We adopted a Golden Puppy!! We unfortunately lost our 10 year old Golden a few months ago to cancer, and after many weeks of sadness, we opted to find a puppy to help fill the silence left by our well loved Jasper. We also have 3 kids under 5, so yes, we agree with the statement people often make when we told them we got a puppy, that we must be insane. For me I felt it was important for our kids to have the experience of having a dog during their early years. I remember the Golden my family had when I was a kid, and that was a big part of my life. From the walks, the play, and just the having of a dog around the house, it was just an awesome experience that I wholeheartedly want my children to have as well. So knowing in advance that it will be an “experience” the first year of having a puppy, it’s just a year, and there will be a lot of positives during the year too.
The first positive has been the fact that we love to workout and go for runs, with a puppy it’s a given that she will force us to run farther and more often since her energy level is insane! Lately we’ve been following the workout schedule from www.p90x3workoutschedule.com, and when we forget to lock her up we’ll find her trying to wiggle under us as we are doing pushups or burpees!
Some of the neat things we’ve witness with our puppy is that despite the first few months when we couldn’t trust her around the young kids, as she was prone to nip or scratch, she was still learning how to be a dog with humans, we made it through, and now she’s really good with the kids. The other day I noticed she never jumps up on the kids, it might be because they are close to her height, but she’s really much more behaved around the kids than she is with the adults. She’s extremely gentile with the kids, and as a result the kids are fairly gentile with her. We often find one or two kids laying on the ground with her petting her and talking to her, it’s so sweet to see that.
The kids have benefited by having extra responsibilities, in fact they often fight over who gets to put her outside, and who is responsible for feeding her. They love to take care of her, and really own the responsibility. I think the main benefits are that they get to understand what it’s like to care for something, and maybe it opens up the world so they see what their parents do for them, though I doubt that would actually happen.
We often take the kids and the dog to the park where it’s generally OK to bring dogs. The kids will play on the play structure while we will throw the ball to her. She’s turned into a great retriever, in fact my husband has her retrieve the balls that my son hits when my husband pitches to him. She runs after the ball and brings it back to him so he can throw it again! Many time my oldest takes on the job of throwing the ball for the dog while I tend to my other two on the playground swings. He loves that he has a job, and it’s also quite rewarding since the puppy is so in love with him. All he needs to do is call her name and she’ll come running up as soon as she hears it.