Yes, we did it. We got a puppy. He’s such a sweet little bundle of joy and…what were we thinking?! I’m going to blame Maia. And Sarah, but mostly Maia. Maia began really wanting a baby pet last fall, and the answer has been no and no and no. But like all barriers over time, our resistance eroded with persistence, and Sarah began to crack first.
On my last work trip in mid-February I started getting texts of adorable puppies who were available on Craigslist and I knew it was the beginning of the end. Then on 2/20, Sarah said (in front of the kids), “Oh Papa, let’s just get one!” I thought for a second and figured it was inevitable, so figured why not. No time like the present. We called the number on Craigslist—one puppy left—so we drove up to the hills, pulled up to the house with the puppy, and before I was even to the dog pen, I heard all four girls squeal, “Awwwww!” And I knew it was over. This was definitely the day we were getting a puppy.
Dad was a large yellow lab and mom was a Queensland Heeler. It was pretty cool to meet the parents, but the little, clumsy black puppy that we saw won all our hearts immediately. On the way home we decided to name him Aki (Ah-kee), short for Akihiro.
That was two weeks ago and we’re just starting to adapt to life with a new baby. Because he really is like having another baby. I’ve been getting up in the middle of the night to take him to the bathroom and clean his crate when he has an accident. Sarah and I started out taking turns, but I’m really much better suited to waking up several times in the middle of the night and still being able to function the next day. Last night we even dusted off the old baby monitor (which still works!) and with the help of that, were able to hear his calls for the bathroom and avoided all accidents. A true miracle.
During the day he stays in his crate and we take him out every hour to go to the bathroom, play, and train. He’s learning very quickly and already sits, lays down, and (mostly) “drops it” and “takes it” on command. Sarah can get him to rollover but I have to master that one. He is still a puppy and tends to get excited around the kids, but listens to all of them with the help of treats.
At first I think the kids were a little sad about the reality of having a puppy. He wasn’t house trained, hadn’t had his shots, and was barely 8 weeks old. That meant no cuddling in beds or walks around the neighborhood. Not yet at least. But they are really enjoying playing with him and training him in the backyard. Aliya especially almost never passes up an opportunity to spend time with him. And it’s been really good for both Sarah and I to be outside more—even when it’s dark and/or cold—to help the little guy out and play. Having some play time with an adorable puppy in the crisp morning air before school and work isn’t a bad way to start the day.
So in short, we’re in love. And like all love, it’s not all bubbles and cookies. It’s hard work and commitment, but even just two weeks into this dog thing, I don’t think any of us would have it any other way.