They don’t tell you how hard being a parent will be

It was a sweet and wonderful moment when we first held him in our arms, his big brown eyes gazing up at us. We didn’t realize during that brief and precious moment that he had changed our lives forever. Putting him to bed the first night was a little difficult, but he slept through most of the night. And at the first crack of dawn, he was licking our faces.

Yes, sweet little Sherman is the newest member of the family. He’s got a face that will melt your heart, with soft, floppy ears and a wispy tan and chestnut beard. But he’s got the energy and demeanor to make you want to hide underneath the covers for just a few moments of peace. A few minutes without any barking, licking, pawing, jumping and biting is a sweet victory. Deep down, he’s sweet and loveable, but his exterior hides that pretty well, showing instead the youthful, jubilant and hyper side. It’s no wonder mothers with new babies want to throw them from four-story building. If taking care of a pet helps prepare you for your first child, well then fuck that.

Having a dog – especially one that is still mostly a pup – must be what its like raising a child. I’ve always wanted to have a puppy, just for the sake of having one the cutest things on earth, complete with puppy kisses and playfulness. We got all that, and luckily without needing to house train. I’d call that a win.

Like a child, he’s adapting to his environment and learning his boundaries. He obeys orders occasionally; but just when we think we’ve gotten past one bad habit, another new one presents itself.

Perhaps our expectations for him where a little high, but then, no one gets the perfect pet from day one. But I suppose that it’s also only going to get better. We complain about being woken up in the middle of the night from his incessant barking at inanimate objects and inaudible sounds; and we get embarrassed by his behavior around other people and his overall manners, but we have to remind ourselves that he is a rescue, and he has never known any boundaries. He’s a terrific dog; full of personality, but boy is he ever a half-broke horse.

All in all, when we’re not watching his every move, making sure he doesn’t put weird things into his mouth, watching him develop as a personality has been fun to watch. Last weekend we took him to a dog park for the first time, unsure of how he would do with other dogs. He seemed quite happy to romp around and sniff butts, so the next day we again took him to a dog park. We watched as his black, female twin, Annie (that was also at the dog park) chased Sherman around the park. It was the first time we’d seen Sherman play with other dogs. We not sure whose smile was bigger, his or ours.

We’ve already made positive strides with him. For example, he responds well to his name, and sits on command 75% of the time. He also doesn’t bother us nearly as much during meals, and has gotten used to keeping himself busy when Amber and I are busy doing other things. Of course I say that now, even though he’s currently nuzzling his face into my hands while I try to type, and stretching up to lick my face at every chance.

Overall, the positives outweigh the negatives. We’re happy and blessed to have the opportunity to give this little guy a good home; and well, how can you get mad when you look at that face?

We’ve got a long road ahead with lots of work and training, but we’re looking forward to watching him grow older with us.





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