I always thought I'd end up with a cat (independent, suitably snarky, loves dairy). Yet, here I am with a black and white ball of fluff named Chester (or depending on mood - Chesty, Fluffball, the Molester, or Fatso).
The first three months was TERRIBLE. The poor kid was barely 4 months, he didn't trust us, we didn't trust him, he didn't know what to expect, and neither did we.
There was poo and piss everywhere except where it was supposed to be, the barking was so loud when you left him in a room by himself that your ears were ringing and you understood why, in comics, dads threw slippers at dogs. The classic activity of "walking the dog" wasn't the peaceful, happy idyll I'd imagined, but a battle of wills between me, the dog, the leash, and terror whenever realised I was outside without a plastic bag.
So every single day, he came close to being dropped off at the SPCA or being foisted onto a friend. Only our pride kept him with us. Raising a puppy would not break us. We were two intelligent people. This dog would not beat us. We would raise him and raise him well, or else...
My friend with a thirteen year old dog she'd raised from when she was barely out of university was reassuring. "Once they're trained, a dog is easy," she said.
And I'm happy to confirm, she's right. Just like with anything worth having in your life, hard work resulted in a totally awesome seven-month old puppy who can high-five, sit, settle, come, shake, beg, up, down and everything in between.
You know, falling in love is like owning a dog....