A little while ago my husband and I decided to adopt a dog. After a couple months of researching, attending adoption shows, and culling through advice from our friends, we were ready to take the plunge. We found a dog through a local rescue organization but something was fishy about the whole interaction. So, we ended up at the Howard County (MD) Humane Society one Saturday and found a little guy (Ok, not so little – he’s 50+ lbs at only 5 months) that melted us immediately.
Everyone says having a puppy is a HUGE responsibility. Friends that have both kids & puppies said the puppies are more work (!). For some mysterious reason, we still went through with our desire to adopt a puppy (probably because the grown dogs we met seemed like they would hunt our 2 beloved cats!). Every minute of every day since we brought him home has been altered to include him. The house had to be rearranged. Schedules had to be altered. Behaviors (ours’ mostly) had to be refined. Our 2 cats had to be coddled and cuddled. Baby gates, food, bowls, toys, bed, medicine, spray bottle, leashes, collar, halter, tags, registration, crate, deodorizing spray, treats, supplements, and bio-bags had to be purchased in short order.
Turns out Harvey, our 5-month old Doberman Pinscher, IS a HUGE responsibility. He takes constant vigilance, correction, and brain power from both of us every minute that he is awake. He is a beloved member of our exhausted family now.
If I were to share any advice with someone who is getting a puppy (or an energetic dog of any age)- look into these toys, which are the only way you’ll get a few minutes of peace & quiet until he’s fully grown:
#1 Kibble Nibble – purple puzzle ball dispenses food one at a time when the dog spins it around, which slows down his eating & exercises his brain, check out a video of Harvey demonstrating here»>
#2 Squirrel Dude – a purple kong toy that can be crammed with treats for extra motivation. When you throw it it will bounce around like a squirrel and cause the dog to run further and more happily than regular fetching.
#3 Bio-Bags – not a toy, but a biodegradable bag that’s great for picking up after your little guy or girl, and it can be conscientiously discarded in a variety of ways, including compost.
#4 Wood Chuck – this ball-throwing stick keeps you from having to pick up disgusting, slobbery, dirt-coated balls at the dog park to throw for your pal. Again, maximum exercise means down-time for you later on!
#5 Primal Raw Bone Marrow bones- frozen raw bones clean teeth, provide rich nourishment, and about an hour & a half of puppy distraction (enough time to watch one HBO show and wash the dishes). Don’t give them too many of these, although its tempting!
Alyssa works at all MOM’s locations.