Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting My First Dog

If you don’t know me: Hi, my name is Taylor. I married a guy I met at a YouTube convention and have a family that consists of us, my step-chinchilla, and two maltipoos named Selfie and Hippie. (Fitting right?)

If you do know me (or follow me on Instagram), you know my animals. I’m obsessed with them. Long story short, I’ve always been deathly allergic to dogs. This runs in the family hence my pet frogs growing up. (RIP Fanny & Freckles) After moving out to LA, I began getting allergy shots in hopes of being able to live with the dog(s) I always wanted!

My dream came true in March of 2014! (The bad brow phase!)

I found our Selfie right outside of San Diego. I got the call that someone backed out last minute on a little puppy and we were on our way shortly after! You have no idea how much I cried. (Just ask Kaleb)

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My sleepy baby.

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My tiny, perfect, little tan eared angel climbed right up into my lap when we went to get her. She didn’t cry at all as we drove away. She just snuggled in my lap and proceeded to give lots of kisses.

2 years into Selfie’s charmed little life, I begged asked Kaleb what he thought about getting Selfie a sister. 2 days later we were driving an hour out of town again to retrieve a little bitty puppy Kaleb we named Hippie!

When we arrived we found a scrawny, quiet little furbaby who crawled up into Kaleb’s lap and proceeded to give us tiny sweet kisses as we drove away.

I love my little furbabies to pieces but here’s what I wish I could’ve prepared for before getting my angel-babies:

Lack of Sleep

I knew training puppies was going to be exhausting and I expected some late nights/early mornings. I don’t know how I could’ve been more ready for literally 0 sleep for a month. Selfie and Hippie were each different during this stage.

Selfie did the typical whine every 2-3 hours just to be held thing. Selfie has always been a total cuddle-bug. She (literally) jumps up into my arms every day just to hold her. She only had two or three accidents in her house that I begrudgingly lovingly brought down to the apartment building’s laundry room at 2am.

Possibility of Health Issues i.e. Parasites

When we got Hippie, we had no idea why she was so tiny. The first night we put her in her crate with no issues until a couple hours later, she was howling like something was wrong. We rushed in to see she had explosive diarrhea all over her, the crate, her bed, and the floor around her. We had scheduled a vet appointment for the following day anyway to get her checked out and started on vaccinations but didn’t expect her to actually be sick the day we got her. This continued every hour that night. The routine consisted of:

  1. Bathe Hippie in the tub
  2. Toss her bed in the washer (Thank God this time around we had a washer/dryer in unit!)
  3. Scrub the crate clean
  4. Mop the floor
  5. Put Hippie back to bed
  6. Repeat an hour later

When we got to the vet, we could tell she seemed concerned. She asked us if she had been de-wormed and we showed the paperwork we were given. After a couple tests, we learned she had 3 different parasites. We started on 4 different medicines to get her back in good health and were sent on our way with our 2.5lb baby. (We also learned she would be 8lbs full grown. Man were they wrong, haha!)

It’s not like I could’ve pre-purchased parasite meds (considering how many different types there are) nor could I have purchased 3 different crates and beds to swap out in between her getting sick.

However, I wish I would’ve known it would end up being all okay. I spent so many nights upset over her possibly being in pain and getting mad at who handled her before us. On top of it all, I had little to no sleep. During week 2 of these hourly sessions at night, I had just finished cleaning her and her bedding up before crawling back into bed. Not even 10 minutes later, she started crying, I went out expecting to just hold her but saw she had covered herself in poop again. I picked her up and just started sobbing. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. This little puppy that we wanted to so badly was so sick. We couldn’t hold her without washing our hands like crazy afterwards. She couldn’t be near Selfie yet in fear of her catching parasites. My hands were breaking from how dry they were from constant disinfecting. I just remember sobbing uncontrollably and my sweet husband waking up and coming in to help me and hold me even though he knew nothing could console me except a healthy dog and sleep.

After just over a month of meds, Hippie pooped NORMAL! I can’t even express to y’all how happy I was to see her do this. Kaleb and I jumped and screamed and made puppy treats rain. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Parasites suck and I hope you and your animals never ever have to endure it. You can do it though!

