How could I not make blog post about my new little best friend? Anyways, you’ve read the title correctly. Yes, we got a dog! Actually a little puppy. His name is Koda and he is a Toy Australian Shepherd only 8 weeks old as I write this. He’s actually purebred, just not papered. We love that he will stay pretty small. He’s the biggest bundle of joy!
Sheldon and I have been looking at dogs on KSL and craigslist for fun. We thought it was innocent, but turns out to be a dangerous activity, haha. He found a local breeder that he knows and had puppies in our price range. We still said we wouldn’t buy one, but decided to just visit them… We loved them right away and knew we needed one, and this one in particular was the most friendly and kept licking us. We kept our eye on him and discussed it. The final straw was when we went camping over 4th of July weekend and there were two dogs there that were really friendly and playful. We decided that having a puppy would ground us a little bit and we kept imagining situations where we could bring this dog and how we could justify having one. We finally caved.
We purchased him before my July trip to Utah and got all the supplies for him so we would be ready to take him home. Then I was tasked with naming my new friend. Sheldon and I searched long and hard for the right nature-inspired name and came up with Koda. I guess Koda means little bear friend, and in Japanese it means good luck and happiness. I felt that it suited him and thought it was cute for the little guy.
Why I got a dog
If you commonly read my blog you probably know that I struggle with mental illness. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for awhile but only recently have started to go to therapy for it. The transition away from school and into a small town has been difficult for me so Sheldon and I have discussed getting a pet so that I don’t feel lonely at home each day. I talked to my therapist about it and she thought it would actually be a really good idea because dogs especially have a calming energy and loving nature about them. We decided that I would get an emotional support puppy, which sounds a little funny, I know, but it has already made so much of a difference for me!
I don’t like how defensive and unkind I’ve gotten. I don’t like myself or who I am so sometimes it is to make friends here and that can make things worse. I had to jump through some hoops for him to be able to live in our apartment complex but with the letter of recommendation from my therapist it wasn’t an issue. All I’m saying is that the whole “service animal” confusion, actually makes sense to me and I am so SO grateful for Koda in my life already. Having Koda with me all the time provides me a simple furry friend. It truly is therapeutic because having this little puppy that relies on me for care allows me to focus my energy somewhere productive. Having him around combats my loneliness, and allows me to get my daily sunshine from our walks outdoors. Training and comforting Koda has put me onto a more regular sleep schedule as well. Koda has also really helped me to branch out and talk to people I would never normally talk to because they want to pet him or ask about him. Theres something about a puppy that brightens your spirits and gives you hope. It has only been about two weeks with him but I’ve already seen immense improvement in my attitude and thoughts. Things are looking up.
Learning to be a “Dog Mom”
Though still a young puppy, he is already so smart (as Australian Shepherds are). He has learned to play fetch and actually bring us the ball, he’s learning to ring a little doggy bell to be let out for the potty, he enjoys riding in the car and doesn’t mind a kennel, he is very patient to just sit in my lap if needed, he follows us on a leash and chases us at the park, he even has been letting us sleep through the night. We are already so proud of him. He is still so tiny and sleeps most of the day, he craves attention still and likes meeting children, Sheldon and I love taking him to the park at night because that is when he is the most fun to play with.
I’ve never had a dog before so I’m learning all the “dog mom things”. I learned how to give him his first bath and brush his teeth, what toys he likes and how to play with him, how often to feed him, how often to take him potty, and taking him to the vet for shots, etc. It has been a lot of work, but such fun journey and we honestly love him so much already, I feel like he is my little child. I’m wish he would stay a puppy forever, but I’m so excited to watch him grow.
Welcome to the family Koda bear. ❤