If you haven’t already figured out that we are almost unbearably obsessed with our pup, Gunner, then where have you been?
Gunner Ko. Lil’ G. G money. Good boy. Treats. He responds to all of these.
Michael and I both had pups when we were growing up, though my story is a bit different than his. Our family loved dogs, but they were just “dogs” to us. We fed them, walked them, and played with them like any owner would. But they always stayed outside. Never did any sort of training with them, and quite honestly, never treated them as a big part of our lives. Please don’t misunderstand me, we absolutely loved our dogs, how could you not? They’re dogs!
You know those people…the ones that say they don’t really care for dogs…I don’t really care for them. haha I kid, but it really is like a direct attack on unconditional love. Who doesn’t love being loved for no reason?! Dogs get it.
The very first time I walked into Michael’s house I was bombarded by, not just one, or even two dogs. FIVE! Five dogs! All massive and all inside and all so lovable! It was very clear that these dogs were family. I’m not saying that having a dog inside vs. outside makes them family; it was more that these dogs played a vital role in this household. They were always a priority. I started to see dogs differently after meeting Michael’s fur-siblings.
After getting married in May of 2015, we both knew there wasn’t going to be a long length of time that would go by where we wouldn’t be a family of three. Not babies, gross (kidding again, I kind of want one of those too). Dogs. One dog. Gunner.
It was September of 2016 and Michael didn’t know that I had been talking to a family with some Golden Retriever pups for awhile. They had one boy left in their most recent litter so I hopped in the car with my best friend, because duh, who would say no to visiting puppies, and were on our way. Love at first sight has happened twice in my life; once when I saw Michael, and then when I walked through that door and saw Gunner.
We brought him home and waited patiently for Michael to get off work so he could meet our newest roommate. His reaction was priceless…take a look —> Surprise!
Surprising Michael with our greatest joy has been one of my favorite memories of our entire relationship. Every time Michael talks about how much he loves him or when I see them playing, it reminds me of the first day I brought him home.
We have gotten so many comments about how much we love our dog and you can’t imagine the looks we get when we talk about him as much as we do. You might even be reading this and be like “its a doooog. you’re writing about a dog.” Damn straight I am. Let me tell you why having him in our lives is so blog-worthy.
Feel free to insert yourselves in our place to better understand just how amazing it is to have a pup. When we leave the house, we miss him. Pathetic? Maybe. But this is why. Any time we are driving home or about to leave an event, we remember “Gunner’s at home!” and we get so excited. He literally makes every day Christmas for us. Imagine having someone greet you at your house, ecstatic that you are walking through a door. Every time we get home, we are celebrated! That kind of love is outrageous.
He is so cute, its hard not to comment on it non-stop. Practically everything he does is adorable. It’s impossible not to be so happy when he is around.
If I am unhappy, he picks up on it, and cuddles me until I smile. When my toes are cold, he licks them to warm them up. He so lovingly and loudly warns us when there is any noise nearby whatsoever. Smirk.
Lately, I’ve been appreciating just his company. When Michael is traveling, I feel safe and still so loved because Gunner is around. Vulnerable moment, there are times that I just hug him and can’t help the tears from welling up because I honestly haven’t felt lonely since we adopted him. He is our greatest joy.
He makes our marriage better by keeping us healthy and active; he loves his walks, the beach and tennis. Any time we are there, we have a blast and he’s getting us off the couch and outside!
All that being said, we will always be honest about the responsibility it takes to have a dog. Your dog is family and should be treated as a priority. Their well-being is dependent on you. I’d say their happiness is dependent on you, but they will always love you because if they know nothing else, they know how to love.
They need attention and they deserve it. They might not be your everything, but you are theirs. They deserve walks, treats and toys. They deserve your time to train them so they can be a dog you can take anywhere that can be around anyone.
Gunner is a Golden Retriever so that means…hair…everywhere. It’s all part of being a dog owner, cleaning up after them and everything they leave behind.
Some of the greatest advice we got before getting Gunner was from our good friends that got their first pup shortly after saying “I do.” They strongly urged us to wait longer than they had. She is one of the most loved dogs in the world, but they wished they had waited longer to get her so they could use their first years of marriage to really focus on each other. Time with dogs sometimes means time and energy not spent on your significant other. Even though we waited a year and a half, we still felt that a lot of our energy was spent on making Gunner happy, and leaving little room for each other.
It’s a very realistic concern, and now we tell all newlyweds to wait as long as you can before getting a pup. You may want a puppy more than anything else in the entire world, but are you ready? Is your house even good for a dog to romp around in? Do you have the finances to take care of a pup, in case, God forbid, anything happens. Will you conjure up energy to take them for walks after a long day of work?
Having a dog is the greatest and most joyful responsibility. I say this because I am not a mom of a human child. But I’m not entirely sure we’re going to love that kid more than we love Gunner. Which might be why we don’t have any kids yet.
Dogs are like Christmas.