Potty Training (While Living In An Apartment)

When I got Selfie, I was of course living in an apartment. Not an apartment surrounded by nature though. Try an apartment in the middle of Hollywood where the greenest thing around is the Medical Marijuana dispensary down the street.

I had every intention of keeping training pads up in my apartment so she could make it to potty but also take her downstairs to the itty bitty patch of grass outside my building when possible. This method failed after trial one resulted in a guy who just got out of jail approaching me and Kaleb, telling us about his gang happenings and stealing Kaleb’s coke can out of his hand. Thanks, Hollyweird!

I guess it didn’t really dawn on me that dogs go potty about as often as humans do except they can’t flush or clean their own behinds. (If only I could train them to hop up on the toilet…)

I wish I knew how many pads I’d go through a day. (These things ain’t cheap!) I wish I knew aim is sometimes an issue for my picky little dogs.

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Just look at this adorable little monster @SelfiePuppy

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Hippie was always great about potty training outside of her parasites. When we first brought her home, she waddled right over to the pad without being prompted and went potty. Selfie on the other hand, detested the pad. A couple days into getting our little sassy girl, I was bringing her towards the pad where she started to pee but started running (and peeing at the same time) towards the bedroom where Kaleb’s iPad was sitting underneath a desk. She hopped up and finished peeing right on top of it. Luckily, it had a cover which is why I think she went for it. It’s squishy and obviously more fun to stand on than the pad. Hellooooo!

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Thanks @SelfiePuppy

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When Selfie gets mad, she poops in our bedroom. Hippie doesn’t get mad, instead she gets nervous and pees suddenly. She also does this when she’s excited. Which leads me to the next thing I wish I had known.

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Crunch, crunch, crunch

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Dogs Have Strong (And Different) Personalities

I expected my dogs to have personalities but it still blows my mind just how different they are. Selfie is so sassy, she does what she wants when she wants. She’s smaller than Hippie but you’d think Selfie was 3x her size because of how she acts.

Hippie however just wants to please everyone. She is happy-go-lucky always. She also runs into doors sometimes but we like to think that’s her trying to be funny.

A huge hilarious and funny difference between the two is Selfie hates clothes, Hippie loves clothes. As a puppy, Hippie would pull out her clothes if we didn’t put them on her in the morning. So cute!

They’re as different as siblings get but one thing is for sure, these girls love Kaleb. Hippie waits outside the bedroom door every morning for him to walk out. Selfie waits for me to leave to workout cause she knows I’ll open that bedroom door for her to cuddle with Kaleb until he wakes up.

Perfect depiction of their feelings on photo taking and wearing costumes:

They Are Nearly Equivalent to Human Babies

I knew my puppies would require a lot of attention but you don’t know sad until you see their faces as you run an errand or even just go downstairs for 5 minutes to retrieve mail.

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Good morning you adorable little poop machine

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Just like human babies, you can’t leave them for hours alone. Just like human babies, you can’t just leave them when you go out of town. Arrangements have to be made. Fortunately for us, I have a few close friends who I trust to keep our babies when we go out of town without them.

They Get Into Everything

Yes, we all expect dogs to be curious and wander into this new territory with their need to chew on everything in sight. We think “We’ll just swap out a shoe for a chew toy!” WRONG.

When Hippie was little, we used to lose her under the couch. Kaleb had to start blocking access because we were so afraid of not being able to get her out. Hippie also had a love for my sparkly flip flops as evidenced by the rhinestones we later saw in her poop.

Selfie didn’t venture long in this “chew on everything in sight” phase. She chewed through my (unplugged) computer charger but that was the extent. Oh and there was this time she sniffed a tire.

And a couple other times she tried for food. Sometimes she gets away with it.

You Will Love Them Like You’ve Never Loved Before

I loved dogs before I had any but I didn’t understand why my friends would cut their nights short to go home to them. They’ll be fine, right? Oh, naive dog-less Taylor!

Even through their loud barking at the smallest knocking noise, their “bickering” to cuddle closer, and whining every time human food is out of their reach, they are everything.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.