I’ve had dogs my whole life but Eko is my first dog as an adult (using that term very loosely here). He’s the first pup where the responsibilities of care, training and …gulp… vet bills are solely mine. I like to think I got a lot of things right for a first-timer.
Love? Check. Never a shortage there
Adventure? Novelty? Socialization? Eko’s had all of these in abundance since day one
I was diligent about crate training and Eko loved his little den
While I think I got a lot right, I know I got a lot wrong. My rookie mistakes included things like leaving Eko alone in a room for “just a quick second” and returning to find utter destruction of a couch or shoe or unplugged wire. There are also persistent mistakes of inconsistency I’m still working to overcome.
As a pup, I only brushed Eko’s teeth sporadically. It led to plaque build up which I have spent the past year slowly working away
Loose leash walking is one of the most important skills for a pup/person to master. I thought we had it down, but during Eko’s rebellious teenage phase I did not practice/reinforce the skill enough. As a result, our loose leash walking skills became inconsistent and frustrating. Eko’s a good walker now, but I have to remember to always been consistent and patient in training
There’s no undoing yesterday’s mistakes, all we can do is learn from them and make better decisions today. Eko’s first gift to his little sister is a more experienced, prepared and knowledgeable person than Eko ever had as a puppy.
Of course, I’m sure I will make a whole slew of new mistakes, but all I can do is work to be a better pet parent today than I was yesterday. And when I mess up this time at least the pup will have Eko to commiserate with!
If you have any pet parent missteps or training do-overs to share, please let me know. I’ll be diligently studying them for the next few weeks before the big “exam” begins.