The night before Valentine’s Day, my husband, Lorenzo, walked up the stairs carrying a small bundle of fur.
Looking up from my computer, I asked, “What’s that? Is it stuffed? Is it alive?”
Lorenzo set the “fluff ball” on the floor. It barely moved. I couldn’t see his eyes for all the hair.
But I knew. It’s a dog.
I could not believe Lorenzo did that. I could not believe he bought us a new puppy!
(Talk about taking a risk!)
But within the first week, I realized having a new puppy is very much like falling in love.
1. It’s Unexpected
Just like talking about falling in love, you never really expect it when it happens. Falling in love is what you’ll do someday. When you meet the right person. When you have all your affairs in order. Or after the next trip…
Then you meet him and all your plans go out the window.
I couldn’t speak when Lorenzo bought me a dog. We had talked about getting a dog. Someday.
But here it was. Live. Real. In-person.
Meeting Biscuit wasn’t a WOW moment like…”Oh WOW! I’m so excited!” And I’m running around screaming, “Oh WOW!” It was more like, “Oh. Wow. Oh. Wow. Oh. Hell. Oh. Wow.”
This is OUR dog.
This is it.
This is what “Love” is?
2. It’s Obnoxious
Like a couple kissing and fondling each other in public, not caring who’s watching because they’re sooooo in love…having a new puppy is just as downright obnoxious.
I’ve never been one of those “dog people”. They’re so obnoxious about their animals.
Now, I’m an obnoxious “dog person”.
And I don’t care who sees it.
I want to show “my love” to everyone.
Oh, how happy we are! Isn’t he cute? I share stories of our meeting with strangers. (Happy sigh.)
It’s obnoxious. It’s real, really obnoxious.
3. It’s Terrifying
In the beginning, “Love” is so fabulous. It’s so new. It’s so exciting!
And then you realize you have to live in real life. And “Love” has needs. But you don’t know what they are because you’ve just met.
You don’t know each other at all. You don’t know what he’s thinking.
And that’s when the terror hits.
And just like falling in love, you realize no matter how much you think you’re prepared, you’re not.
I’ve entertained the notion of having a dog. I like the idea of a loyal companion accompanying me on my walks. I like the idea of something cute looking up at me. I like the IDEA of having a dog.
But the reality is I know NOTHING about raising a puppy. I have no idea how to take care of it! What if I screw it up?
What if I kill it?
I told Lorenzo he couldn’t go back to work until the puppy was an adult. He couldn’t leave me alone with Biscuit!
It was terrifying.
(Lorenzo did leave me alone with Biscuit. I’m fine now.) (In case you were wondering.)
4. It’s Difficult to Say “NO”
Just like saying “NO” to having sex too soon, it was just as difficult to say “NO” to Biscuit when he wanted to jump on the sofa.
I really, really wanted him to come to me. It would be great to cuddle with him on the sofa, but it was our second day. I had to say “NO”.
Jumping on furniture is not a habit I want to encourage.
Friends couldn’t believe my willpower. Most of them said, “You’ll give in. You can’t resist. You’ll have to have him with you on your sofa.”
But I knew if I let him have his way from the beginning, I’d pay for it in the long-run. I knew he wouldn’t respect me.
I knew he’d walk all over me. Spoiled.
And I knew that once I said “YES” it would be very, very difficult to say “NO” again. If ever.
(Okay, I admit…I’ve let him up a few times, but…not EVERY time!:))
5. It’s Work, but It’s So Worth It
Like a romantic relationship, having a new puppy is a lot of work.
You have to tend it. It takes time. You have another responsibility in your life. With someone who has their own ideas and opinions about things.
But you’re committed. And it’s a priority.
With Biscuit, we bathe him, feed him, walk him, poo him, brush him, medicate him and take him to the vet.
And like a typical man, Biscuit is always in our business. He wants to be a part of everything!
And I love it.
He’s so joyful. And playful. And adorable. (Everyone thinks so!)
He’s so good. (Everyone says so!)
And soooo sweet. (Everyone loves him!)
(I warned you…”It’s obnoxious!”)
And I’m such a Proud Mama. (I’ve never heard myself say that before!)
And although I’ve never experienced childbirth, I imagine holding a new baby must evoke similar sentiments.
Falling in love…is so worth it!
Here’s to the “Loves” in your life!