Three Things to Know Before You Get a Puppy

We got a puppy!!! His name is Sherwin. Why the name Sherwin? Because that was almost my husband’s name, until his parents decided to name him Eugene instead. We thought Sherwin was too awesome a name to waste, so we put it to good use 🙂

Anyway, everyone always says that puppies are a lot of work. And you know what? They’re right! So think long and hard before you get a puppy, because they are definitely like human babies.


There are three important things to know before you get a puppy.

  • Puppies need a lot of attention. If you have a younger sibling, you’ll probably know what I mean. They follow you everywhere. They want to do what you’re doing. If you’re reading a book, they will want your book. If you’re putting on your shoes, they will want your shoes. If you’re eating a cookie, they will want your cookie. This all sounds adorable, but sometimes, you just want some peace and quiet. Puppies will not let you have any peace or quiet (except when they’re sleeping…fortunately, they sleep a lot).
  • Puppies need a lot of training. You have to be ready to spend a lot of time with your pup to train him or her. If you’re the type of person who grows bored very quickly, then you probably don’t have the patience to train a pup. You have to be dedicated and persistent. It’s kind of like homework, except you’re the teacher who has to correct all the mistakes and reward all the good stuff.  Sounds fun to be the teacher, but it’s not. It’s a lot of hard, repetitive, thankless work.
  • Puppies poop a lot. Sometimes up to five or six times a day. So get ready to clean up a lot of little messes. If you’re not good with icky stuff, then you should probably stick to pet fish. Although fish can be icky, too.

I’m writing these warnings because when I was a kid, I let my parents do all of the above. And that’s not right. You have to be a dedicated companion to your dog, not just for the fun times, but also during the tough times. That’s how you become a responsible pet companion. And even though I had dogs when I was a kid, I’m learning about this responsibility for the very first time in my life. It’s been a huge lesson.

But yes, having a pup is fun, too. Sherwin is a fantastic walking companion. He is also an expert at fetching balls. And he is curious about the entire world — bugs, airplanes, flower petals, bicycles — so he makes you notice the details of life, too. And when he sees you in the morning, he’s SOOOO excited! It’s like a party whenever you appear! Now that’s adorable.

So if you’re ready to be a responsible pet companion, then a puppy could be the right pet for you. But if you’re not yet a very responsible person, then you probably should get a different kind of pet (or maybe just hang out with friends who have pets).

Look at that little face, and those ears! And those jowls and paws and shoulders…! He reminds me of Clint Eastwood in this photo!