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I didn’t really grow up with pets but I had a lot of friends with dogs.  For a handful of years I think we were the only family in the cul-de-sac that didn’t have a golden retriever or lab, or any animal for that matter.  I’ve actually always considered myself a dog person until I met my wife.  She and her cat, Camu, adopted me and chose to keep me.  That’s when I realized how easy cats were to have as pets, which is why it was a no brainer to eventually get a second one, and if Zoe hadn’t come along recently we were probably going to get a third one.  Zoe is our new 6 month-old retriever puppy and here are 5 things I’m learning as a new puppy parent:

  1. Patience.  She’s the size of a medium-sized adult dog but she’s still a puppy.  She’s still learning.
  2. Don’t be a control freak.  Again, she’s a puppy and doesn’t understand much.
  3. Give her space.  She needs space to figure things out and push the boundaries a little.  It’s our job as puppy parents to set those boundaries when she pushes a little too much.
  4. Sometimes her cries from her crate have to be ignored.  This is heart-breaking both at night and in the morning, although she has gotten a lot better.  We can’t rush in to open the crate or check on her every time she wines or she wins.  Eventually she won’t need the crate but for now, it’s best and the safest.
  5. She’s so freakin’ adorable!  Look at her!

Forget the 5 things I’m learning.  This little girl can have whatever she wants!