There’s nothing like puppy love. What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase? Do you go back to middle school and picture your first crush and the butterfly feelings? Do you sweetly think of your first date with your significant other? Well, for me, puppy love means something entirely different. It’s literally the love I have for puppies.
Some people are addicted to babies. They love the newborn smells, the cuddling cheek to cheek, and the different stages a baby goes through. Now, while I love my kids, I also love dogs. I especially love the puppy stage. I know the chewing and nipping stage isn’t for everyone, along with the sometimes messy potty training, but it just doesn’t overwhelm me that much. I’m a sucker for the slobbery kisses and squeaky barks. I love having a house with dogs and feel that for my family, it’s important for my kids to grow up with animals, preferably dogs. We have nothing against cats, but I’d have to say we identify as a “dog family” and we are definitely team dog over here! I honestly believe having a dog in the house teaches kids a whole other level of love, kindness, respect and responsibility. My children know that a dog is a big commitment and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. I always tell my kids that not only do you have to feed a puppy and to make sure he or she is clean, groomed and healthy, not to mention being able to take the pup on daily walks, but that the dog needs love and attention, and that they deserve our respect and care. It is essentially another member of the family, albeit the fur and four legs.
Once the hard part of training a puppy is done, you have a built in friend for life. And I truly believe dogs are good for the soul. I know dogs may not be for everyone, but for me, they have always brought such joy to my life. I have had so many dogs growing up and have such fond memories of all of them. Of course there is one in particular that still brings me to tears. Anyone that knows me well knows about my Jameson. Jameson was a Maltese poodle mix (malti-poo) and got me through one of the hardest times of my life. I truly believe that without him, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
I remember the day that I met Jameson and knew he would be my dog. He was probably about 10 weeks old and I picked him up and held him over my face to kiss him and he growled at me. I knew he was feisty and I knew he was meant to be mine. I laughed and said, “You’re coming home with me, grouchy!” My mom took his sister who was much more calm and sweet and off I went with a ferocious ball of white fluff. Little did I know at the time that Jameson would help me cope in some of my toughest days. Looking back, I wish I had a dog like him when I went through my teen years because I truly believe it would have helped me while I was learning about myself and navigating through a new world of challenges. I wound up having Jameson from age 23-38. He was almost 15 when he passed away. Sometimes, I still look for him and when I come across a photo I still tear up. I fondly remember him being my shopping buddy when we lived on the Upper East Side for a couple of years, my cuddling partner and a tiny but mighty defender. He used to sleep in my laundry pile, howl when I left the apartment, and growl at anyone that tried to pick him up. He was such a bratty little thing, but he was mine and I defended him until the end.
My family and I now have a rescue dog named Henry. He’s five and he’s a Collie/Shepherd mix. He’s the best family dog you could ask for. He’s sweet and calm, but very protective. He’s got huge puppy dog eyes and he loves to chase the kids in the backyard. It’s funny to see his herding instincts kick in since he’s so mild mannered while moseying around the house. My kids have always had a dog and when Jameson was alive, they grew up with two and we loved every minute of it.
As I’m writing this, I’m having genuine excitement about what’s to come tomorrow morning. As a family, we have decided that Henry is ready for a new dog brother and that the kids miss having a second pooch in the house. As crazy as it is, and despite the fact that we already have a lot going on and live in a cozy, tiny home, we have decided to adopt another puppy to add to the madness. Tomorrow we will pick up the newest member of our family, a Corgi we already decided will be named Teddy. I’m a hundred percent confident that he is going to bring us such joy and I can’t wait to see how he fits in. I’m hoping Jameson will be happy we decided to get Henry and the kids a new pal, even though he always was a bit jealous. My wish is that Teddy will grow up surrounded by love and that my children will also feel just as safe and secure as our new fur baby will most certainly be.