I adopted a dog.
Yeah, I know you already know and you’ve read it in my past posts. Thanks for being a dedicated reader, I appreciate you. Oh, you’re my friend IRL and just know these things about me? Cool cool cool… Oh, you’re my parents…hi mom and dad. Love my readers.
Adjusting to life with a dog is something I never expected, add that you’re adjusting to life with a rescue dog and you’re in for a wild ride. I’ve now had Baxter for two and a half months, but it feels like he’s been a part of my family for years now.
When I first adopted Baxter these were my thoughts:
“Oh my gosh, here comes my best friend. My ride or die. My one true love.”
“Ooooooh we’re going to go on so many adventures!”
“I bet he’ll love breweries. Yeah, he’s going to be a beer boi for sure.”
“I’m definitely going to become a runner and hiker because of him, no doubt no doubt.”
“Okay, he’s going to love this dinosaur plush toy, PUT IT IN THE CART HE NEEDS IT.”
And the psycho motherhood began.
Throughout these two months, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been proven wrong, I’ve been tested, and I’ve seen more love from one creature than I ever thought possible. Some of my expectations have become reality and some are far off, and that’s what I’m here to talk to you about today. Expectations vs reality with rescuing dogs.
Expectation: My dog will gel into my life seamlessly
Reality: Rescue dogs need time to adjust to your life, your routine, and you as a person. There’s a lot of stress initially for a rescue dog and they can feed off of your uncertainty. They recognize when you don’t know if you’re making the right call or if that’s the routine you want for the both of you. But they try so hard. Give them at least two weeks to get comfortable in your home.
Expectation: My dog will be a great buddy for breweries, walks, hikes, etc.
Reality: Not necessarily. Baxter has some baggage from I don’t know where and he’s very fearful of people and other dogs. His foster never saw issues with him around people or other dogs, but as soon as he moved in with me he struggled with seeing people on walks or other dogs while we were outside. Being restrained by his leash makes him so anxious and it’s something we constantly have to work on.
Expectation: My dog will love any toy or treat I get him
Reality: Just like you, doggos have preferences. Baxter, for example, loves balls. He only goes for plush toys when he’s tired of running, which is rare. Baxter also prefers salmon flavored treats over just about anything else, but he’ll eat anything. There hasn’t been a food he doesn’t like.
Expectation: I’m going to stay calm and never lose my cool with my precious dog
Reality: Just like people, dogs can irritate you. They can do something that upsets you and you might not respond the way you want. I once yelled at Baxter and started crying because I felt so bad. Lucky for me, Baxter now talks back if I scold him, so that’s been fun. #sass
Expectation: This dog is going to make my life exponentially better because of their unconditional love
Reality: your dog makes your life exponentially better because of their unconditional love.
There are so many lessons I’ve learned from Baxter. I’ve learned dogs get scared. They have real, serious baggage and emotions when they don’t start in a loving home. It takes at least three months for a rescue dog to feel completely secure in their new home. Separation anxiety becomes real for both dog and owner. And true, unconditional love comes in time with reassurance, understanding, patience, and sharing love with your dog.
I love Baxter. I love him so much and life with him is so special. He drives me crazy, plays real hard, and loves even harder. He’s smart, fast, sassy, and a little baby. He has the brightest personality and I am so lucky to have him. I can’t believe he’s mine. But don’t get it twisted, I remind him constantly that I rescued him, so he should feel just as lucky to have me. He always barks back, so I’m assuming he gets it or he’s saying “yeah don’t remind me crazy lady.”
So let this serve as a reminder, adopt don’t shop. It is so worth it.
Thanks for reading,