Puppies are so cute.
They’re adorable. They’re huggable. They’re cuddly. They’re fun.
They love to frolic. They love you like crazy.
And when they look at you in that adorable puppy way that they have, your heart melts—especially when they’re not yours.
Which is why there is something very, very important that all potential puppy owners—parents or grandparents—need to understand right at this very moment, right now, before they make the huge, dramatic, powerful plunge into actual puppy ownership.
They need to know this important thing before they get that puppy from the shelter, the breeder, the pet store, or their lovely neighbor down the block—all because their heart has melted and they cannot imagine life for one more moment, one second, without that cute, cuddly baby-dog with the eyes that melt their hearts.
Here’s the important thing to know: The word “puppy” has three “Ps” in it for a reason.
This is something that no one tells you.
This is something that people don’t share.
Why don’t they?
Well, the answer is obvious.
When you’re on the brink of that puppy purchase—this major life decision that will impact your life for the next 10 to 15 years, maybe even longer (never mind your wallet)—no one really tells you the truth.
So let’s be blunt, shall we?
Blunt is real. Blunt is good. Blunt is necessary.
Those three “Ps” in the word “puppy”—which no one ever explains to you—really stand for three key words. And those three words are pee, poop, and puke.
There it is.
In the wide world of jumping-for-joy puppy ownership, you will be cleaning up around your house—with whatever tissues, paper towels, pads, wipes, or silly little baggies you have handy.
The baggies I’m referring to, by the way, are now essential items. You will have to carry them around with you in your pockets at all times of the day and night.
Yes, you will now be cleaning up all those things that come pouring out of your sweet, cuddly, wonderful puppy the moment you think no such thing could ever be possible from such an adorable, lovable canine.
And I do mean you—the parents or grandparents. That’s who will do all the cleaning.
Not the kids!
It’s just part of life as a pet parent.
Because no matter how much you insist that kids do their part—that they do their fair share in this brave new world of puppy ownership—it’s just not going to happen over the long haul.
No matter how much your kids promise that they will feed the puppy, walk the puppy, clean up after the puppy, play with the puppy, bathe the puppy, care for the puppy, and do everything else that comes with puppy ownership—that is just not the way things tend to play out in the puppy-owning world.
So you might as well embrace the fact that from now on, you will be walking around the house or the apartment with those silly little plastic baggies sticking out of your pockets.
And hey, if there’s no poop to pick up, well—all is not lost. Consider yourself prepared for whatever else comes down the pike—for whatever other critical form of family labor needs to take place in your pet-owning, pet-ruling household.
You need to know that. You need to accept it.
You need to get with the program.
The puppy program.
The “three Ps of puppy parenting program,” that is.
I happen to come by this knowledge, by the way, because my family and I are the owners of a former puppy. And today, our former puppy—who has now grown into a sweet senior pooch of 14.5 years—leaves her mark outside, wherever she must.
And I, as the mom, am the primary cleaner of this rather remarkable output of grown-up pup existence.
It’s just how it goes.
I’m not mad about it. I’ve accepted it.
I’m living with it. I’m dealing with it.
I just hope and pray that at five or six in the morning—when I’m out there on the dark, cold, empty street, bending down, using those silly little plastic baggies sticking out of my coat, trying to do a good job of cleaning up after my sweet little senior dog, whom I love with all my heart—that no one sees me.
Because it’s not a pretty picture of lasting value, if you know what I mean.
By the way, did I tell you about our other three pets?
Yes. We also have two cats and a bunny.
Our bunny’s a rabbit. But I call him a “bunny.”
I will never call him a “rabbit.”
When I hear the word “rabbit,” I think of a meal or a piece of clothing.
And he will never be that while he lives in our house. No way in heck.
He’s too cute and cuddly. Too sweet. Too much fun.
Too adorable. Too charming.
Oh, and by the way—no one has to pick up after him.
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This article is by Maureen Mackey. She’s a writer, editor, and web content strategist, as well as a regular contributor to Christian News Journal.