Why Getting a Puppy is Good for the Soul

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So, we got a puppy. After getting married and buying a house, it just seemed natural, right? Might even stave off a few questions about when we’re having kids (rude question – fyi). We now have a fur baby. And she’s up there with the top three things that’s ever happened to me. In 30 (almost – zoips) years. She’s way up there. Mixie is named after a wonderful waitress we had on our honeymoon who brought joy to an oceanside al fresco dining experience at the Royalton in Cancun.

We’re more than a month into into being puppy parents and despite a bout of diarrhea, a handful of accidents in the house and more than a few overspends at Petco, the happiness has yet to subside. A few things I’ve learned since becoming a puppy parent.

  1. Waking up without an alarm clock is a special privilege | If you asked me two months ago about how I felt regarding wake up calls before 6:30am, I might have explained that while I’m a morning person and LOVE waking up early, it’s a daily struggle. If you asked me about it today, I’d give you a big smile because I was woken up by a little pup’s whimpers followed by a run around the yard, an hour of playtime, a happy breakfast, a whole lot of kisses, and a little 30 minute nap with a pup by my side. All before 6:30am. Seriously. This is the greatest joy. I’ve read countless articles on Quora on how to wake up early and take on the day. Why didn’t any of them just tell me to get a puppy?
  2.  An afternoon spent doing nothing but playing is a blessing | You’ve heard it before. As adults, we lose the joy of play. The freedom and disregard for responsibilities. Having a puppy has brought that back to my life. I set my phone down. I’m present. I play. I run around my yard. Barefoot. I enjoy grass between my toes. I’m brought back to being  a kid growing up in the midwest playing with a big black lab on a summer day. I break a sweat not because my waistline needs it. Or because it’s “healthy.” I do it because it is fun. And my Mixie loves it. I spend hours at a time playing. And I’m not thinking, “oh shoot, I need to make time for play.” I’m just doing it. And loving it. Thank you, Mixie, for bringing playtime back to my life.
  3. The happiness of a pup greeting you at the end of the day makes any day good | I’ve said it a thousand times: I bring a ridiculous amount of optimism to any situation. But even I have bad days. Days when the world for whatever reason just isn’t feeling that good vibe. With recent changes in my job, my husband’s job, and the trivial things impacting our lives, plus majorly sad and scary news stories this month, I’ve had moments where I’m sad and a bit beaten down. And then I come home at the end of the day and there’s a big puppy smile waiting. Mixie probably thinks of me as food, shelter and good belly rub. But I think of Mixie as the icing on my life cake. She is just the best thing ever.
  4. Raising a puppy (as with a child, I wonder?) brings out the best darn teamwork in a relationship | Getting sappy here…just a warning. Leo and I are teammates in everything, and we respect each other immensely. Living with Mixie feels like a daily challenge of give and take. We’re cautious about giving too much attention, too much food, too much playing, too little discipline, too few or too many toys, the list goes on. We discuss every aspect of this little pup’s life as a team, and I’m so thankful to have a wonderful partner in it.
  5. Caring for a creature that would have been put down if not for the kindness of the adoption organization that we went through… perspective, I suppose | Sometimes I shy away from reality because my relatively pleasant bubble is a pretty great place to be. After we’d already fallen in love with Mixie for a ton of reasons, we started to learn more about her story and it crushed us. We were already planning to adopt her, had already put the paperwork in, and then we started to learn about where she came from (Shawnee, OK – high kill shelter). Simply put, there are a lot of wonderful pups available for adoption, and by adopting them, you save them from being put down. Just do it.
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