Struggling owner part 2:
Luckily for me I was blessed with a boyfriend who had raised his dog in a small space and was eternally encouraging- reminding me that he's a puppy and with proper training he would be better.
Although he was right, the struggles didn't end. My couch smells like piss bc he would piss in the house, walk in it then jump on the couch. And even though now he's learned and will stay off the couch 95% of the time, there's no ridding the couch of this smell.
I'm constantly vacuuming. I joke that the only one pulling their weight in this household is Roomba.
As much of a pain in the ass he is, he shows me love and makes me laugh everyday. He's sweet with everyone he encounters. And at the dog park when met with a scared or growling dog- he immediately crouches low, puts his ears back and starts licking the uneasy pup. He's so sweet and welcoming. He makes me proud.
He's always been worth the effort. With extra work and understanding that each dog learns on their own time, the potty training finally seemed to kick in. Though he still makes mistakes. He's rambunctious but kind.
I advise those looking to adopt to consider what it really means to care for another being: - Hungover? You're taking the dog out at 7 am - Travel? Better have boarding plans - and be sure your pet is vaccinated otherwise it's a no go. - Dating? Hope your sig other doesn't mind always coming to your place and allergies better not be an issue. - You see people at the cafe or park with their well behaved dog? Guarantee you that dog is at least 6 yrs old and just got back from exercising.
As I told my friend, getting a dog is the best and worst thing you can do to yourself. But with the proper time, love and extreme effort- the worst parts will fade away.
A struggling owner: part 1
My friend saw pictures of my boy and asked how he could find a white shepherd of his own. I was immediately filled with pride and happy to share my information but I also paused and told thought about my time with this boy.
I was raised with animals- all kinds of animals from rodents to goats. We had small dogs and we had big dogs so I clearly know what I'm doing. What I didn't consider was how big of a difference having a yard and a companion makes.
I was naive and wanted the unconditional love and companionship that only a dog can offer.
I picked up my boy at the tender age of eight weeks old. I got him a carrier for the two hour drive home but fifteen minutes into the ride he was out of his carrier and laying across my lap. I felt an immediate bond with him - "this is MY BOY, MY DOG" "I'll remember this day forever" I thought. I'll remember this day on the day he goes to heaven.
Then I got home and reality set in. I slept on the couch next to his crate so I could take him out every 3 hours bc that's all his little bladder could handle. He whimpered and whined and dug his puppy teeth into my hands and arms.
He peed everywhere! He shat everywhere! Everyone said, "keep an eye on him ALL THE TIME". I'm sorry but that's impossible, I tried but when he walked away for 20 seconds, by the time I returned,he had already done his business. THE ONE TIME I WALKED AWAY after watching him like a hawk.
I about lost my mind. I didn't want to be the person with the stinky house. No matter how hard I tried with the crate training, he defied it. He actually shat in his crate- even though I had made it small enough for him. Even my vet told me this wasn't normal.
Oh my god!! I'm going to be the girl with the untrainable dog who defecates everywhere and whose house will forever smell like dog excrement!
There were times I seriously considered giving him up. I thought I was over my head and not a proper owner for a dog. (Continued)