puppy loveLast week, I published a post about the 10 Ways Raising a Puppy is Like a Baby based on our experiences in the first week after we brought Lemon home from the adoption agency. After reading the post, my good friend and fellow puppy-daddy Andrew Burke pointed out that I missed quite a few similarities and has graciously allowed me to share those with you today!

You get really comfortable around poop

Yep, I went there and to be honest I don’t know how I didn’t think to go there in the original post. Potty training is one of those realities of raising a little one that you know in your head you’ll have to take care of but until you’re scrubbing your hands with bleach because you weren’t able to contain the…”mess.”

You’ll find yourself planning your day around their bowel movements, whispering words of encouragement and cheering like a crazy person when the deed is done. At least with a baby, eventually they grow out of it (if you’re following your 12 year old around with a pocket full of plastic bags…you may have a problem).

It prepares you for unexpected medical bills

No one ever plans to get sick or injured, but they are a fact of life. Especially with a creature that doesn’t yet have a fully-developed immune system or realize the potential hazards of their behavior, trips to the doctor are going to happen. As a parent (again, see disclaimer in original posts for the crazies who will get up in arms about the use of “parent”), all you can do is make sure you have quality care available to you and to recognize that the responsibility to recognize a problem lies with you, not your little one.

You improve your communication with your significant other

Assuming you’re raising the little one with another person, communication with that person is especially important. Did you feed her? Will you be home in time to pick him up? Has he been out of the house at all?

You’ll also need to learn to communicate better regarding how you’ll raise the little one. Consistency is important when trying to teach your little one the right behaviors and, I’m sure you’re starting to notice a theme here, that responsibility lies with you.

Vacations…are no longer vacations

Those days of the spontaneous weekend trips or extending your vacation another few days are gone. Crashing at a friends place after the bars become a thing of the past. When you have a little one at home, she must become the priority in your schedule. If you want to do something, you have two options: bring her with you or find someone to watch her.

That said, bringing her with you shouldn’t be looked at as a sacrifice but as a blessing. You have a responsibility, yes, but that responsibility also helps create lasting memories you’ll cherish for years to come. We don’t have kids, but some of our favorite vacations are the ones we’ve been able to bring the dog along and watch him swim in the ocean for the first time, dress up for Halloween, or open a Christmas present with his paws.

At the end of the day, they’re absolutely worth it

We ended the last post with this sentiment but it bears repeating: raising a little one is obviously a major commitment but that should never take away from the fact that it is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Anne and I have been together for 7 years and the pas 2 weeks with Lemon have brought us even closer together. I can only imagine how much stronger we’ll become when we graduate to raising a baby, especially after everything we’ve learned from the pup!


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