I want a dog!… Is what I would say all the time as a kid and well into my teen years. I wanted a dog. I wanted one so much that I started walking neighborhood dogs so I could release my pent up desire for a fury friend.
What I love most about dogs is how loyal they are. The average dog acts friendly with most people. Yet they can be so protective to the point of risking their lives for their owners. They are amazing creatures!
Now as a grown up what I don’t like about the idea of getting a dog is, having another being to “parent” in a sense. I am also a huge believer in dogs being dogs. I can’t stand when an owner gets mad at their dog for acting like a dog- doing typical things like digging in the yard, barking inside or making a mess while having fun.
Yet at the same time, these are all things I’m nervous about having with a dog.
My husband and I have talked about getting a dog. I have moments of seriously considering this because my husband is a cat lover and I hate cats. I can’t stand them. I think they can be very prideful and rude. I’ve also shown signs of being allergic to them. So whenever my husband brings up getting a cat, I instantly switch to- how about a dog?
I often wonder about what type of dog owner I would be. I love the idea of a dog being a part of the family. They should be allowed to do life with their family. That goes as far as hanging out in bedrooms and beds. You know those owners that insist a dog shouldn’t be on the couch? That’s not me.
I like the idea of a dog having his own “spot” in the home. But I also believe a dog should have access to every other room in the house.
I heard about dog sitting from my friend Brittny who is also the graphic designer of Maturing Mama. She told me that she wanted her kids to have the opportunity to play with dogs and she wanted to dog-sit in preparation for owning one.
She updated me regularly on what it was like for her family and it sounded fun! It even looked pretty chill. And she has three small kids in her home so I imagined adding a dog to that would turn into chaos, but it hasn’t.
I thought that perhaps it would be a great trial run for our family to care for a dog and see if we could handle adopting one in the future.
The opportunity came for my family to care for a puppy. I was so excited I cleaned and disinfected everything like I was bringing home a new born baby. My husband seemed indifferent. He thought it would be a lot of work and said that as long as I was in charge he would be fine with it.
We had Oreo a Pomsky, (half Husky half Pomeranian), stay with us for the weekend. Not the whole weekend. Just for the day on Saturday and Sunday.
A few things we planned from the start was keeping Oreo on the main floor. Yes I’m a believer in dogs having access to any room in the house, but Oreo doesn’t belong to us. So to decrease the chances of him eating something he shouldn’t, (like my make-up), we kept him in a common area where everyone had eyes on him. To do this we set up baby gates at all staircases.
I knew these gates would be great for confining Oreo but I soon realized these were great for our kids to take a break from him too.
Both Esperanza (6) and Izabella (3) loved playing with Oreo, but he’s a teething puppy. So there were times he nipped at them and it made them more nervous than I expected them to be. Oreo has baby teeth, so for Jesiah and I, it wasn’t an issue having these nibbles happen. But on small hands and fingers there were moments of crying and taking offense from both our girls.
Because of this we put our kids to play in their rooms in moments when they were upset with Oreo. When they were ready to try again with Oreo, they would let us know and we would keep a close eye to make sure they didn’t have their irresistible fingers close to his mouth.
It worked out that they couldn’t stay mad at him for long. I mean who could? Just look at him! Jesiah who seemed in different became obsessed with caring for Oreo like he was a new baby in the family. I didn’t see that coming.
Overall having Oreo here wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. Because he’s a puppy he got tired quickly. Especially with my energetic girls playing with him. Jesiah loved having Oreo nap on him. I’m not gonna lie, I got jealous seeing this instant bond between the two of them. Oreo just loved going to him for cuddles. (Maybe it’s all that hair on his face haha).
Oreo doesn’t use the bathroom outside yet. So the moment we brought him into the house, we put his pee pad down and took him over to see where it is. I couldn’t believe we had no accidents. His owners did a great job of training him to use the pad.
We also put his water and food in the same spot each day so he knew exactly where to go. I love the independence this gave him.
We made certain to remove all dangerous items from the main living area before Oreo got to the house. We told our girls they can leave large toys but be warned, puppy will play with it too. I was surprised at how much my girls loved to share their toys with Oreo. He now has favorite stuffed animals that belong to our home and it truly is something special for us.
Our family was very careful to not feed Oreo food that his owners didn’t provide for him. I understand different owners have different rules about this. I’ve met one set of owners that saw all people food as poisonous. I thought that was bit far. But for us, because Oreo isn’t ours, I don’t feel comfortable sending him home with a potential tummy ache because he ate our food. Not to mention, my kids would be the type to share all their food with him if I did give them the option.
Oreo was really good at not fighting to get our food. He would sit and stare with those adorable puppy dog eyes while we ate. But we never gave in. Typically at the end of our own meals we would have him do some tricks to get snacks of his own.
Puppy sitting all in all is a great idea for our family. I think for now we’ll just puppy sit and not get a dog of our own. I am concerned about how nervous my oldest gets when handling dogs. I don’t think she understands they’re not other kids and will not respond to her like a kid her age. Is that odd?
Currently we only puppy sit when Jesiah and I are not working, so that’s ideal. But I believe working from home with two young kids, while having a puppy here would be tricky to do. I definitely wouldn’t be able to give him the attention he needed 24/7.
Would you consider puppy sitting in preparation for adopting a dog of your own?