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What I've Learned from Sir Winston.

The boys have wanted a dog since they were 6 and 3, but since we were renting for several years we had to put that dream on hold. We always told them after we got our house built we would finally get a dog. So in their minds, move-in day meant get-a-dog day. 

Well, it didn't quite work out like that, but we did start looking soon after moving in, and six months later we got our puppy. We surprised the boys this Christmas and brought him home on New Years Eve. (I highly recommend a surprise Christmas puppy. It was a magic moment.)

I've never had an indoor dog so the whole thing has been a learning curve. Like, I didn't even know you had to clip dogs nails until last week. My brother and sister-in-law came over and kindly told me his paws felt like cat claws. Oops! I thought that was normal. No wonder all our arms look like scratching posts. We had outdoor dogs growing up, and those dogs never even saw a bathtub let alone a toenail clipper.

Of course the kids are the ones who wanted the pup, but guess who gets to take care of and do most of the training? Yours truly! Oh, the things motherhood entails that no one warns you about. 

Consider this my warning, friends. If you do not have a baby yet, one day you might - and if you do, it will grow up and ask for a puppy. I can guarantee it. And if you're the type of person who would never have an indoor dog yourself, but are just trying your darndest to make their childhood dreams come true - here are the things that no one tells you that you will absolutely need to know. 

1. Newborn puppy stage is harder than newborn baby stage. Some may say I'm crazy, but I stand by this. Here is why: Newborn babies stay in one place, puppies are into everything. Babies soil their diaper, puppies soil the entire house. Newborn babies don't bite, puppies bite the fire out of anyone and everyone. Newborn puppies cry and it hurts your heart, puppies bark and it hurts your ears. Newborn babies don't have to go outside in the negative degree temperatures to tinkle and #2, puppies do. Most people get puppies to prepare them for babies, I say do the opposite. 

2. You will spend more time outside than you ever dreamed of. Potty training/house breaking requires so much time. I've been outside more in the past 8 weeks than I have in the past 2 years combined. Couple that with his exercise time and you're spending a lot of time getting back to nature. I'm basically Bear Grylls at this point.

3. You have to cut their nails. Once a month! I was about 3 months behind on this one. We were going for that Winston Scissorhand vibe. 

4. For the first couple months you are pretty much housebound. Puppies can't stay alone for long periods of time, especially crate trained pups, so errands/dinners out are local and quicker than usual. (This will get better as they get older.)

5. You need to brush their teeth. WHAT?! This one blew my mind. Growing up, the closest thing our dogs got to a toothbrush was a squirrels tail. But apparently dental problems can lead to heart problems. 

6. They shouldn't be around other dogs and public areas until they are fully vaccinated (around 14 weeks). They are super susceptible to parvovirus which is deadly for puppies - and they can catch it just by sniffing another (unvaccinated ) dog's waste. Never knew it!

7. Correcting them with a stern voice and a punishment doesn't work. They learn from redirecting and then giving them a treat. Stern voices make them act out more. Can you imagine if we corrected children with treats? Acting out is all they would get done!

8. You will need bags and bags of treats. Especially during the training season. I like the small hard ones so I can keep a bunch in my pocket to train/reward as needed throughout the day. 

9. Supervising is a full time job. Unless he is asleep, someone has constant tabs on him so that he doesn't tear stuff up or get into something that could hurt him. This part gets exhausting - mentally and physically, especially when you're the only one home. Again, this will get better as he gets older. They say.

10. Puppies need socialization. Who knew? They're supposed to meet other dogs and other people early on so they don't freak out/jump/bark in new situations. (So I'm supposed to socialize him early while keeping him away from everyone until he's fully vaccinated. Got it.)

So there you have it, my first time pet owner puppy tips. Well, not really tips, just stuff I didn't know. I just heard this week that months 6-10 are equivalent to the Terrible Two's in toddlers, so.... Weeeee! I'm sure I'll be back then with even more STUFF THEY DON'T TELL YOU.

One thing they do tell you is how quickly the little critter will become a member of the family and just how hard you'll fall in love. I have to say, they hit the nail on the head with that one. 

Do you have something you would add to the list? 

I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.


  1. I'm loving see photos of Winston! I remember the puppy days with our darling Pekingese Lilly. Everything you said it spot on and I remember thinking "what have I done getting a puppy?!" However, I can tell you, it gets SO MUCH BETTER!!! They really do grow up - LOL. And, you are so right about the love too! o:)

    1. Thank you! Yes, it’s definitely overwhelming. I’m glad to hear things get easier!! ☺️

  2. Puppy proofing a house is leaps and bounds harder than baby proofing! They find everything! And teeth on it! Glad we’re well beyond that stage :)

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