Last week, after much humming and hawing and debating, my wife and I (and my daughter, of course) got a puppy. Eight weeks old, small-for-now-but-will-get-giant, the only thing he is trained for is to be unpredictable.
We already have a dog, whom we also got when he was eight weeks old… That was almost eight years ago. He is calm, predictable, a known evil if you will. Getting a puppy is a lot like when you decide to move, and need to sell your home, or help you buy one.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far about getting a puppy… It’s remarkably like deciding to move.
1. You forget a lot about what having a puppy is like. They’re alot of work. An incredible amount of preparation, planning, supervision, and mindfulness. It’s been awhile since you moved last? You most likely forgot that preparing your home for sale, having showings, dealing with offers and questions takes a great deal of time, effort, and focus. It’s worth it in the end, but sometimes it’s hard to keep the end result in sight.
2. Each puppy is different. Assuming your current puppy is going to act, learn, and be like your current dog is crazy, I’ve found out. My last dog was calm, docile, timid. My current puppy jumps off the patio into the flower pots, does a commando roll then flies across the grass in a matter of seconds. Assuming the sale of your current home will proceed in the same way the sale of your last home did falls along these same lines… Your last home sold in two days with five offers, each of which was a larger amount over your asking price. This sale will most likely be very different. Sales cycles differ. Market conditions differ. The process, documentation, and approach will have changed.
3. Your old dog [or rather what you remember about how you trained him] won’t be as much help as the internet says he/it will be. My current dog is old. Set in his ways. He sleeps a lot. Likes his world. Has no use for a hyper puppy. His version of helping is finding a hidden place to sleep. Yes, you’ve sold and/or bought homes before, but all that knowledge, experience, and background may not help you as much as you think, particularly if the current market is different from the last time you bought/sold, or if the rules have changed.
4. Professional trainers are worth their weight in gold. We took my old dog to training classes when he was a puppy. I’d argue that’s why he’s turned out to be the way he is, in a good way. We decided to take our current puppy to the same training classes. Same company. Same trainers. Same set of classes. The last time we worked with them, things worked out well. They were professional. They offered good advice. They were knowledgeable, and had our best interests in mind. your real estate professional is worth their weight in gold, much like the puppy trainers. True, a lot of the work still lied on us with our puppy, but they provided information, guidance, expertise, knowledge, and handled a lot of the unknowns for us. Aligned our actions with the goal, and helped us an incredible amount along the way.