Raising dogs with a partner

Setting expectations, clear communication, and just love

This is Mochi yesterday, happy as a clam, after keeping me awake at night because she was scared of falling ice. (I'm very proud that her emotions can move from fear to joy so fast now. That's great progress.)

But I needed to sleep more before work, so my partner took her out that morning. I got 90 extra wonderful minutes, but I also spent the day feeling low-key guilty. Why?

Well, let's talk about raising dogs with a partner.

Our pre-adoption setup: Mochi is my responsibility. When I wanted to adopt a dog, he wasn't ready (fair), so I'd asked myself: If I was single + living alone, would I still adopt? The answer: 100% yes. I also knew I didn't want to be in a situation where my partner hated or resented my dog, so we talked that through. Luckily, neither were possibilities.

Mochi also needs a lot from us — more than anything prepared me for. In the first few months, anytime she showed fear, I felt really helpless and stressed. That's when my partner, who loves me and wants me to be happy (his wonderful words), offered to pitch in.

Our setup now:

🐕 He pays for 50% of her expenses, something I never expected nor asked for, and I am just grateful.

🐕 Emotionally, he's less affected by her fears. Walks are just walks! So he does weeknights and most of the weekend himself, so I can take breaks.

🐕 I do her training, meals, playdates, which I love.

I've learned:

🌱 Despite everything, I still feel guilty asking for extra help (like a morning walk), but I'm also proud of myself for asking for help that I need.

😂 While I'm feeling guilty, he's already forgotten about it.

❤️ I don't ask him for 50/50 — I don't think that'd be fair. Also, my partner loves me and wants me to be happy, so he helps me, even if he could insist on my original proposal. I love that and see him and appreciate him.

🧡 He supports me and helps makes me feel better when I'm stressed, which includes telling me that Mochi says I love you mom.

I know some are raising pups alone, others with partners. I know one person in roughly the same boat as me (You know who you are).

I'd love to know: What are your setups? How do you feel? What’s been hard?

Sincerely,

🐕 Mochi and 👩🏻‍💻 Sisi