My Dog Teaches Me Something New Every Day

…Including how to learn to love the mess.
Publish date:
June 12, 2014

Monkey, my Saint Bernard puppy, is the very first dog I’ve called my own. I’ve always wanted a dog, but knew deep down inside that I probably wasn’t ready for one. Until one day when I suddenly was. People “warned” me that a puppy was going to be a lot of work and that I should get an older dog instead, but I wanted the challenge of raising a dog on my own -- potty training accidents, chewed shoes, sleepless nights and all.

And oh, there have been challenges. You name the bodily function and I’ve wiped it off the floor. My favorite hat? Also Monkey’s favorite hat. To chew on, that is. Not to mention that my puppy who weighed 14 pounds at 9 weeks weighs 120 pounds at 9 months.

Oh, and did I mention he drools?

I’m known for being totally and utterly and completely fastidious about the state of my apartment. I make my bed within seconds of getting up, hang my hand towels in thirds, and know where everything is at all times. I’ve never once been embarrassed when someone drops by unexpectedly (except for the fact that I live in my PJs).

You might wonder then why I decided to get a Saint Bernard. An enormous dog with tons of hair and enough slobber to end a drought. Truthfully, a Saint Bernard is the only dog I’ve ever wanted, and I’m all about making my dreams come true. Also: I had no clue what it would really be like.

I didn’t realize that when he drank water, most of it would cascade down his jowls, some of it stopping to pool onto his neck fur, while the rest of it would splash across the floor. I didn’t know that when he finished drinking, he would seek me out, eager to wipe his soaking wet chin on my lap or couch or bed or anything but his towel. I had no idea that when he played in the dog park, he’d get so excited that he’d start to foam at the mouth, creating a thick saliva that he would then send flying through the air with an exaggerated shake of his head. No, I knew none of this.

But now I do.

And you know what? It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if my couch has a big drool stain or my jeans are covered in hair and slobber. It doesn’t matter if there’s a tumbleweed of Monkey hair rolling across the living room floor. And it certainly doesn’t matter if when Monkey shakes his head, a glob of saliva sticks to the wall.

Because I love my dog more than anything in the world. And he’s taught me that a little mess isn’t the worst thing in the world. Especially when it comes from a puppy who’s so darn adorable. (And especially when it can all be cleaned up.)

Learning to Love the Mess Final ProRes from SAY: Content on Vimeo.

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