Puppy Love

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There comes a time in every relationship where you must have a serious discussion, weighing the pros and cons of the commitment you’re about to make and eventually reaching a decision as a couple. No, I’m not talking about marriage or babies or moving in together, what I’m referring to is an entirely different monster: buying a puppy together.

John and I have had the idea of getting a dog in our heads for quite some time. Even before I moved we had discussed the option, but at that point we hadn’t given it much serious thought. Labor Day weekend rolled around and we suddenly found ourselves sitting in a restaurant discussing the pros and cons of having a four legged friend over fried mac and cheese bites and ravioli. The conversation revolved mostly around the amount of poop we would be exposed to (a very important topic for discussion), in addition to sacrifices we would need to make in terms of traveling north to visit our families. We jotted down our notes on a piece of paper and decided that yes, at this point we wanted a dog, but that we needed to take a week to think about it in more detail.

Our plan was a great plan: address our pros and cons and how we’ll deal with each, then go on our cruise in October and decide if it was still something we were interested in after returning. After our cruise, we would start seriously looking for dogs and start the adoption process. Things were playing out great until we found ourselves Google searching puppies everyday (seriously, who writes those sad stories on the bio pages?) and picking favorites.

While sitting in the living room Saturday discussing dogs with John’s parents, John piped in and said something along the lines of “hey, isn’t there an adoption event at Petsmart today?” He barely had time to call Petsmart and confirm before we were all piling in the car to go “look.” In other words, we threw all of our rational thinking out the window and finally succumbed to all of those puppy faces we’d seen on the internet. After returning home (miraculously, without a dog) we immediately got back to surfing the internet for adoptable dogs nearby. It was only a few hours before we had submitted an adoption application for a 5 ½ month old Shepherd mix named Basil. We heard back within an hour and were urged to come to the rescue group’s adoption event this upcoming Saturday to meet Basil as well as a few other dogs we saw online.

Anticipating the upcoming weekend and the possibility that we may soon have a new and furry member of the household, I got to thinking about the whole thing. While we are both beyond excited to adopt a dog and give it a loving home together, what excites me most is the journey John and I are about to begin in our relationship. While I know that adopting a dog could very well change our relationship even more than moving in together did, and that sleepless nights and added strain on our relationship are possible and likely, I can’t wait to “grow” our family and allow our relationship to grow even more.

What do you think about buying a pet with your significant other? Have you done this in the past and experienced success/failure? What is your advice to John and I?

36 thoughts on “Puppy Love

  1. Style Journey

    Taking on the responsibility of anything as a couple is always a major step. My husband and I have adopted two dogs during our years together. I think puppies are sometimes harder than raising kids, lol! You two will have so much fun though. Animals always bring joy to a home! Heather

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      It’s definitely a huge responsibility but it’s an exciting step for us! We both had dogs growing up and are animal lovers, so it’s really fun to be in the process of adopting one together. Thanks for reading Heather!

      Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      That’s a good point and one of the harder things about considering getting a pet together is that you have to discuss what would happen to the dog if the relationship didn’t work out. I know I’ll be treating the dog just like a kid of my own!

      Reply
  2. albucco10

    I’ve always considered a couple buying a pet the “step” before marriage. It sounds like you guys have really thought it over and are ready for the responsibility it brings (as well as what it means for you as a couple–you’ll be PARENTS!). So on that note–PLEASE get a dog so we can see adorable pictures of it. Please!

    -Alyssa
    The Glossy Life

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Haha don’t worry Alyssa there will be an OVERLOAD of photos on here when we finally get to adopt a dog. It’s a really exciting time and a huge step/responsibility to take on but we’re both ready and can’t wait!

      Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Haha that was one of the harder things for us when talking about getting a dog – we had to address the worst case scenario and what would happen to the dog in the event our relationship didn’t work out for some reason or another in the end. That’s the least of our worries, but it’s good to be prepared for any and all situations before committing to adopting an animal together.

      Reply
  3. Rachel

    They say that a pet is the first step before having kids, which I agree with! Taking on the responsibility of an animal (especially a puppy) is a huge deal and can really prepare you for other things in life later on. I’m so glad you chose to adopt one instead of go to a breeder- it really helps save animals that would otherwise never get a home. I can’t wait to see photos!

