I came across this article called "Puppy Love" which talked all about how puppies can prepare you for parenthood. It was so interesting to read mostly because all of this was completely true. Harley has shaped our life in so many wonderful ways but more and more we realize he has been such a wonderful addition to our family and has truly prepared us for this crazy world called parenthood.
Here are the 10 days Harley's helped prepare us for Parenthood:
1. Crying at Night: I remember when Harley spent his first night in his new home with us. He cried and whimpered all night until Gregg put his hand on his back letting him know he was there and he wasn't alone. Already helping us deal with less sleep and crying in the middle of the night, thanks bud.
2. Potty Training: We had a responsibilty to teach Harley how to 'go potty' outside on the grass NOT inside on the carpet. I remember the first time he 'circled' on our carpet and we were just a little bit too late. So glad those days are over and he is officially potty trained!
3. Grooming: Luckily a baby will grow out of this phase but for Har we are consistently bathing him, making sure his paws are wiped, his teeth are somewhat brushed and of course always making sure his nails are clipped. Gotta keep my boy handsome!
4. Feeding: It's crazy to think how we are responsible for feeding Har for his entire life. Morning, moon and night with a few treats sprinkled in of course. He definitely has helped us learn how to teach our children not to beg for food, oh wait....hahaha.
5. Initial Medical Expenses: Like the article says, "there's no such thing as a free puppy" which is exactly what we thought we were getting when we rescued Har. Hooray a puppy for Free. But then we forgot about neutering, medicine, shots, allergic reactions etc. Puppies don't get cheaper as they grow up and neither do kids.
6. Toys and Teething: Sigh. I still miss my pair of gold shoes that Harley ate. Or what about the added expense to our bill when Harley chewed the side panel of the door or so much of the carpet that the nails were poking through. OR what about when I came home to find Gregg's entire wallet (including his license) chewed to pieces. Sigh again. Teething is a huge patience tester with puppies, but how can you be mad at a face like this. (trust me, you can!)
7. Training: Obedience is very important with a child and with a dog. Har can do all sorts of tricks but he can also stay, doesn't jump when we feed him, doesn't run outside when we open the front door, if we ask him to sleep in his bed he will (for the most part). Overall training has helped us learn not only how to discipline, but how to discipline correctly, a huge part of being a good parent.
8. Managing Mischief: Last year when I walked through the door to find my only pair of glasses completely broken and chewed on I had to dig deep not to scream at Harley. I still remember wearing them with super glue all over there. My other favorite mishchievious incident of Har was when we were looking at our coffee table in the sun and reazlied that there were paw prints all over it. Someone was definitely climbing up on the coffee table when he wasn't suppose to be! GOTCHA PUP!
9. Inability to efficiently communicate wants and needs: Deciphering what Harley wants on a daily basis has been a challenge some days. However, it's amazing how a head turn or a crazy run will tell us what he needs or wants. How when his tongue is out that means he's very hot or when he lays on his side he's exhausted. I think sometimes I forget that Harley doesn't talk....yet literally we can almost understand everything he needs or wants. He's pretty impressive.
10. Unconditional Love: The best part about Harley is the fact that no matter how upset or mad you get at him he is always there loving you IMMEDIATELY after. He greets us at the door every day and sometimes even gives toe licks if you're lucky. His love for us is infinte just like our love for him. Nothing will ever change that. He is our puppy and we are his puppy parents.
I think we'll keep him around.