1. The “OMG EVERYBODY NEEDS TO SEE MY PUPPY” Stage.
If you tell me there is anything cuter than a tiny, furry little baby animal I will show you a picture of my tiny, furry little baby when she used to hoard socks next to her kennel. And, in doing so, will prove to you that you’re wrong. Puppies are adorable and your ~hEaRt~ just cannot take it for about the first 9 months of having your very own puppy. My guy friends used to volunteer as tribute to take care of her and walk her around campus because she was such a chick magnet. You become “that person” who shows strangers pictures of your puppy because you just feel that the world needs to see, fully appreciate, and be irreparably jealous of this cuteness that you get to come home to every day.
2. The “Convinced That You Will Be Responsible For Their Death” Stage.
Puppy is chewing on a rotten log in the yard? Gonna die. Puppy gets away from the leash and makes a break for it? Gonna die. Puppy wakes up during a house party? Gonna die. Puppy is limping? Probably gonna die.
This is the most responsibility for another living creature that you’ve had since that beta fish in your dorm room (or in my case, ducks — idk Montana is weird). Or since the three hours you spent babysitting your distant relatives. It’s a little scary FOR SURE. But no, you don’t need to child proof the apartment because, well, the puppy doesn’t have opposable thumbs. Your puppy is not going to die. Even if, like mine, she climbs onto the table in the 4 seconds you had your back turned and devours a chocolate chip waffle. You do not need to call the poison control center. They frown upon that.
3. The “How Do You Shit So Much?!??” Stage.
There is fur everywhere; things have been chewed on or destroyed; there are holes in the yard that have been dug by tiny, puppy paws and even though you can’t find it you are convinced the puppy did its “business” somewhere in the apartment. Not only are you shelling out money for things you didn’t even know existed (in the first year expect 3-4 rounds of shots, flea and tick prevention, spaying, or neutering, as well as possible puppy school and day care). But you are also swimming in a mess that you never even stop to think about because of the adorable little puppy that’s distracting you. You’re beginning to understand the people with “Outdoor Only Dogs.”
4. The “Picking What Stereotypical Owner You Will Be” Stage.
Are you going to go on epic hikes with your dog, posting majestic landscape photos of them onto social media to let everyone know how damn athletic you both are? Maybe your little peanut is going to live in a bag and become every shopgirl’s favorite customer. Is your dog going to be kooky, have its own Instagram, and post photos with witty captions about wanting to chase cats and eat human food? You kind of have to try all of them on for size and figure out what your personality fits best. Unless you have a very obvious breed of dog, in which case the stereotype is practically picked out for you. But when your dog is a magical mixture like mine, the dog world is your oyster. You two can be anything you want to be. Except in my case a Halloween-Costume-Wearing-Dog is out of the question; when I dressed her up like a lobster, she ended up eating the claws while still wearing the suit. It was tragic.
5. The “Damn Having a Dog is Chill” Stage.
You begin to genuinely make excuses as to why you can’t do certain things just so you can go home and hang out with your dog. Your SnapChat history is filled with pictures of your dog looking out of windows longingly and running in its sleep. When you’re out on a date, and the date tells you that they “want to meet your dog,” a big part of you is like, “Yeah! You should because my dog is effing awesome,” while another part of you is thinking “Pump the brakes, dude. Not everyone gets to meet my dog.” Your dog is your best friend, and you aren’t ashamed by that at all. Just don’t be weirded out when you find yourself letting your dog eat noodles off of your fork — wait…what?