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Definitely agree! We have friends with dogs who assure us it will no doubt put our relationship to the test, but that it will make us stronger, too. We both knew we wanted to adopt and rescue a dog as soon as we started talking about getting a dog. Hopefully we’ll be able to adopt a dog soon and bombard everyone with photos on the blog here! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Always Maylee

    My husband and I have been going back and forth for years about getting a puppy. I think it’s great that you two have talked about it together and made the decision as a couple. You two are REALLY mature and have such a healthy relationship! 🙂

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

    Reply
  5. recreateandrepin

    I wanted a dog way before Dean did (aka my whole life) so when he said he wanted to start looking I was SUPER excited. We ended up with our puppy within max a month of our searching. Although she is a ton of work and seriously cuts into our old social lives, she is the absolute best thing we’ve done together. We are literally puppy obsessed!

    I would think more about getting her before the cruise though. Unless you have someone that will volunteer to watch your pup from home, you have to make sure that s/he has all of the necessary puppy shots plus kennel vaccinations before letting her board anywhere. Plus they are hard to leave!

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      I’m hoping we can find a dog soon, within a month like you did. I’m sure John and I will be totally obsessed too, we’re already starting to plan everything out. Also, thanks for all of the suggestions. Luckily, most of the dogs we are looking at are already up to date on vaccinations since we are looking at slightly older dogs versus a puppy. But I know it will be so hard to leave the dog at home even if its only for a few days!

      Reply
  6. kitchenclosetheart

    I love hearing stories like this, about couples who sit down and have rational discussions about what to do and then follow through with their feelings instead. That’s what relationships seem to be about both of your emotions ebbing and flowing together. The fact that you guys can be both rational and spontaneous at the same time is incredible and, in my opinion, the mark of an incredibly mature relationship. Makes a single girl like me hopeful! Good luck with Basil (ADORE the name)… I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you guys!

    xx
    M

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Thank you for your kind words – seriously, that means so much! We seem to be very in tune with each other even though we are different in a lot of ways, which helps when it comes to making decisions like this one. Sometimes you can try to be rational all you want, but there comes a time where you just have to go with your gut and follow your emotions instead…which seems to be exactly what we’re doing together! I’m trying not to be overly hopeful about Basil, but have my fingers crossed that we’ll be able to adopt him soon!

      Reply
  7. jennacwest

    How funny, today I posted about my puppy! I can happily say that getting a dog is a great way to add more to a relationship and since you and John have discussed it and planned it out, it will be a great addition to your little family. My boyfriend and I did it the wrong way. We got our puppy without any discussion or planning, just on a whim. No going to lie it will be hard and you two may butt heads but it will be good for your relationship. Plus you two already live together so it may not be as bad. But getting a puppy put my relationship to the test but I wouldn’t take anything back because that rocky patch with potty training, angry parents, and conflicting schedules definitely made my relationship stronger.

    Go with your gut! And you’ll love that puppy as your own child.

    Jenna

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Haha, we must be on the same wavelength! I’ll have to go check out your post. We have a few friends with dogs who definitely said it put their relationship to the test at times, but that they are so happy they did it and it has strengthened their relationship like you said. I know it will be quite an experience for us together, but I can’t wait. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Juneli from Fashionably Yours

    Brilliant idea, I would say, though a huge responsibility too! My first dog was gifted to me by my then boyfriend now hubby back in India. After we moved to this country, she now lives with my mom. Now we talk of getting one more here, but keep postponing it, as we travel a lot and do not really want to keep him/her with anyone else! We now have some fish, but I still miss having a dog as a companion, as, trust me, dogs are a man’s best friend!
    Thanks for stopping by and following!
    Following you on Bloglovin’ too!!
    Love
    Juneli from Fashionably Yours

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Travel was a big discussion for my boyfriend and I. We both decided we are willing to drive and take the dog with us for major holidays, but know that taking on this responsibility will mean that we are unable to travel as frequently as we do now. Lucky for us, the beach is only about an hour away so we’ll still be able to visit there often! I’m already preparing myself for the dog to love John more, we saw one dog already and he was instantly attached to John! I’ll just have to kick him out of the house to get in my puppy time….;) Thanks for the follow back!

