How a fur baby changes your life

This post might contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Hello everyone!

It has been a busy couple of months since my last post. But if you noticed, I did a major overhaul on the design of Red Lipstick Lifestyle. I am more or less satisfied with the turnout, with a few minor adjustments that I need to code manually. However, my digital passion project got a much-needed makeover! So to that end, I am satisfied.

Since May, I had an assignment at work that had me on my toes. It was a very busy and rewarding opportunity. Currently, I am taking a professional development course and it is quite intense as it is condensed into one month (instead of three), but as you might remember from my post in March, I am still maintaining my 2019 goal of establishing clear boundaries within my life and making time to take care of myself.

Side note, I have not been overly engaged with social media since March!? Wow! I am, however, going to relaunch my social media pages for curated professional content. Coming Soon!

During the past couple of months, not only has my job kept me busy, but Maciej and I welcomed a new member to our family.

Everyone, meet Thea.

It was May 11, 2019…

Since that time that Maciej left in 2016 to fulfill the requirements of his PhD fieldwork, I have wanted a puppy. We settled on a cat as my sister had two and she moved back with my parents so their home was chaos between the two cats and the dog. Not to mention, my first apartment which seemed big when we lived there, was only a one-bedroom in a four-floor walk-up. So for 2016, it was me and Gertrude. While I love my cat, she is… well… a cat. Very gentle, but she is generally aloof and lacks patience for my nonsense.

For years, I would go on Petfinder and look at cute puppies and young dogs in need of rehoming. There were a couple of times I reached out; however, when the rescue agencies found out I lived in an apartment, they did not respond. They wanted dogs to have a backyard.

Comment on this though: My husband and I are avid hikers and we now live in a condo with a large pet-owner population, large and landscaped grounds overlooking the Humber River and you can see James Gardens from my balcony and still, it was no dice on the rescue front. I personally feel that if a family is an outdoorsy and active family, dwelling style should not matter.

I grew up with dogs. It was weird not having one. After some discussion and apprehension on my husband’s part, I finally did what all wives do when they have their heart set on a pet: “Honey, there are some golden lab puppies available in the countryside 3 hours away, let’s go take a look“.

So we looked…

Maciej could not resist and we ended up falling in love with this little fur munchkin immediately.

The first week with her was an absolute nightmare. We did not sleep, we had to potty train and socialize her and we went through food like crazy… not all of which agreed with her. But to Thea’s credit, and with the miracle of teamwork between myself and my husband, she caught onto being our family pet very quickly.

If you are planning to or considering purchasing a puppy, here are the five ways having a fur baby changes your life:

  1. Puppies force you to take a well deserved physical movement break. One thing I learned quickly from Thea, especially during potty training, was that blitzing work in a sedentary position was no longer an option. I have a responsibility to ensure she goes outside for exercise, socialization, and of course, relief. In fact, it is recommended (and she deserves) two hours of physical activity per day. Believe it or not, taking these breaks have actually upped my productivity and done wonders for physical wellbeing.
  2. Puppies force you to laugh. My grandpa always used to comment on the importance of laughter while howling his distinctive chuckle. The fact is, laughter has a bunch of health benefits including relieving stress (Cueva, Kuhnley, Lanier & Dignan, 2006). I cannot make up some of the nonsensical responses Thea has to everyday things. When playing with other puppies, she loves to just stop and flop onto her back. You cannot help but laugh at how cute and funny it is.
  3. Puppies provide you with a hobby. Maciej and I got Thea for an excellent price because we drove to a farm that was quite a distance from the GTA. When discussing this with people who are interested in getting a puppy, I always stop them when they say “Oh I can afford that!” because realistically, while Maciej and I only spent $700 on her, we had a couple of thousand dollars saved because it costs a couple of thousand dollars in that first year and the expenses come up too quickly to cashflow. We invested in a high-quality training program (approximately $600 to date, with another $300 coming when she turns 1), we prepaid her first-year veterinary package that includes her basic vaccinations, getting spayed and 3 emergency visits and we pay extra for additional protections such as flea and tick prevention and heartworm prevention. And, figuring out the right food was a nightmare! She is good with Royal Canin but it is quite expensive – as you would expect with high-quality food. You cannot leave these things out of the cost of a puppy! That being said, the time and money invested has turned Thea’s care and training into a hobby which is just as enjoyable as other hobbies like yoga, crafting or whatever. We have met other puppy owners with puppies the same age as Thea. Her best friend’s name is Khalo, a german shepherd puppy that’s two weeks younger than her. And, we practice her training daily with her physical activity. It is a commitment but it can be enjoyable. She really is coming along even though she has a long way to go with the type of training we intend to push with her.
  4. Puppies force you to have a stable routine. I like having a routine. I like to go to bed at approximately the same time each night. I like to wake up early and listen to the birds and river on my balcony with a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, for a long time, I lived in a very unpredictable routine due to various job requirements, work requirements and the inability to say no. This was fine in my early 20s. But as I am getting older (and maybe because I am a Cancerian), I like having a stable routine. Thea forces me to do this! I cannot just stay out late and go to work the next day, I have to get back to let her out, take her for a walk and care for her. Sometimes it can be inconvenient but my body thanks her for it.
  5. Puppies help you with emotional processing. I have done so much reading and learning about things like blue light and the damaging effects it has on wellbeing. Did you know that petting a dog for 15 minutes boosts oxytocin production (Petersson, et al., 2017)? The relationship between pets and their owners literally boosts your mood. Not to mention, dogs sense when their owner is feeling down – especially when you’re the alpha – and they respond. When I’m busy cooking in the kitchen, Thea loves to sit at my feet and being with me. She does not try to eat food that falls, she just likes to be at my feet. It makes stressful tasks much more pleasant.

And there you have it! With appropriate planning for your family, having a puppy is such a fun adventure! I’ll include all the cute snaps we have gotten of our little family member in the gallery below!

What about you? Do you have a pet? Any new puppy stories to share? Comment below!

This post might contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Posts created 23

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top