They’re cute, cuddly, and always by your side, but even though dogs are a man’s best friend, getting a dog pretty much killed my relationship with my guy for months. Here’s why you really need to think before bringing one home.
I admit that I didn’t do all the research. I adopted my dog and it was literally love at first sight. Even though I was there just to look and see, this little guy won my heart and I couldn’t leave without him. I couldn’t imagine him going home with anyone else, or even worse, spending the rest of his days at the shelter feeling unloved. Back at home, I just wasn’t ready. I literally didn’t have anything for him. Even though there were a few days in-between my deposit and picking him up to take him home, it was more or less a sign that I hadn’t thought this through all the way.
My partner had no idea it was happening. This is also on me, but I figured that since he talked about wanting a dog for so long, he’d likely be overjoyed. Well, he was and he wasn’t. When the dog came home, he had a bit of a kennel cough, which made my boyfriend overly worried, probably because he wasn’t with me when the volunteers at the shelter told me it was totally normal. He wasn’t there for the big decision and I could tell he was a little hurt by it.
While I knew how to care for a dog, I forgot how to care for a puppy. Puppies are like newborns. They need a ton of supervision and are adorably helpless. My dog wasn’t totally housebroken and also kept odd hours. Plus, separating him from the shoes was hard work. He caused a lot of destruction and made me wonder if I took on more than I could handle at this point in my life.
I felt like my partner wasn’t willing to handle his share of the responsibility. Looking back, I realized this wasn’t totally his fault. After all, it was my dog and my decision—I shouldn’t have expected him to do an equal share of work. But at the time, I felt like I couldn’t depend on him, which made me wonder how well he’d be able to take care of our future children (who would definitely be his responsibility).
Dates were suddenly cut short since I had to let the dog out. Dogs require a lot of responsibility, and while I was always there for my dog, I didn’t realize at the time that I was setting myself up for a lot less freedom. While we used to go all-out for dinners, now we had to ask for the check shortly after our main entree was served, at least during the puppy phase.
The dog refused to sleep outside of the bed. I know that as the human, I’m supposed to call the shots, but it gets very hard when you’ve got a stubborn and loud beagle who will howl all night if not curled up in bed with you at night. It was cute at first, but eventually it became something I had to plan around. Spontaneously intimacy went out the door since trying to pry a dog off of a comforter for 10 minutes isn’t necessarily what most people find sexy.
With an agitated dog, our fights seemed more severe. As tensions rose, every fight seemed like a huge issue since the dog whined and barked through it out of fear. With shelter dog, even puppies, sometimes you forget that they had a life before you—and sometimes, it’s tragic. Aside from the sound of his own loud bark, our dog hated loud noises, especially when they came from us. We tried hard not to argue in front of him, but sometimes it became hard to control.
Less money was going into dates, more money was going towards the dog. You want the best for your furry buddy so I was spending less on date night attire and more on making sure my dog got the best dry food possible. I’m lucky that my guy never put too much pressure on me to dress a certain way, but personally, new dresses always pumped me up for big dates. I felt like I wasn’t putting as much energy into date night the way I used to. And sometimes during the date, I was too worried about whether or not the dog was going through separation anxiety to really be present.
Eventually, we got through it. Luckily, this story has a happy ending. I’m so glad that I got through the storm that is puppyhood with my partner. Even though there were plenty of moments when I felt like a breakup was inevitable, now we can’t imagine life without our pup. That being said, it was a big reminder that dogs are a huge decision and will be life-changing for everyone, not just you.
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