We discovered City Dog Living, a Toronto-based website featuring resource for anyone looking for information and content related to city dog living. Founded by Allan Glanfield and Emily, Allan shared an amazing story about how their pup Frankie changed their relationship. Here is the lovely tale republished with permission.
Owning a dog can be exciting and terrifying all at the same time. We know because it just happened to us! Initially, Emily and I only focused on how this new creature we had brought in our lives made us feel personally. We didn’t think to consider how it would ultimately change the way we felt about each other! As new dog owners, I thought that this would be a great time for us to share our experiences so far and explain how a little squishy-faced dog has changed our lives forever.
When Frankie showed up, we had so much to consider, especially since our apartment is so small. Where will he sleep? What will he eat? Where will he do his number ones and number twos? More importantly, who’s going to watch him on what day and what do we do if we both have to be out? All of a sudden we became a team with one objective: puppy survival! We had to sit down and make a game plan and decide how we were going to make all this work.
On the days that Emily is away from home, I’m constantly reminded how important teamwork is because everything seems to take twice as long without her and isn’t nearly as enjoyable. Working together to achieve our common goals has been such a great bonding experience for us and is something we continue to enjoy every day.
Fitness and Socializing
Part of our planning included the morning walk. Emily and I always loved walking, but we didn’t do it nearly enough. Having a little puppy was a great reason to get up every morning together, give Frankie some exercise and enjoy some fresh air. We have found that the simple act of walking has really enhanced our relationship. It initiates conversations about interesting topics and allows us to share things that have been on our minds. It allows us to focus on each other and be in the moment away from distractions. I find that walking inspires me to come up with new ideas and projects and sharing this time with Emily allows me to bounce my ideas off her and get her feedback.
Spending Time Together
Frankie has not only given us a reason to get out of the house for daily walks around the neighborhood, but he has motivated us to plan to escape the city once in a while and go on day trips. Finding new hiking trails, going to upstate New York for the day, or heading out to the country to cut down a Christmas tree have been great ways for us to spend time together, let Frankie run around and capture some great photos. Knowing that we have something planned for the weekend gives us something to look forward to and makes the weekdays leading up to that time that much better!
Frankie has shown us that life doesn’t always revolve around ourselves and that caring for someone else can be an extremely rewarding experience. He’s shown us that some things aren’t worth worrying about and that learning to balance your life helps to keep things in perspective. On the flip side, because having a dog has become one of the focal points of our lives and takes up so much of our free time, when we find that small amount of time where we can focus on ourselves, we really try to appreciate it! A short nap together, a coffee on the couch reading magazines or getting to bed a little earlier are all things we’ve really come to enjoy!
Although some may disagree, I believe that having a dog can be a first step towards parenthood. I know that a baby doesn’t get put into a crate at night or get fed from a bowl on the floor but there are some similarities!
Frankie has given me the confidence of knowing that if I can care for a furry, big eared creature then I’m that much closer to being able to care for a big eared baby (assuming it takes after me of course)!
I have chosen to take on the responsibility of caring for another living thing and have learned to sacrifice my wants for the good of another. I love knowing that I can trust myself to get up in the middle of the night to care for Frankie, get up early to make his meals, take him for a walk, and provide him with a proper daily routine.
Emily didn’t grow up with a dog in her family so there were many things she didn’t know about owning a dog — how difficult it can be and how much patience is required. I have had so much fun teaching Emily how to train and care for Frankie and watching her love for him grow and blossom over these past few months has been such a wonderful experience for me. We both are so grateful that this precious little dog has become such an important part of our life together!