5 Things Having a Puppy Teaches You About Your Humanity


Yes, there are a lot of puppy pictures

This summer, my wife and I took a three-hour road trip to the small town of Burley, Idaho, to pick up the newest member of our family. Her name is Rory, and she is, essentially, a living teddy bear. We’ve had her for nearly a month, and we’ve learned a few things so far.

Before you go any further, this isn’t going to be some sappy post about how dogs teach you to live in the moment or love unconditionally. This is a dose of reality from a guy who’s in the trenches raising a 9-week-old German shepherd. I’ll warn you now: It is as challenging as it is adorable.

As such, the reality of having a dog will be offset by the cuteness of having a dog. This will be in the form of pictures of TSheets puppies.

And in case you’re wondering, I will not be comparing it to having children. Let’s not even go there.


1. You aren’t as patient as you think you are

Having a puppy makes you realize just how impatient you really are. Imagine telling someone to do something over and over and over again, only to be bitten on the hand with sharp little teeth in response. Now imagine doing that for weeks on end.

This is what having a puppy is like.

If you’re thinking, I can deal with that, no problem. Imagine dealing with all of that on your worst days while running on four hours of sleep. It will get to you, I promise.

When it does, take a deep breath and give yourself some space and time to calm down. It only takes a minute or two for that little demon to turn back into the furry friend you know and love.


2. Sleep is as valuable to you as it is to them

After a long day of work and puppy training, the only thing you’ll be craving is your pillow and some much-needed rest. This will likely be interrupted by a noise that sounds something like an ostrich with its head stuck in the dishwasher.

Don’t be alarmed, it’s just your dog crying for you. It is heartbreaking and annoying.

At this point, you might consider buying this book to read to your dog. It might not help your dog sleep, but it might be cathartic for you. If that doesn’t work, there are a ton of white noise apps to help you both get to sleep.


3. Tiring your puppy (and yourself) is worth the effort

In order to make those sleepless nights a little easier, a good tip is to wear your dog out. By exercising your dog thoroughly, you make it that much easier for them to have a good night’s rest and get used to sleeping through the night.

This is a lot easier said than done, especially if you are used to having a lot of time to yourself. Coming home is no longer restful. It means playtime for your little pup.

It might seem like a lot of effort to exercise them in the morning and after work, but it will make time with your dog more enjoyable. And it will save you some money — tired, well-exercised puppies are less likely to destroy your furniture out of boredom.


4. You can develop a high threshold for gross

As writer Tarō Gomi put it, everyone poops. Even puppies. And all that number two has to be picked up by someone. That someone is you. I’ll save you the details, but let’s just say it’s not a highlight of having a furry friend.

Puppies are also likely to get parasites from their mothers when they’re born. While breeders and shelters often deal with this deworming phase, it can also fall on you. I can say from experience, it is as gross as it sounds.

They say accidents happen, but with puppies, accidents happen daily. That’s because when nature calls, puppies answer right away. If you’re planning to get a puppy, be prepared to buy some good carpet cleaner and maybe hold off on redoing your floors until they’re completely house trained. In just three weeks, you’ll likely go through three months worth of paper towels.


5. There are few things greater than being proud of your pup

If you haven’t been scared off yet, you might just be dog-owner material. And you’re in luck because it’s actually pretty awesome.

Raising a puppy has a lot of highs and lows. You’ve read about a lot of the lows and seen a lot of the highs, but nothing really compares to the pride you feel when your new best friend sits on command for the first time or actually lets you know you they have to go outside.

Whether it’s watching them chase leaves in the wind, giving them their first bath, taking them on their first hike, or watching them cower from the vacuum, the real joy of raising a puppy is getting to watch them experience the world for the first time and teaching them how to interact with it. Those experiences create the bond that takes you from pet and owner to best friend.


Check out the gallery below to see more TSheets pups!