“Will I be getting my sleep back?”, “How long more till he knows where to pee and poo?”, “When can I ever leave him alone?”, “Can I return this pup to the breeder/SPCA?”
Have you been asking these questions to yourself?
You have just adopted a precious puppy, or waited two months just to bring your puppy home from the breeder. He is absolutely the most adorable thing you have ever owned, but… he is also sort of ruining your life. Was this whole decision a big mistake?
Welcome to “Puppy Blues”
Just like how mothers could develop postpartum depression, puppy blues are a similar phenomenon. Even though puppies are not children, there are some aspects of raising a puppy that is pretty much similar to raising a baby.
It is perfectly normal for you to feel exhausted, bumped out and overwhelmed. You are not alone and I can assure you this does not last forever.
When I first brought Hoshi from the breeder, I was really excited and wouldn’t stop looking at the precious ball of cuteness. However, it did not take long for the stress and blues to kick in.
On Hoshi’s first night home, there was barely any sleep as I woke up every 30 – 45 minutes to check on Hoshi and made sure he did not pee in his crate. This has led to a huge lack of sleep for at least a month. Sleep deprivation is a major contributing factor to puppy blues and it will become much harder to maintain your mental health when you can only sleep two to three hours each night! For me, I had to wake up every 1am and 5am to bring Hoshi on his potty break.
Other than potty training your puppy, you can expect yourself to simply not doing anything for the next two weeks! I am really blessed to have Hoshi join the family while I was on a holiday from school. But this will definitely be extremely hard on first time pawrents who have a full-time job or commitment.
When Hoshi is awake, I am ensuring that he is not putting tissue paper into his mouth, he is not biting my sofa and not stealing socks from the shoe rack. Supervision is extremely important as you would need to spot the moment your puppy needs a toilet break and act fast before you need to start mopping the floor again. When he is sleeping, I am using whatever time I have to finally shut my eyes and get a good rest. There is barely any time for yourself, your work and relationships. I felt really left out when I saw my friends meeting up after a long circuit breaker and yet, I was stuck at home taking care of a poop machine.
These are just small little snippets to how your lifestyle could change after welcoming a puppy into your life. I assure you that I have done plenty of homework two months prior to bringing him home for the breeder, yet I was still taken aback by these changes and sacrifices I had to make. I am sure you have done your research and preparation. But do set low expectations for yourself and know that it is okay and normal to be stressed or overwhelmed despite feeling you were prepared for it.
Raising a puppy takes time and effort, it is also difficult and some might even say painful experience, especially for first time owners. Along with these sad and anxious feelings there could also be feelings of regret and guilt. I was drowning in guilt for wanting to send Hoshi back to the breeder after day two!
I expected myself to be happy, after all this was something I had wanted since I was a child. My whole family was excited to welcome this new family member. Everyone was delighted but me. The guilt was overwhelming and I wished someone was there to tell me it was okay to feel what I felt.
To whoever who needs to hear this, it is absolutely okay and normal to be feeling all that you felt. There is no need to feel guilty for wanting to send your puppy back to the shelter or breeder. You are not a bad hooman.
So, when will my life actually get back to normal?
Well, it does not. Your life after having a puppy will never go back to what it was, but I am sure it will turn out to be better than what it was. Your puppy will need some time to understand you and your family. Likewise, it would take time for you to understand your puppy and its personality. Life will gradually start to become easier when you both have spent quality time to bond. Before you know it, your puppy will the best friend you can not live without.
At this point in your journey, give it some more time before making another huge decision that you might eventually really regret. You might be feeling very overwhelmed at this moment and would just want to give up your puppy to remove all the stress at once. But take a step back and really give it chance for both you and your new family member. Take some time, talk to a close friend and really try to savour the funny moments or proud moments with your puppy.
Every single day, they are learning to love you and to communicate the love to you.
Hoshi used to be my source of stress, but now he is now my source of comfort and support. I really hope that after reading this short story, you would not feel alone in this journey. If you ever need a listening ear or advice on your puppy, you can always find me on Hoshi’s Instagram @hoshi_sheltie. I would love to be a part of your puppy journey and really be there for you like how I wished someone was there that would really understand how I feel. If you have ever experienced this, do comment down below and share your story with new pawrents in the community to let them know they are not alone in this.
Love, Hoshi & Hooman