I’m like an expectant mother right now. Neurotically planning and preparing for the arrival of my new “baby”. I’ve taken a tape measure to nearly every corner of my room trying to see where a crate will fit. I also have an Amazon list of puppy stuff that is growing- my current list has been approved by the director of the service dog program, so I’m doing something right.
Financially, with the LORD’s hand, I should just about break even with the initial puppy costs and the most minimal gear. God will provide. I hope His provision is in the form of a job, I would prefer to not rely on others at this point. There are some costs that I didn’t expect, mainly the gas costs between my town and the training program, that may push me to consider fundraising later on. (We’re talking $720 per year in gas alone just to go to training. That is the cost of a puppy, but it’s being used on gas.) Currently, I have a secured a short-term paid position for one month but will need to secure a new job by August.
I’m trying to balance quality with thriftiness when it comes to these puppy supplies. Amazon Prime helps a lot, but there are also some reasonable pet products at the dollar store that I can utilize. Basic things like leashes and collars are of a good quality and for only a dollar it won’t matter how fast this puppy wants to grow. More serious products, like chew toys, will be name brand because I won’t risk an accident or toxicity. Products that I should hold some pride in, like a 30 ft training lead, will be Lupine brand because they are replaced for free if a dog can manage to destroy it- and the quality should last me an entire lifetime of dog training.
It’s so hard not to allow myself to become carried away with buying frivolous items for a puppy. The reality is that these dogs grow and these dogs like to chew things, so gear will be thrown away due to damage or for simply not fitting anymore. The puppy can’t tell the difference between an old tennis ball or a new Kong brand tennis ball. The puppy won’t know that the blankets it sleeps on are secondhand. The puppy won’t know that the baby gate blocking the door was actually made for human babies and not for puppies. The puppy won’t care that their fur is being washed with diluted dollar store baby shampoo- because the fact is: most dogs don’t even want the bath in the first place.
What will matter is the food going into their belly, the medicine on their skin to protect from insect borne diseases, the training, the love, and companionship. What will matter is that, when the time comes, I purchase service dog gear that is comfortable to wear and not going to damage their body.
And I pray to God that this vulnerability I’m going to experience- on top of my physical and mental vulnerability- will draw me closer to understanding a trusting relationship with Him. A spiritual maturity. Yes, that is what I’m nesting for… not for a puppy, but for a maturity of myself and my willingness to trust God. It just looks as though a puppy is coming!