I’ve wanted a dog my whole life. Like every other kid probably does, I remember asking my mom if we could get a dog, several times, and her answer was always no. As an adult, realizing what goes into raising children, taking care of a household and taking care of the family (husband included) I can see why her answer was no.
When I moved out of my parents house into my condo, I seriously considered getting a dog. After much thought and consideration I came to the conclusion it wouldn’t be the right thing to do. The dog would be home alone to much and it wouldn’t be fair. When my boyfriend and I started looking for a house a few years ago I knew this would finally be the right time.
Fast forward a few years. We got settled into the house, painted and started to plan renovations. Last year we started (I started) searching for a dog for us. Ryan was adamant he wanted to adopt a rescue dog and I agreed, knowing we could give a dog in need a very loving home and a great life. It seems that all the rescue organizations I got in touch with thought differently. They didn’t consider us good candidates. That we had never had a dog together previously and both worked outside the home seemed the biggest strikes against us. We also did not have experience dealing with the types of issues that sometimes come with rescue dogs so the dogs we could consider for adoption were few and far between. The odd time we did find a dog suitable for us, there were multiple families interested and we knew with our inexperience we would never be selected over others and we never were.
After months of this, we were very discouraged and made the decision to look for a puppy. While I’m sure all the #adoptdon’tshop believers will be up in arms about this, it was really the only way I saw us being able to get a dog. I started looking for breeders for Portuguese Water Dog puppies. I found a breeder and we began the process of going to meet him and his dogs to make sure Ryan wasn’t allergic (he wasn’t thank goodness), sent in our deposit and got on the list for the next litter. That litter didn’t work out for us but the next one did. Our little guy was born late November 2018 and we brought our baby home end of January 2019. Ryan wanted to name him Jones. I’ve always wanted a dog named Chico so I combined the names and he is now known to everyone as Chico Jones.
There were many people who warned us how much work a puppy would be and they weren’t wrong. I didn’t care how much work it was. I had wanted a dog for so long and was finally going to have one. I was willing to do whatever was necessary to raise a good dog. People were not exaggerating, it was a ton of work and some very sleepless nights. We never could have done it without the help of family. When we couldn’t be home, a rotating array of family members were here to care for Chico Jones for which we are very grateful. When I lost my job, I became the one who took care of him all day. I’m grateful for this time with him. He is still a puppy and needs ongoing training. The fact I’m here all day every day now means I can dedicate more time to his care and training. We love him so much even when he is being bad and one of us has to walk away for a break.
There is such an education in terms of what to get our puppy to keep him occupied. From stuffed bones, to tug toys and treat balls and Kongs we are learning as we go. From friends and coworkers and our wonderful training school, we have picked up many tips along the way. For a shopper like me, its opened up a whole new world of stores and products to look at. I love the challenge of figuring out what our little guy needs and what he might like best.
For all the people who told us puppies/dogs were a lot of work and absolutely worth it, you were bang on. I love our life with Chico Jones and can’t wait to see what adventures we get to share with him. Stay tuned for future updates on puppy shenanigans, adventures and favourite toys.