5 Life Lessons From Living With A Puppy

My partner and I recently added a furry friend to our little family. We've wanted a dog for a long time, and now that we have more time being home during quarantine we figured we should go ahead and get Gavin, our clumsy little golden doodle. 

Now, I’m a creature of habit and independence. I like being able to do what I want, when I want. I like my furniture in particular places in our house, and I like things to be organized. So when Gavin came home and wreaked havoc on our main floor, I must admit that it was a bit anxiety provoking for me.

We’ve had Gavin for just over two weeks now and I think we’re all getting used to our new life together. It’s been an exhausting two weeks, as I’m still working full time as a nurse, but we’ve had some of the most enjoyable times at home. In just this short amount of time together, I’ve learned a few things from this sweet puppy and I wanted to share these lessons with you. 

Number one: Start your day with some fresh air

My mornings always consisted of making breakfast, watching a show or listening to a podcast, and getting ready for work. I would only get outside in order to get to my car and commute to work. With Gavin around, the first thing we do in the morning is jump outside for him to relieve himself and take in some fresh air. While he’s doing his business, I like to do some mobility work. It’s really amazing how much more awake and energized I feel in the mornings now. 

Number two: Play hard and play often

Puppies instinctively like to play. They like to play-fight, fetch, or play tug. It’s an extremely important and valuable part of their development. Human’s do the same thing because it’s also good for our development. It’s important to try new things, explore creativity, and learn boundaries. Maybe fetch might be a bit too simple for us, but we can always try learning new games or trying new sports. 

Number three: Explore the world around you

When we first brought Gavin home, I think he sniffed every square inch of this house before he settled down to rest. There is so much to see, and experience in this world, but we often become very comfortable in our own environments and stop exploring. This can be as simple as trying a new restaurant or hiking a trail you’ve never completed. It could be learning about something you don’t know anything about too. Whatever it is, we’re exploring the world and all it has to offer. 

Number four: Sleep is important 

I thought having a puppy meant that we were going to be on high alert 24/7, but puppies actually sleep for a majority of their day, albeit staggered and unpredictable at times. Gavin sleeps when he needs to and is awake when he’s rested. On very hot days, he tends to sleep more after being in the sun for short periods of time. On activity-filled days, he sleeps right through the night without a problem. He doesn’t need to be told when to go to bed or be woken up by an alarm clock. I’m not suggesting that we just sleep whenever we feel like it and wake up whenever. It would make it difficult to be a functioning member of society, but we can go to sleep earlier, stop fighting our urges to stay up and watch netflix, and grant ourselves enough sleep opportunity that we might even wake up before our alarms if we’ve accumulated the amount of sleep we need. 

Number five: Value the relationships you have and strive to make new friends

Puppies are very social, at least mine is. He loves meeting new people and socializing with anything that moves. All too often we forget to appreciate the people we have in our lives. We run on auto-pilot and forget that in an instant, we could lose the people we love. Having this puppy in our lives has reminded me to cherish all of the wonderful people I have in my life and be fully present when I’m spending time with them. 

I am extremely grateful and humbled by this 10 week old puppy. Having him in my life makes me strive to be a more present and caring individual. He lives as a constant reminder for me to enjoy and appreciate all the little things in life.

Let this be a simple reminder to stop every once in a while and view life like a puppy.

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