      Reply
  9. Emily grapes

    G wants a dog so bad but with being in the military and moving around so much, he can’t get one. I…am allergic…and also not the biggest fan of dogs, so we talk about ‘to get or not to get’ quite often. I know (cause I love the guy) that one day, we’ll probably get one, so I prepared him by saying I’d only do a big dog (for the intimidation factor) and not a yippy small one..cause I can’t stand those kinds. Any way, its definitely a big step but it sounds like you guys are ready for it!
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      I’m not a big fan of small dogs either – we’re looking for something anywhere between 30-45 lbs. I’d go bigger, but our house and yard aren’t going to accommodate a dog much bigger than 45 lbs. It’s a huge step but we are definitely as ready as we’re able to be without actually having the dog. I’m sure we’ll learn a lot once we actually get him/her, but I’m excited for the adventure. 🙂

      Reply
  10. crazystylelove

    Sadly I am of absolutely NO help on this topic. My Man wants a dog but I do not. It’s such a huge responsibility, and I even compare it to having a child. You have a living thing that depends on you. You can’t just get up and go whenever you want, and I’m not ready for that. Funny, we were at a wedding on Saturday, and our friends just adopted a puppy a few weeks back. They spent the entire night worrying and wondering if they should get home to the puppy. They left several hours early just to go home to be with him. Wow, I hope I don’t sound too negative, but I almost need to remind myself every once in a while that I’m just not ready for that responsibility. Looking at the adorable little face of a puppy can really throw all your judgement out the window. It does sound like you’ve put a lot of thought into this though, and if you feel in your heart that it’s the right decision, than you will just make it work! Can’t wait to see pics of the little guy once you get him!

    xo Jenny
    http://www.crazystylelove.com

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Everything you said is so true – it definitely is a huge responsibility to take on, and it’s not for everyone! We definitely discussed a lot of the things you brought up in terms of its dependence on us and the fact that we’ll need to sacrifice frequent travel and being able to essentially do whatever we want whenever we want. It is definitely a huge decision, but we’re both really excited about our decision to adopt a dog. I think it will be super fulfilling to have another companion in the home and to take care of and raise the dog together as a couple. I’ll make sure to post plenty of pictures!

      Reply
  11. fizzandfrosting

    I am completely in LOVE with dogs (we have three), so I never want to sway someone from adopting one, but I would just suggest talking about all of the responsibilities prior to going to see them. Once you lock eyes, you’ll throw all caution to the wind! Talk about the financial aspect (dog food, vet bills, doggy day care if you’ll do it, boarding costs) and who will be responsible for care (walking, feeding, letting them out, cleaning up dog vomit at 2 am). As long as you’re both willing to share in ALL responsibility, I say go for it. There is nothing like coming home to a loving dog at the end of the day!

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Thank you for the great advice! John and I both had dogs growing up, but haven’t obviously had one on our own yet where it is completely our own responsibility. We talked about responsibility/cost/sacrifice prior to seriously looking at any dogs and I’m glad we did that, because as soon as we saw a dog in PERSON we decided we didn’t want to wait any longer! We’re both open to sharing the responsibility 100% which makes us more sure that it’s the right choice for us. Thanks for all of your suggestions!

      Reply
  12. Skylette from Sequins&Stilettos

    Oy vey- we made the not so smart decision of getting a puppy when I was SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT… yeah- that was a disaster. We brought Max home with us on a whim and did not put half a much thought into it as you have. Unfortunately, we had to find another family for him after the baby was born because it was just too much. I think you two are being very smart about this and think it’s an awesome way to grow your family. Best of luck to you both! 🙂

    Reply
  13. Rachel @ Making Life Fabulous

    That’s so exciting! I love dogs, and my family wouldn’t be complete without one! The first few weeks/months will be difficult as you and the dog get to know each other, and you work on training it and developing routines. However, if you do your research and are dedicated to training it correctly from the beginning, he or she will quickly learn, and become a valuable part of your family! I promise, after those first few months, dogs aren’t nearly as much work, they just fit perfectly into your life together, and make it better 🙂

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      This is the most belated response ever – but thanks! The first few weeks have definitely been interesting…it was a little stressful the first week as we tried to settle into a routine with Bally to see what works and to get her used to us. She is already learning so fast and is amazingly smart! We’re having a great time and love having her as a family member 😉

      Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      haha we definitely have had to work out the kinks of training but Bally seems to be adapting so well! John and I have our moments too where we disagree about how to go about training but we’re working it out 🙂

      Reply

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