus and I started going to a local dog park regularly, and we sort of just fell into this great group of people that always happened to be there. Of course, none of us knew each others names in the beginning, I was known as Albus’ Mom. Through various celebrations from dog birthdays to Halloween, we became sort of an unofficial dog park group. Our favorite dog park hands down is still the Salem Rotary Dog Park. Check out their dog park camera before you go next time, so you can see if there’s actually any dogs there or not for yours to play with.
Dog Daycare: Yes, this is a legit thing! I will 100% admit that before I had a dog, I thought people who took their dogs to daycare were out of their minds. It’s a dog, why would they need a daycare? Well, when your new puppy is home alone all day barking, your neighbors tend to get less than friendly with you. So I swallowed my pride and called Klub Kanine – best decision ever! Not only was this great for getting Albus out of the apartment, be he learned how to better manage his anxiety. Daycare also helped speed along the potty training process as they take the dogs out regularly to a fenced in area on their property. Not only was Klub Kanine affordable, but they also separated dogs by their activity levels, size, and temperament. A huge plus all around! Highly recommend this place for folks that have an 8-5pm job or just have a busy schedule.
Owning My First Dog
Life with a dog will probably be more expensive, time consuming, frustrating and nothing like you expected. But your life with your dog will probably be more fun and more rewarding than you expect as well.
While hindsight is 20-20, I hope my experience here can help you prepare just a little more for your future dog.