Well hey there. Thinking of adopting a puppy? They’re soooooo cute, right? Those little faces. The cuddly fur. The sad puppy dog eyes looking at you just tugging at your soul begging to be taken home and live happily ever in your house?

Welcome to your reality check. It’s not a bad one. I’m not going to talk you out of it and I’m not going to talk you into it either. I’m going to talk to you about the truths of having a puppy and a dog and lay it all on the table but telling you a little of my story.

So I have two boys who are currently 12 and 9 years old. We have two cats. I’ve had cats all my life and anyone who knows me would probably call me a crazy cat lady. I grew up with cats, identify with cats and love everything about them including their bad ass I-do-what-I-want-when-I-want-to attitude. Cats are just awesome.

And I like dogs. I really do. I was always the one who went to a friend’s house and played with the dog even though I didn’t have one. I’m an animal lover; but I never had a dog growing up and never saw myself really having a dog.

Fast forward to the two tween boys in my house thing. They were begging for a dog and my husband grew up with dogs so I knew that eventually, getting one was going to happen.

Earlier last summer, my boys started pushing hard for a dog. Honestly, it didn’t take much because I knew we’d do it eventually. I started looking at the puppies coming up for adoption from our local shelter I knew I’d use (All 4 Paws Rescue).

We were on a weekend getaway in Baltimore when the following picture popped up in my feed and it was all over from there:

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Meet Maisie. (Yep, she has her own Instagram account.) We brought her home a few weeks later. This August, we celebrate having Maisie as a part of our life for a year!

So here it is – laid out for you:

The bad
Dogs are so expensive. We’ll be away this month and the cost to board her? Over $800. (Yikes!) I mean, the cats cost money but between the boarding, food, leashes, monthly Heartworm pills and extra add-ons you don’t forsee – they end up costing you a small fortune.

They need a lot of care. Like at times, it feels like I have a toddler all over again. I’ve had to stop twice during the writing on this post to 1) take her outside to poop and 2) yell at her to stop chasing one of the cats.

They pee and poop on your floors when they are puppies and potty training. Maisie was great – she potty trained very quickly but there were definitely times I was cleaning up #1 and #2 and while I did it, I was thinking about how I was long past potty training.

That time Maisie chewed my favorite pillow

That time Maisie demolished my favorite pillow

Teething. I should have put this one first! In the early months to Maisie’s chewing I lost: $400 Frye boots, Lands End boots, several pairs of sunglasses. She also gnawed on other various goodies in our house. A hole in our carpet that you see pictured above. Lovely, right? Oh and did I mention the windowsills in our kitchen… very early on when she was a puppy? Good times.

I mean, I knew all of this. Dogs are work. But you don’t really KNOW it until you’re in it and realize how much it is.

The good
We love her to death and couldn’t imagine not having her in our life at this point. She’s brought us much happiness.

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Maisie hanging with part of her pack

Every kid needs to grow up with a dog, if you can swing it. I just LOVE watching the relationship Maisie and my boys have together. She definitely considers them a part of her pack and I love witnessing the loving and playful interactions they have on a daily basis.

And I pride myself on raising children who appreciate animals – being gentle with them, considering them a part of the family and seeing them as living creatures that deserve respect.

The dog also teaches them responsibility as my guys are regularly responsible for taking her out on walks or feeding her. Which is a huge wonderful lesson for a child to have.

She gets us outside a lot more than we were before. This is especially true for my husband – who I swear was always looking for a reason to take a walk and now has one several times a day.

Bottom line, we wouldn’t trade the experience for the world but having a dog has certainly changed our lives!

One-year in

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