I’ve never in my life been without a dog. I grew up rescuing dogs. For a good bit of my childhood, I lived right next to a “puppy drop-off” in Pride, Louisiana. Basically, my house was near a stop sign in the middle of nowhere, so it was a great place for assholes to dump a box of puppies they didn’t want.
I rescued a dog on my own to take with me to college before I even graduated high school. In college, I stopped anytime I saw an animal wandering on the side of the road. I loved getting pets back home to their owners. I loved doing my part to open South Louisiana’s eyes to the world of adopting and not supporting “backyard breeders.”
I even went to Nepal and volunteered with dogs at an animal treatment center in Katmandu for a week.
My dogs could do no wrong, even though they were so awful and misbehaved 90% of the time. They are extremely hyper and one is 75 pounds. He is a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Doberman, Rottweiler mix, to be exact. I took them to training and did my homework (shout out to Larry Beniot), but at the end of the day, they were high maintenance for someone going to school full-time and working full-time.
I didn’t care. They were my world and I’d talk about them like they were my children…
Until I had a child.
From the day I got back home with my daughter, these poor dogs’ lives were never the same. Before you assume this is quickly turning into my version of the first scenes of The Secret Life of Pets 2, I’ll warn you: You’re exactly right.
I was instantly annoyed at every inconvenience my dogs presented. I’m still so much quicker to anger in this sense. My dogs annoy the absolute crap (pun intended) out of me when they:
- Poop on the patio because they’re too good to step in the cold grass
- Take an abandoned toddler toy that resembles a dog toy in even the slightest way
- Bark in the middle of the night in a way that consistently convinces me I’m about to be murdered
- And speaking of murder:
Then, my daughter got older and was able to start walking, playing, and interacting with my dogs.
My dogs slowly began to insert themselves into my daughter’s life in the best way. As chaotic as my house gets with all of these vibrant personalities, very few things make me smile as big as:
- My daughter saying she wants to see Caesar and Sophie (pronounced “Soapy”) on the way home
- The dogs putting up with her crawling all over them
- My daughter laughing at the dogs when they play
- Watching them all cuddle with me in bed or on the couch
- My daughter telling them, “It’s okay”, during the suspenseful parts of Frozen or Finding Nemo
- And just general gems like this:
So, give your dogs a chance… and don’t be an asshole that drops puppies off on the side of the road.