What I Didn’t Expect When I Got a Puppy

I was going through my phone this week deleting photos and videos to make room for more (#standard). I kept coming across pictures of Teddy as a puppy. He’s grown so much since I got him. In some ways I feel like he’s always been in my life, but at the same time not long enough at all. So. Much. Love!!!

Some of the photos I found were these. Can we talk about how big he’s really gotten?! Sheesh! I decided to take photos of him in the same position/place. (This scared me, by the way… my poor future-but-currently-non-existent children.) 
Garrett doesn’t think dogs can smile (there’s some long word that I refuse to remember because I don’t believe it), but that has to be a smile. LOOK AT HIM!
He’s a ham.
… and he’s done.
When getting a puppy, I didn’t expect:
1) … to meet so many people. It’s really crazy how many people I now know in my neighborhood. I had lived here for over a year and didn’t know anyone. And now I have “sidewalk friends.” People with dogs I see every day when I’m walking Teddy– we seem to all be on the same schedule. I feel like I’m constantly running up and down the stairs of the apartment so I’ve met a lot of other tenants too. It’s so fun!
2) … to travel so much. I think this is my number one piece of advice for young people considering getting a dog. Life changes radically when you’re in your 20s. Obviously, I love the little guy to death, but I didn’t anticipate having such a big travel schedule. Luckily, the groomer he goes to is obsessed with him so he stays with him while I’m away. Truth be told, Teddy loves being there more than anything and I rest easy knowing he’s in completely capable and loving hands. When I leave him, I always tear up, but then I go peek into the window and I swear it takes him two seconds to find someone in there to give him all the belly rubs in the world. Easy to please that little one. It’s expensive, but so worth it (and necessary). 
3) … to fall in love. I knew people loved their dogs and I knew dogs are considered “(wo)man’s best friend” and everything. BUT THE LOVE IS REAL. I can’t even begin to describe the emotions I have for Teddy. It’s intense and amazing and rainbows and butterflies. 
4) … to loosen up. I’m a bit of an intense person and I tend to take things extraordinarily seriously. Having Teddy in my life though is the best thing to happen to me. He makes me more relaxed and puts things into perspective. When I’m feeling stressed about something, I crawl around the floor with him playing fetch and giving extra cuddles. He just makes me so happy and he makes me realize that life doesn’t have to be so complicated.
5) … to break the rules. I’m a rule follower through and through and a germaphobe. But here I am, letting my NYC-sidewalk-germy dog climb into bed with me from time to time. Not every night, but sometimes I let him 😉 I just can’t resist the puppy snuggz. When I first got him, I was uptight about all these “rules” and the “dos” and “don’ts,” but I’ve let a lot of them slide.
6) … to be a crazy dog lady. Really, I’m concerned about how I will be when I’m an actual mother to an actual human. Teddy’s teeth fell out (who knew?!) and when I’d find them I couldn’t throw them away. I hate teeth, but I had to keep them!! So gross…. blech. But I couldn’t do anything about it. And I talk to him like he’s a human. Garrett made me watch Best in Show, and yep, I’m one of “those people” now.

There are a million things I didn’t expect, but those are the notable things. I love him so much and don’t know what I’d do without him!! Anyone else have these emotions about their own pets?

Say Hello

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Olivia Berry

If anything makes you break "rules" it's a fluffy four-legged creature. Rules just don't exist with my dogs (as far as furniture goes…) I love to snuggle them too much. And why not? Their life is so short… when Teddy turns old and grey and is ready to move on from a happy life he's had here, you won't think, "I'm glad I didn't let him sleep on the bed all those years." You'll wish you had slept with him EVERY night! Trust me….I've been there. Cherish them, even if it means breaking the rules. Their lives are short.

Lauren Rose

He is too cute! So glad I get to see my dogs over spring break. Speaking of which, I just did a post on outfit ideas for traveling. Check it out!

Lucky Lissa

He is such a cutie. 🙂 I fully understand the love part – my parents got a puppy last year and I never thought I would love him so much! And now the only thing I can think of is getting my own pet. What breed is Teddy? He really is adorable 🙂


I never thought I would have so many "dog" friends. It's so fun and easy because we always have something to talk about!


