Adventures in Quarantine: We Got a Puppy

Sourdough starters. Vegetable gardens. Home-brewed beer. At-home dip manicures. Banana bread. Scrolling through social media the last few months I see that quarantine is getting people to take on DIY projects they wouldn’t have fathomed otherwise.

I personally haven’t hopped on the sourdough starter bandwagon, but at the beginning of quarantine my husband and I did tackle some home projects. We leveled ground to lay pavers and built furniture (with minimal but still some annoyance toward each other).

Then, we took on our most ambitious project during this time: bringing home our new puppy, Dexter.

If you know me, you know how crazy it is that I now have a puppy. For most of my 30-plus years of life, I’ve been pretty ambivalent about dogs. I like the low-maintenance aloofness of cats. I know dogs take a lot more time to care  than cats, and I wasn’t on board with the idea of putting in so much work and being tied to the house for something that’s not a human.

But my five-year-old daughter is dog crazy.

She’s been asking for a dog since she started talking. She asks to go for a walk every night just so she can try to pet as many neighborhood dogs as possible. Through her love of dogs, I started to soften a bit on my stance because I am exposed to them so much more. After we dog-sat for our friends extremely loveable Goldendoodle earlier this summer and my daughter sobbed after his departure, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep turning down her request for a puppy too much longer. I also couldn’t help but to personally like having the dog around as a companion.

Around the same time that we dog-sat, my husband and I learned that our work-from-home time would be extended by at least a few more months. We figured, if we’re going to get a dog, there’s probably no better time than now since we’re currently home all day due this new schedule and this probably (hopefully!) won’t happen again.

So, we got a puppy and it’s been wonderful.

My daughter is so overjoyed which fills my heart to see. Dexter is so cute and sweet, and already so loyal — and brings a lot of smiles. My daughter will also learn a lot about responsibility through helping care for him.

Quarantine really changed my mindset on taking on things at home.

I previously was resistant to a dog because I knew I’d have to refocus my priorities to be around the house more. I’d have to think twice about after-work plans, or weekend trips, or activities we were signed up for. I couldn’t keep myself so busy all the time.

But going through this experience the last few months has taught me that I want to refocus what I spend my time on and make sure the busyness and plans are all worth it.

I’ve enjoyed slowing down to spend more time with my husband and daughter, working on projects to improve the house, sitting on the deck to read, and having unscheduled weekends.

It’s nice to have less out-of-the-house plans and more time for family dinners and evening walks on weeknights.

Without the refocus on prioritizing family time and a slower pace, I don’t think we ever would have gotten this puppy, which has been such a bright spot in a hard year, and something that my family can continue to bond over in the coming years.

I’m excited to spend more time at home with this pup and I’m glad our refocused priorities brought us to him.

Brigette lives in North Liberty with her husband Brian, energetic daughter Kate (October 2014) and their two cats, Penny and Olive. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Brigette came to Iowa City to attend the journalism school at the University of Iowa, fell in love with the area, and decided she couldn’t leave. After meeting Brian while working at the same Iowa City restaurant in college, they got married in August 2015 in the heart of downtown. She works full time in project management and as an employee of the Core Fitness Kids Club while finishing her MBA at Upper Iowa University. In her free time, she drags Kate out garage sale-ing, tries to keep up with her reading list and runs, lives for Hawkeye football season, enjoys a good meal on a patio, runs her Bachelor/Bachelorette bracket with her family and friends, and of course, chases her daughter around the pool and the park.

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