One morning as I went out for my daily run, I bummed into a friend which I haven’t seen for a while. After the first few minutes of catching up on kids and life she said she must run home to her new puppy.
“Puppy?! This is great. We were considering for years on expanding our family and bringing one too. How is it?”
Some words of encouragements, some horror stories, and I decided to follow her footsteps. As the holidays are just around the corner, and Black Friday wasn’t so successful with finishing my holiday shopping, I realized this meeting was meant to be and the puppy shall be our holiday gift.
As opposed to any other holiday gifts which you wrap and store till the right moment arise, this is a bit tricky. The obvious reason, I cannot (and will never) wrap and hide a puppy in the closet. Second, I had to make sure all members of the family are on board (spoiler alert on the gift I know, but I had to make sure).
Following some family discussions and many preparations, last weekend we brought her home. Thursday we packed our bags, and Friday after school we hit the road. We made a road trip out of it. Yes, the ride was long. 4 hours there, 3 hours back, but it was so much fun (I can’t believe I am saying that). This is not our first long drive, and it’s usually very challenging. I do not allow my kids to use any electronic devices while we are in the car. So you can imaging the constant fighting, screaming, complaining, and my “favorite” question of all times: “Are we there yet?”. But this ride was different, the level of excitement manifested a positive journey for us all. I hope it wasn’t a once in a lifetime ride, and I hope we will enjoy this experience again.
311 miles (500 KM), and 48 hours later we were home with the puppy. We took her out to of the car, got her to do her business, walked her into the house to explore, and fussed about her every move. The only time their phones were out, was to capture those moment.
Three days in, and we were all sleep deprived (and not because of the phones). She will cry all night. Everyone says, just let her cry… easier said than done! As the sun rise and we only got a few hours of sleep, we barely drag ourselves down to the kitchen, and she is up and excited to see us. Our hearts just melt and we forgot all about last night.
A few days later, and she found her way into my son’s bedroom and from then on, no more crying. They established a bond. It was love at first sight.
If that’s not teaching them to be responsible, I don’t know what is.
Some will argue that even when you walk outside you can still be on your phone. This is absolutely true, but I am not sure the dog will allow you to do so. I see this with our puppy, she keeps on pulling us over to catch the next flying leaf, the squirrel that decided to stop by, or even just sit there and stare at us with her puppy eyes, and you just can’t ignore her.
By the way, some of this will apply to a pet cat. We have them both at home. We started with a cat and recently added the dog. I love them both, but if you are debating and looking for more benefits, go with the dog. Cats will not drag the kids outside, and if your child is in the mood to play and the cat is in the mode to nap, guess what — the cat will nap and the child will find their device, phone, tablet, or the TV.
I see it as a no-brainer. Yes, a puppy is very demanding. Yes, I am sleep deprived (and I need my 8 hours of sleep). Yes, I keep on cleaning accidents from the floor.
But ever since she joined our family, I don’t hear myself saying “Turn off that damn phone!”, for me it’s worth it all.
Originally published at medium.com