I cannot believe I have had Stanley for a year!!! One year ago today, I was taking home my first puppy and exactly five hours later I wondered what I had been thinking and began to regret my choice. I can’t lie about it. As much as adored him right from the start, that first week with Stanley was one of the most draining experiences of my life. I didn’t sleep, I was worried about every little thing, and working a 9-5. Everyone told me that getting a new puppy would be hard, but I thought I had it in the bag. After our first few weeks and months together, Stanley and I got into a good routine and I could not imagine my life without him.
I thought about filling this post with tips for owning your first dog and how to get through those first couple weeks, but every dog and situation is so different that you just need to figure out what works best for you.
Instead of a bunch of tips and tricks, I am going to share the four things I have learned from having Stanley in my life.
ONE: Everyone needs play time. I can spend so much time overthinking and being serious about life, that I sometimes forget to just play. Stanley reminds me at least 5 times a day to have fun and play and it has encouraged me to take life a little less seriously and just enjoy what’s happening in the moment.
TWO: There isn’t a problem that can’t be solved with puppy snuggles. A long day at work, breakups, burning an entire dinner, a car accident … all were solved and I was soothed thanks to Stanley snuggles.
THREE: Life cannot be planned. I have spent the majority of my life planning, and I mean planning things down to the hour. Having Stanley enter my life taught me that a lot of the time you need to just go with the flow.
FOUR: How to love unconditionally. This may sound silly, but coming home to a pup who is excited to see me every single day and always loving to new and familiar people encouraged me to do the same. Don’t worry, I’m still not a big hugger, but Stanley has softened me up a little. I am more open to meeting new people and reminding the people in my life that they are important to me.
A year with Stanley has truly changed me, I think for the best. If you are struggling to get through the first week with your new puppy, hold on! I cannot imagine my life being any different.