So I got the idea for the title of this post from Whitney Port’s “I love my baby…BUT!” series. Which chronicles the hard time that she’s had with parenting her now one and a half year old son. It’s kind of like, I love my child so much but it is a struggle to get through the day to day sometimes. I feel like that is a very honest take on things. I don’t have a child but adopting my dog Norman has been not only a life but mind-altering situation for me. Not everyone is going to automatically be fit to just jump into raising a dog (or a child, obviously). It’s not as simple as some might think. And then there are going to be others who tell you “Well, no shit. What did you think it would be like?” My answer is “Well, not like this.”
- Excessive crying.
- A lingering feeling of hopelessness.
- Depression (from being hit with the shock of such a life changing event).
- Feeling like you’re not a good enough dog mom and that your pup would be better off and so much happier anywhere else than with you.
- Dread as you look to the future (constantly having to schedule your life around your pup).
- Regret as you think about all the things you’re missing out on by being tied to this pet and all the money you could be saving.
- Guilt because you’re having the feelings listed above about a tiny creature who simply requires you to love them as much as they blindly love you.
In just six months of being Norman’s dog mom I’ve had to deal with a severe flea and tick infestation on his little body, excessive marking/peeing on the carpet, seizures, leash aggression, random late night/early morning puking and/or diarrhea (because his stomach does not do well with most ‘people foods’), dog walking costs that are an arm and a leg, and his general separation anxiety. Dogs are cute and all but this shit has not been easy! Especially being a single parent and having to do it all alone. You think a lot about giving your dog away. Not just back to an adoption center but to a good home. Maybe a close friend or relative. The thought of it makes you feel sick and like a complete failure. And even though that would be the easy way out (not really because you’d end up having to grieve your dog loss), you know that in the end, having a furry companion will ultimately be a good thing for you in the long run if you could just….stick it out…
Google “Puppy Depression”. It’s a real thing. If you could experience postpartum for having a dog this would be it. Your emotional stability goes to hell from all of the stress, depression, and sleep deprivation. It leaves you feeling disconnected to your dog and that is really such a sad thing. Everything online will tell you that it takes a dog (and a human) three months to form a habit. So you want to know why month 4 and month 5 have gone by and shit is not getting easier. Luckily I am finally coming out of this haze in month 6. Purchasing a dog gate to keep Norman in the kitchen while I’m at work has been life changing. Just something as simple as that has allowed me to breathe again and feel like I can leave the house without the fear of coming home to a mess. I now of course could not picture my life without him and know that in the end this whole experience has been good for me. Going through it all fucking sucked, to be honest, but coming out on the other side has been amazing!