I can't wait to get a dog after graduation in May! I am also worried about my travel schedule since my job requires me to travel around Texas and Oklahoma all the time, so I will have to evaluate but I want one sooo bad! Teddy is just precious.

Christina Larigan

I got my first dog shortly after you got Teddy and I couldn't agree with all these points more. I completely underestimated the "guilt" I would feel with leaving him and I want to take him everywhere with me. Work, running errands, anything. I definitely never thought I'd toss him in my purse to run into Nordstrom to make a quick return, but that's definitely happened… And all the pictures! My Instagram feed has definitely been taken over with pictures of him. I'm completely obsessed. And love him more than anything, ever. I know you understand 🙂


Um dogs absolutely can smile! My dog does it all the time, and she has a whole RANGE of emotions. And by "whole range" I mean she smiles, and she looks really sorry when she does something bad and sometimes she has this crooked smiles thing she does when she's confused.

Olivia Stieren

Love this post, Carly! Your transparency about your experience with Teddy is refreshing. Your posts make me even more excited about my plans of getting a new puppy this summer!


Um, dogs totally do smile! I am the same way with my sweet little "fur face," so if you're a crazy dog lady, then so am I! Great post; love the Teddy updates!



My dog totally smiles. And Teddy is rocking a grin in that one picture 🙂 I am a crazy dog lady and I wouldn't have it any other way! My dog is my best friend and my world!

Sarah Goehringer

Your dog is adorable! I'd love to talk dogs with you sometime! I literally know everything about pet products! I work at a all natural pet product store. Hope you got good food for Teddy!


Omg your dog is so cute lol I never really expected the same either when I got my first puppy. I got him when I had moved out for the first time. I didn't expect people to constantly come up to me and randomly talk to me about him or the fact that I would start doing babytalk to my dog lol

Preppy Pink Crocodile

I was home in NY for Cmas (I lived in DC at the time) when my Sadie got her first period. She was less than a year and this momma didn't even know that happened to dogs. I thought she was dying. Literally. I called the vet in DC in hysterics (the first of what would become many such phone calls) explaining that I was in the country in upstate NY and didn't know what to do and they were like, just bring her in next week to get fixed. There I was crying my eyes out and the vet was like, drive safely, we'll see in next week. I had a similar experience when her teeth fell out (no one told me that either). Ha. It happens to all of us!

KK @


Teddy is so precious, it's crazy how fast they grow. I still have pictures of my Morkie Lincoln fitting into my husbands Sperry. You're not alone as being the crazy "dog lady." I'd do anything for Lincoln, he's brought so much joy to my life over the last four years. I think when the time comes, i'm more concerned if I will love my children as much as I love him. Luckily I have a bit. 🙂

Diana Karavida

Yes, all of the above. I saved my puppy's teeth, too. No worries, you're normal, or when we became dog owners we became abnormal, but whatever! They really are the best friends in the world 🙂


So true! I saved Aubrey's teeth too (well some.. I think the rest he swallowed). I miss when they were still puppies. Teddy is growing up so fast! Having a dog has taught me so much about myself. Woman's bestfriend, indeed!

xoxo, Paulette

Amber Lee Rosenzweig

Crazy dog person/soon to be veterinarian here. I've found myself explaining that my dog, Patton, was not necessarily what I expected, but everything that I needed. It's not easy and people don't realize you can't just go out after work, you have to walk the dog or get a dog walker. I found myself dashing home quickly at lunch vs enjoying a slower meal with friends sometimes and I also had to get up super early to make sure that he got plenty of outside time before I started my day. And yes, then there is travel and finding dog friendly apartments that are nice and everything else, but you know what? It's totally worth it and I wouldn't trade him for the world!

Lauren Elizabeth

I adopted a 3-year-old dog a few months ago, and I feel exactly the same way. I never imagined I could love her so much! And I love that she's always doing silly things that make me laugh even when I'm in a bad mood.