Sunday, May 11, 2014


There is no “right way” to introduce a dog into your life. Each person has to find his own way of weaving the canine arrival into the rhythm of his household. There are practical considerations covered in this chapter, but then you’re on your own: take what applies to you, use what works for you. Beware of people or publications telling you what you “have” to do; avoid the mind-set that the whole experience is some kind of test, just another thing in life at which you can “fail” or  “succeed.” You are not being graded here. Being a dog owner isn’t something that has a test at the end. Adding a dog to your life is supposed to be fun and pleasurable for all concerned—otherwise, what’s the point, right?
Personalize your choices: there are as many different possibilities for handling the first few days and nights with your dog as there are differences in people. There is rarely an absolute “right” or “wrong.” Keep in mind that dogs basically exist to please us. They have evolved over centuries to be companions to people: it’s what they are wired to do. Make your dog as happy as you can, but remember that the love and company of their “people” is generally what means the most to dogs. Trust yourself—go with whatever works for you and your particular dog.
Based on your personality and lifestyle, and the age and attitude of your new dog, you will find your own way. Trust your instincts to find the most satisfying way to incorporate a dog into your home. Your dog is a one-of-a-kind individual, too, with her own personality—whether she’s a little puppy or a more mature dog with “emotional baggage.” She is her own special self: half the fun of dog ownership is discovering that uniqueness. Together you will discover a harmonious way to share your lives.
Adding a dog to your life is decidedly different than getting a lovely object you’ve wanted. Although a material acquisition may give you a certain kind of pleasure, acquiring a beautiful new couch is obviously an entirely different experience than acquiring a dog, a living being who comes into your home with her own unique personality and emotional depth. Another difference, of course, is that you don’t have to housebreak the couch.

One “dog essential” often forgotten is an easy-to-use camera and extra film. Keep the camera loaded and accessible so you can create lots of mementos of the puppy or dog sleeping or at play. Taking pictures might not be the foremost thing on your mind during the new dog’s first days with you, but he’ll never seem so cute and new and amazing as he does at the beginning. If the camera is lying around you’ll be more likely to pick it up. Puppies grow so fast that there’s no way you’ll remember the smallness and clumsiness of his roly-poly self a year from now. And no matter how old the new dog is, in years to come you’ll be glad to have the recorded memories.
Copyright © Tracie Hotchner – Originally appeared in The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know by Tracie Hotchner

1 comment:

  1. Your work is very good and I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts

    Dog Lover