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Confessions of a First Time Puppy Owner

It was 4 pm on the I-5 heading south. My girlfriend and I were on our way to Temecula to meet a puppy and see if we can take her home. For those that don't know, the drive from Los Angeles to Temecula is not a close one. Nor is it one that I would like to do often. Especially at rush hour time. Even though we knew that we'd be stuck in traffic for hours, we knew that it was going to be worth it once we saw the puppy. If anything, the drive was foreshadowing the experience we were about to have taking care of an animal - because it was such a pain in the ass, but very worth it.

We reached the address in 4 hours and I remember feeling anxious, excited and exhausted from the drive. If my right foot had any energy left after that drive, it would kick myself in the ass. When the door opened we saw a few people standing up and talking amongst each other. They were all standing above 5 puppies running around the living room, while they were either playing or shitting/pissing. My girlfriend immediately ran to the puppy we saw in a picture and instantly fell in love with her. She was 6 pounds and 2 months old. We already had a name for her, thanks to our long drive. Her name is Evie - inspired by the protagonist in V for Vendetta (Evie Hammond played by Natalie Portman), one of our favorite films. I never thought I'd turn into a softy so quickly.


Anyways, this was our first time taking care of an animal. We both read up on a bunch of articles and asked other dog owners, who we trusted, about the steps that need to be taken to care for this tiny little shit machine. I never knew how much on top of things I can be until I met Evie. I had no choice. When we first got her, she would piss almost every hour, so I'd have to take a break from working and take her out to do her thing. We had to make sure she was eating the right amounts, at the right hours, and luckily that was the easiest part.

I've never trained a thing in my life. How the hell do I go about this? Treats. Lots and lots of treats. We bought some and she hated it, so we used her kibbles as treats and she was actually listening to us. Holy shit?! Was it because we are the greatest trainers in the world or because she's a fatty? We didn't care. We heard about all these terror stories of puppies chewing shoes and biting on your furniture. Aside from the random slipper chewing here and there, she was an angel about that. We dreaded the teething period, so we got her a bunch of toys to beat up on. I guess it was working because she just doesn't care about our chairs, our couches, etc.

Potty training was/is a pain. Keep in mind, our little one is barely 6 months old and she can only hold her shit and piss in for so long. She's gone weeks without eliminating (that's what dog trainers call pooping and peeing) in our home, but then we'd go out at night or go to the gym and come back to our home smelling like Evie just pooped on my upper lip. Our friends can attest that her poop is definitely the worst smelling thing they've ever encountered.

I'm not sure if we had it easy or not, but Evie is a very chill dog - most of the time. She has her moments when she goes nuts with other dogs running around with them for hours, but we don't mind that. This experience is amazing and I don't regret this decision one bit. When you come home to your dog waiting for you all day, their actions are just incredible. It's the best feeling seeing them so happy to see you. That alone makes it all worth the trouble of having a dog and smelling shit from the moment you walk into your home.

Hauk Vagner