By: Megan Jasso
Dog Fun: Breweries, Crowders Mountain, & the Greenway!
Recently, my boyfriend and I picked up our 8-week old German Shepherd puppy, Scout. We had been looking forward to our new addition for weeks prior, and spent hours on hours daydreaming about the fun things we’d do with our new pup. Brewery trips, Sugar Creek Greenway walks, and Crowder Mountain hikes- you name it, we were ready.
Except we spent so much time day-dreaming about the fun stuff that, well, we forgot about all of the hard stuff that comes along with holding another life (albeit, a canine one) in your hands. Here are a couple things I wish someone had told me about getting a dog in Charlotte.
1. Dogs are Expensive
I’m not naive; I was totally prepared for the expenses that come along with owning a dog. Before we picked up our little furry bundle of joy, my boyfriend and I did all of the right things.
We picked up a crate for housetraining, chew toys and balls, a leash, collar- you’ve got the idea. We even signed her up for a Puppy Plan at Petsmart, which we thought would cut down on vet costs over time. Well, on Scout’s second day home, she decided to eat a little cigarette butt she found on the sidewalk. $200 and a lot of tears later (from me, not the puppy), we were all back home with a couple of dog-owner life lessons under our belt.
First, always look down at the ground when you have a dog that wants to eat everything in sight. Second, dogs are a little- okay, a lot, more expensive than my cat I’ve had for three years. However, we also learned that the amazing staff at Monroe Animal Hospital is on-site 24 hours a day, super helpful and the opposite of judgemental- they barely blinked an eye when I cried for ten minutes straight. It was an emotional weekend, okay?
2. Housetraining a Dog In an Apartment is Less Than Ideal
Most of the apartments around Charlotte are really pet-friendly these days, which is awesome. Some of them still have breed restrictions, which I think is rude, but that’s a story for another time. My apartment complex in Elizabeth, for example, has a really great enclosed courtyard and a dedicated dog park. These amenities, however, don’t do you much good when it comes to housetraining. Let’s put it this way- I’m all about tracking my steps on my Fitbit, and I’ve been coming way closer to hitting my goals since I’ve had to trek up and down three flights of stairs every half hour while I’m at home.
3) Puppies Grow Up Really Fast- and They’re Amazing
I don’t want this to turn into a b*tch fest about how hard it is having a dog. While some of my initial experiences as a puppy mom have been difficult, I’ve also had an amazing first few weeks with this tiny ball of fur. Our little pup has doubled in size since we brought her home, and it’s only just beginning. Now that I’ve gotten some of the hard stuff out of the way, I’m looking forward to all of those hikes and afternoons at the breweries.