Sharing my experience as a first time pet parent!
Three months ago, we decided to take care of a cute little puppy. Prior to this, I never had the experience of taking care of a puppy, much more take care of a highly energic 2-month old beagle. We did not do any research on which breed is the most suitable for our lifestyle, we were just too excited to do it. The time has finally came! Oh boy, we were in for a treat.
First day with her: I wasn't ready for this!
When we first got her, she did not waste any time to adjust. All she wanted was to play, play, and play right away. Good thing that when we were already in transit, she gradually settled down and went for a good nap. There I was, wishing that she won't wake up until we get home. Luckily, she cooperated, and she is now ready to explore her new home.
Right after entering our home, she sniffed on everything that she can reach. She eventually settled down to play with me on the carpet, and after few minutes -- SHE PEED ON THE CARPET. After that, we learned our lesson. We just don't use a carpet anymore.
Nothing can fully prepare you for your first puppy
No matter how much "how to take care of a puppy" articles you read, I don't think you will ever be fully ready for the love-hate experience the first few weeks with your little angel-demon will give. At least this was my case. I watched A LOT of puppy training videos, read several articles, asked a number of questions in forums, but none of these properly prepared me for the real thing. The first days with her required a lot of adjustments from my end. Cleaning her messes everywhere, trying to play with her as much as I could to tire her out, and adjusting my sleep based on her schedule -- it was endless.
Pretty sure that I have been a sleep-deprived, unproductive, and very much on the edge person during the early weeks of taking care of her. I have never been so diligent with my own schedule before, but now I don't have a choice.
There were A LOT of moments when I wanted to rehome her. These are the times when self-doubt will creep in, questioning if I made the right decision of getting her; reflecting if I will be able take proper care of her, still do a good job at my work, and will be able to sleep properly.
Crate training: a miracle tool that saved my sanity
Eventually, I thought to myself -- there should be a better way to do this. As I was desperate enough to try all the methods available, I eventually gave in to try crate training. For a lot of pet parents that I know in our country, there is a negative notion towards crate training. But what convinced me to do it (aside from the desperation to make the situation better) is this analogy: "a baby has a crib, and your puppy has a crate". So I started to learn how to crate train properly, and it saved me.
It is now much more manageable for me and my puppy to coexist. We now enjoy spending time with each other during her off-crate hours. I just have to make sure that we follow our daily schedule, make her crate enjoyable for her (no prolonged hours in the crate!), and be consistent with her training.
Present moment: starting to enjoy moments with her
It was the right decision to not push through in rehoming her. Now that she is nearing her 5-month mark this month, the day to day experience with her is starting to become smooth-sailing. There are still those annoying moments when she is too energetic, but I now get to sleep at my own schedule (she still wakes me up early), and be productive at work again. I also now have the leisure time to read, watch the TV, and play video games even during her waking time.
Message to new pet parents: it will get better!
For new pet parents who are struggling a lot, always remember that it will eventually get better (hopefully soon before our sanity fades). Also, don't be afraid to ask for help from other people. A lot of people are willing to help, you just have to ask the question and be nice. Lastly, enjoy the little quirks that your pets have. This will help you go through every stressful moment of cleaning after your pet, not having the time for yourself, and all the other difficult tasks that comes with being a pet parent.
There you have it! Thank you all for reading this far. I hope you all enjoyed reading this and seeing pictures of my cute not-so-little angel-demon beagle.