Here’s the first of a series of blog posts that we hope will give prospective Cavalier owners some questions to answer and things to think about when considering bringing a Cavalier (or any dog) into the home.
Question one: Is there agreement?
Is everyone in the family on board with the new puppy? Or is one spouse, for example, saying to the other, “Well, you can get that puppy, but it’s yours and I don’t want anything to do with it.”?
We’ve been married for almost 30 years, and we are looking forward to the next 30. We’ve learned that having something in common that we both put our hearts into has brought us much closer together. This is especially true of Top Meadow Cavaliers. We also know that if we weren’t both devoted the kennel it would be stressful.
The same is true of even just one puppy. A puppy can be a real source of family bonding, but if you want a puppy and your spouse is opposed or your spouse wants one and you don’t, you could be inviting tension—and that’s not the ideal environment for a new puppy, much less a family!
From time to time we get couples and families who visit us, and we can tell that not everyone is ready to bring a puppy home. Some spouses are clearly hoping for the “puppy effect.” The husband might be thinking, “When she sees the puppy, her heart will melt and she’ll want one.” Or the wife may be thinking, “When he sees how much the kids want a puppy, he’ll change his mind.”
We rarely see the puppy effect. More often we see the spouse who is not sold throw up roadblocks:
“Does this breed shed?” (Yes! Would you like to see our vacuum? It’s bagless!)
“How often do you have to take a new puppy out for potty training? (A bunch—especially with a toy breed!)
“Do they chew?” (Yes, but good news, not nearly as much as a Lab!)
But the answers don’t really matter, if someone is not excited about getting a puppy. What matters is that husband and wife agree they both want a new puppy and they are both in on caring for him, training him, and loving him.
As Jackie likes to say, new-puppy day should really be all butterflies and rainbows (and maybe even unicorns!) If there’s a trace of “hmmm I’m not so sure”, then we encourage you to wait until you are.
And if you are married, both of you!