Get a dog they said, it will be fun they said.
But Otto, getting you 8 months ago has been more than fun, it has been life-changing ❤
Growing up I had always been an animal lover, we always had at least one dog in the house and 2-4 cats at any given time. Animals have been and always will be my sweet spot. I can remember multiple times where people would look at me and go “Oh my gosh you are just like your mom, you are both animal lovers”, or “You are going to be my crazy cat lady friend who has 27 cats in the future.”
So yeah, animals are my life. Which is why when my boyfriend pitched the idea of getting a dog to me, my heart melting. So in November of 2014 we began the process of researching breeders (well he did), picking the litter, getting all the nitty-gritty figured out. In May of 2015 we made the 6 hour trip from Northern Iowa to Hayward Wisconsin to pick out our little fella, Otto. He was the first pup I held and the one that won our hearts. 2 weeks later in early June, he was home to Iowa, and life was changed for good.
You see having a dog is more than warm cuddles and unconditional love, it comes with trial and error, stress followed by happiness, followed by frustration, followed by laughs. It is an endless cycle of emotions at times. But having a dog also comes with lessons, realizations, and blessings. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Otto, and it is because he has taught me so much in these first 8 months with him, has brought me tears of joy and tears of sadness, has weakened my soft spot for animals, and has been the greatest joy. Since day one, Otto, here are the things that I have learned from you.
How to care for another being There are some things that you just can’t do for yourself, and it is humbling and rewarding to know that we are the people that you have to rely on in your life. I am proud to be a parent, but even more proud to be your parent.
To stop and smell the roses or whatever is right in front of you on the ground, or whatever life throws at you. Smell it, grab it, go with it, don’t pass it up, and don’t miss any opportunity.
When in doubt, laugh it out Sometimes there is nothing else to do but to just laugh. When you do something you’re not supposed to do, but you do it in the cutest way ever, it’s hard to be mad, so instead we just laugh.
like that one time we recorded you while we were gone to see what you really do while we are gone- like get on the forbidden couch, or when you got into one of your favorite toys- the toilet paper
How to be happy and sad at the same time On my weakest days when I feel sad and down, the ability of you to come up with that toy hanging from your mouth asking for some love and play can put a smile on my face. It is weird to feel so many emotions at once in one point of time: sadness, happiness, thankfulness, playfulness. It is weird but it is great.
A little curiosity never hurt any one I love the natural curiosity that comes out of puppies, and I hope it never leaves you. You are so curious about the world, like you are experience something new every time you experience it, even if you have done it a million times. If everyone were as curious as a puppy I believe there would be a lot more smiles in this world, a lot less judgement, and a lot more free spirits.
To appreciate the sun and the stars Waking up to your bathroom call at 5AM on a warm August morning, day after day, or bundling up to take you out at 9PM on a cold winter night has allowed me to appreciate the beauty of this earth. Sure I’d rather stay inside sometimes, especially in the dead of winter, but I have to thank you for dragging me out. Because when we go outside I get to be reminded of the beauty of this earth, and from where we are, we can see the greatest sunrise, or all of the stars. And as you do your thing, I’ll do mine and look up, appreciate the stars, and everything below them, including you.
The ability to be patient and still oh boy before I got you, I was one of the most impatient people on the planet. My life was fast paced, I had a million things running through my head, I just didn’t slow down and I didn’t understand how other people could. But when having a puppy you learn the art of patience. Patience in training you, in taking you out to go to the bathroom, while going on walks, while greeting new people, while trying to snuggle when you just want to play. Puppies are like babies, except we never get to snow what you are thinking, or what you want to say, so we have to learn to be patient and read you body language and your facial expressions, and through that we connect, and through that I became: patient.
To love unconditionally They say that dogs are a humans best friend, and the animal with the most loving nature. And I can honestly say that you will never know this to be true until you have a dog of your own. The ability to keep loving even after you have been scolded for eating a coaster is admirable. Just think if everyone in the world could love like dogs do, how much better a place it would be to live.
Much love to you Otto boy ❤