Before getting a dog of my own, I spent a lot of time picturing it to be something it really isn’t. Cuddles on a rainy day, going for a run with my pal, or having a companion who would protect me…the list goes on. Allllll the cute stuff. The stuff that we see when we scroll through Instagram and see perfectly edited pictures of people and their dogs enjoying a sunny day or playing in the snow, but its not the whole picture of the reality that having a dog is. You’ll really only understand it until you do it yourself. And I realized not too long after having a creature dependent on me, that I really had no fucking clue what it was going to ACTUALLY be like. When I brought Luna home a little over a year ago, I had no idea that the months to follow would be some of the hardest. I had everything planned out perfectly in my mind: I’d train her straight off the bat, she’d listen to me, we’d be best buddies, she’d be perfect and we’d live happily ever after.
No one prepares you for the hard stuff.
No one prepares you for the overwhelming bouts of frustration.
No one tells you that you’ll probably say you regret getting a dog in the first place.
No one tells you you’ll cry equal amount tears of joy and tears of frustration.
No one tells you she will not listen to you every time you expect her to.
No one tells you she will be just as stubborn as you are.
No one tells you you’ll spend way too much money on her.
No one tells you that you’ll feel guilty leaving her at home so you can socialize with your friends.
No one tells you that you’ll have a built in alarm clock forever, whether its 10 PM or 4 AM.
No one tells you that you can say goodbye to privacy forever.
No one tells you that she’ll be so annoying that you’ll want to lock yourself in your bedroom for some alone time.
No one tells you your heart will hurt and you will cry when you see her in pain.
But for every negative emotion I’ve had, there’s a positive one to counter it on a much larger scale.
I had no idea how much I would love this dog.
I had no idea how much my heart would overflow with happy when I see her crazy tail-wag and butt-wiggle when she sees me after a long day at work.
I had no idea I would rather sleep on the floor with her than in my own bed if it meant snuggling a bit longer.
I had no idea how proud I would be when she finally grasps something we’ve been working on for training.
I had no idea she would teach me how to be a better person, not just for her, but for others in my life too.
No matter how frustrated I was/am during the hard stuff, I could turn around and see Luna looking up at me with innocent eyes, and it would make everything better #cheesy. I wouldn’t change a thing, obviously. But no one ever talks about the hard stuff about having a dog and its probably because they don’t want to admit that they felt the negative stuff at all; because it makes you look like a jackass. I think I wouldn’t have felt so crappy and defeated had I known I’m not the first person to feel this way. It doesn’t make me a bad dog parent for wanting a break. Just like it doesn’t make Luna a bad dog for not wanting to listen to me. It’s life. I need to be easier on myself for all the times I feel guilty because at the end of the day I know I’m a good dog mom and I’m giving Luna the best life I can, and she loves me no matter.
Unconditional love, y’all. It’s just the best.