Lessons from a Dog Owner (1)

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I want to take this post to talk a little about my experience with my dog, Timmy in the hopes that it might help you on your journey with your pup. Now almost six years old, we have undergone our fair share of funny and scary moments.

The following is part one of a three-part series of some of my experiences with Timmy and what they taught me about being a pet owner. 

Part I: The Puppy Scare

puppy-timmy

A few weeks into pet ownership, many potty mishaps later and one cold winter night, we were eager to get Timmy on a regular schedule of going outside in the hopes of sparing yet another carpet. I opened the kitchen door to let him out and out he jumped. Only this time he landed with a cry of pain. Alarmed I immediately picked him up and realized that there was a small patch of ice under the door. His little legs slipped and he fell in an awkward position. Hoping it was nothing but a slight startle, I set him down again. To my horror, his leg couldn’t support his weight and he fell again with a small, sad, puppy cry. I HAD BROKEN MY BRAND NEW PUPPY! Of course, this was far from true, but at that time I felt like a horrible human being. I had been trusted to care for this small, helpless creature and I was the one responsible for hurting him within his first couple months of life.

I spared no time and immediately started searching for the nearest animal hospital that was open at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night. I found one and drove there immediately. The whole way there Timmy continued to cry in pain and I was mortified. 30 LONG minutes later and we had finally arrived. I’m sure that all the vet technicians and doctors could sense my distress as they quickly rushed over and assessed Timmy. Of course, they couldn’t tell for sure what was wrong until they performed some tests and took some x-rays.

After what seemed like forever (but was really about an hour), they finally came out with my puppy wrapped in a blanket and showed me some pictures of the bone in his leg. No fractures, just a small sprain. Puppies, they explained, much like babies tend to over exaggerate their symptoms by crying or whimpering at the slightest discomfort. All he needed was some rest and he would be back to his normal self in the morning. Until then they said, they would give me some pain killers to give to him every few hours. Now came the REALLY painful part… the bill… a whopping $500! That’s right all that worry and concern for nothing. Timmy was fine and I was out $500.

Do I wish I had waited before taking him to the vet? Absolutely not! If something was wrong and I hadn’t addressed it right away I would be beating myself up forever over not being a responsible dog owner. Do I wish I had done more research before all this happened about what to expect when you bring a puppy into your home? ABSOLUTELY.

Lessons that I learned:

  • Do your research before getting a puppy.
  • Have the number of an emergency, 24-hour animal hospital handy.
  • Practice good housekeeping: ensure that the entrances and exits your dogs are coming in and out from are obstacle, snow and ice free.

Join me next time for Part II

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