OMGEEEEEEEE! A PUPPY! This is the best idea my kids and husband could ever have! Dogs are awesome! Puppies are……cute?! What could possibly happen that I’m not prepared for? It’s like having a baby and my youngest is 10 and I haven’t had a puppy in 14 years!!!! I’ve done kids and a puppy, I can do this……..

What kind of puppy do we get? 3 of the 4 of us in the house have *strong* opinions on what kind of dog we get. I want to say we looked at more YouTube videos, websites, breed pros and cons for at least 6 months. Still, we couldn’t decide. The two were against me – they wanted a Golden Retriever. If it’s big, I want it to be beautiful – to me – least amount of shedding, not super yippy, something I knew would make people think twice about messing with my home. The Golden won’t protect and it sheds a lot, I have to have one of those things going for my dog. Maybe later.

Not going to lie, I was looking at wolf hybrids. The shedding, though. That wild streak might be too much on the ole subconsious.

I don’t want a sissy dog. If you have sissy dog – small, loud, high maintenance in the grooming department – I do think they are super cute, I just don’t really want it. Honestly, I would want to rescue a big dog that was already trained – maybe a 2-year-old whose family had babies and didn’t want to keep them. My family was NOT being patient for this perfect animal to fall into my lap. Fine, it must be a puppy we get. Find some excitement, Catherine. Find some excitement!!!!!

Stage #1 – We are doing it! We are getting all the things and getting a puppy! Let’s get excited!!!!

Back to the big dog I want – I’m walking through shelters, hoping to find a young one so we can make sure it’s properly socialized with kids and animals. I don’t want a liability. We have lots of young kids in and out of our house – those with special needs and those without. Honestly the ones that don’t have special needs can be more of a threat. Either way, I want to train this sucker to act right and if I can’t get that rescue dog with my requirements, I have to do it myself.

I decide to jump back into the Rottweiler breed. At this point my family will take anything with four legs so I get the final say. If I don’t hurry up and pick, my man will bring home his choice before I decide. I get a flippin’ shelter ad of new dogs multiple times a day from our alpha. Pressure is on.

My last and only dog I have had that I raised was a Rottie. A mix, we think, but we rescued her from the pound at 6 weeks old being told she was purebred. Who knows – I loved that dog, though. Best. Dog. Ever. Sure, she ate an entire rose bush including the thorns, destroyed a pond with a fountain and solar lights, ate the pan at the bottom of her large crate, ate an entire chocolate on chocolate sheet cake off the back of the kitchen counter, consumed a toy that made her exorcist style projectile vomit 100xs on my floors when I was pregnant and made herself vomit on command to get us to let her out early in the mornings. But – she didn’t bark, jump, use the bathroom in the house, be mean to kids or company. She was great. I know this can’t be repeated but I’m going to do my best to get close.

Not wanting to spend a fortune on a dog with papers – I so don’t care – we went the Craigslist way. Ain’t skeered. I have great stories from responding to Craigslist ads – not for the weak or timid!

We go look at Rottie puppies about an hour away. I am greeted by this giant momma dog who I want to bring home before meeting her pups. Not for sale. Dang. Puppy it is. I get inside and there were 4 puppies, 3 boys and 1 girl left. “She’s got lots of energy.” Hmmm, should fit right in with my crew (they all completely run circles around me and my energy levels – thanks, dad). I pick her up and look her in the eyes – she’s the one.

Stage #2 – What on earth were we thinking? Yes, it’s a puppy but I FORGOT WHAT THEY WERE LIKE!!!!

You know things in your head but you know things better as you experience things…..

Life as I know it is over. I do nothing – NOTHING – besides drag this beautiful but extremely *stubborn* animal outside in the cold, rainy, sleety Tennessee winter weather outside every 30 minutes or so. Why didn’t I enforce a summer rule? This would have been so much better in the summer!!
I hope all my 8,000 neighbors in my jam packed neighborhood don’t see me out here trying to get this animal to use the bathroom out here. She hates it. I use a sweet voice, so many treats, and the same word….she prefers the house.

Then, in my not so nice tone, “Aren’t you an animal? Don’t you instinctually know that this is the atmosphere your ancestors continually lived in? You have fur for goodness sake, I can’t feel my hands!” Yes, these are the conversations I have with a small hard-headed animal for 45 minutes in this disgusting weather until she goes. If humans can pee every hour or so, so can a dog. And I know, the second I go back in there she will go. I will win at all costs.

Honestly, this is the worst part of a puppy. I can deal with the biting on things since I have a spray water bottle in case she chooses to not make good choices. Yes, I use that verbiage with her. Deficating and urinating in my home not in proper recipticals isn’t going to work with me.

Stage #3 – The decision makers of the house take turns threatening to give the four legged monster away.

I have a bad day – he wants the drama to end and we can’t handle it so he wants her gone, posting back to Craigslist the next day. I threaten all the happiness in the house forever and ever.

He has a bad day – I suggest he can’t handle a puppy and we need to never ever have another animal ever again and I will give her away tomorrow. I describe the ensuing unhappiness to follow.

Repeat for a few weeks.

Stage #4 – The family all starts to feel love for the little monster – I mean new family addition.

Ok, we have arrived. I finally start to realize I love her with feelings and not just choices. I am no longer just hanging in there trying to have consecutive days of not regretting my adulting. The family all gets to the extra dopey lovey puppy stage.

She is a smart breed and catches on before she’s 4 months old to the potty-training thing. She listens – when she wants to. The most stubborn dog breed award has got to go to the Rottweiler. I get extra core workouts keeping her down and off of guests and doing tug of war not to mention extra cardio in the form of walks. She’s a bonus for good circulation.

She adores me! She likes everyone else but she LOVES me! Yay! The others see the pros over the cons now. Stay she will. We love our Ryman! Yes, she’s a Tennessee dog so Ryman like the Auditorium. Ry is worth it!

At this point I realize I haven’t thanked God for this opportunity to care for His creation – so I do.