OPINION COLUMNS

Crash course puppy training

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, May 5, 2018
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Sunday will be one month since my girlfriend and I brought home our first puppy.

And let’s just say it has been an interesting four weeks.

Reece Waddell

From the day we went and got Dirk – our adorable, trouble-making miniature schnauzer – both of our lives have changed pretty drastically. I have rapidly gone from not being a morning person and sleeping until almost noon on the weekends to making a cup of coffee and taking Dirk out at 7 a.m. on Saturday.

Who am I? My dad?

All of a sudden, I’ve gone from feeling like I’m 22 to 42.

Everyone told me when I was searching for our dog that it would be a lot of added responsibility. Can you handle this? Do you have the time necessary to devote to it? And most importantly, could I afford it?

Now, I know they were just trying to be helpful, but in a way, I felt like a kid getting lectured by their parents. Instead of hearing the reasons why I should get a dog, I was getting all the reasons why I shouldn’t. Finally, I decided that if this was a mistake, it was one I needed to make on my own.

Let me tell you, there have been some points over the past month when I have wondered if I could handle it.

Potty training has been an adventure. My girlfriend astutely advised we take up the rug in our living room after Dirk’s first accident. That was a good plan.

After endless boxes of Lysol wipes and paper towels, I’m convinced we should buy stock in those companies. He’s coming along, and the accidents are slowly decreasing, but there was a time a few weeks ago when they were a multi-day occurrence.

Dirk has also forced us to pick anything up off the floor we do not want to be his latest chew toy. We found this out the hard way after I left out a pair of sandals. In about five minutes they were reduced to shreds.

Last weekend, we had our first scare as puppy parents when we had to take Dirk to the emergency hospital. On first glance it looked like there may have been blood in his urine, but upon further inspection and a hefty vet bill, it was determined he just accidentally bit himself.

Thanks, bud.

Despite all the trials and tribulations of raising an 11-week-old pup, each night when I come home after a long day I am greeted by a wagging tail and endless kisses. You can’t put a price on unconditional affection.

Dirk may be a handful, but he’s my handful – and I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

Reece Waddell is the Messenger’s sports editor.

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