We have been proud dog owners for about five months now. I'm pretty sure that makes us official experts on dog ownership. I want to share with you a few things that we have learned and loved over the past few months.
1. With three kids, we were already doing a lot of playing already. But now, with a puppy, we are playing even more. Or maybe just differently than we were before. When I asked the kids what their favorite thing was to do with the dog, all three said to play soccer and throw the ball with her.
2. The kids are learning about responsibility. They are realizing that it takes work to have a dog, but also that there are rewards that come with it.
3. We have had a chance to see the nurturing side of the kids. And what I think quite possibility is a glimpse into what the kids will be like when they are grown with children of their own.
They are all very different with Sophie. Our youngest is very playful, more like a litter mate. Our daughter is willing to roll up her sleeves and pick up poop in the yard without being asked, or wipe off Sophie's paws as she comes in from the rain. And our oldest will come home and the first thing he will do is greet the dog and give her hugs, something he no longer does for me anymore.
4. One of the other things the kids say that they like about having a dog has been watching her grow. When we adopted Sophie she was only 13 pounds and 12 weeks old.
Her favorite spot was the landing on our stairs.
Now she is over 50 pounds and growing in her fur from fuzzy puppy fluff to long haired Golden Retriever. She can no longer fit on the landing on the stairs.
We've had several people comment to us that it's been fun to watch her grow the past few months. And believe me, you could almost just sit there and watch her grow!
5. We've had many new opportunities that we wouldn't have had had we not had Sophie. We've met lots of people through dog obedience school, at the dog park, and on our walks. And being new to the area she's been a great conversation starter while meeting new people.
6. I think if you ask anyone about their dog, loyalty is a word that would come up. Pretty sure Sophie's middle name is Loyalty. She's always waiting by the door when we come home, or ready to join us in the car to run errands and her tail is always wagging happy to see us.
7. Even though the kids have access to a bus, we chose to walk to school and we do that to get exercise. I'm not sure we would be loyal walkers if we didn't have a dog that needed lots of exercise. I've enjoyed our walks to school with the kids, and know that one day, I will cherish the time I had talking with them and walking hand in hand along the way.
8. Many of you know that we live in the Seattle area. This winter has been one of the longest rainy seasons in history. If you know me, you know that I hate the weather here. This years long rainy season is not doing anything to help me enjoy it more.
After nearly 11 years of living in the area, this is the first year I have spent so much time outside as it rains on my head. There have been many days where my coat drips with rain for hours just because I needed to get Sophie out to get some exercise. While I hate the rain, I am realizing that the actual rain part doesn't bother me as much as the lack of sunshine in the skies does.
9. Since we have had Sophie, we have found a lot of new places that we wouldn't have found otherwise. We have spent countless hours at dog parks that in the past I have driven by and never knew existed. We have also found new parks in our area that we wouldn't have found had we not been in search of a place to run Sophie.