In my 21 years of life, I've had dogs for almost 5 of them. Although I have many years to go with my two girls, here are few of many things I learned while living with them.
1. They're always Hungry.
My dogs could have just finished their ENTIRE bowl of dog food and STILL beg for some chicken at the table. They look at you with this face that looks like, "Damn, you're going to let me starve?" or "Seriously?" So here's a picture demonstrating BOTH of those faces.
2. They Have Stomachs of Steel...
Last summer, I had a barbeque with a few friends who were clearly unaware that dogs should not be constantly fed 'human food.' My older dog was fed a whole hot dog (Why you ask? I don't know), threw up the hot dog.. and then ate it again.
Quite recently I was eating applesauce from the little plastic cups and my younger dog, Bella, absolutely LOVES applesauce. But what I didn't realize was that every time I would put an applesauce cup down, she would snatch it and start chewing on it. She ended up chewing up the aluminum lid and swallowing it. I actually cried to my mom about it because I was so worried, but all my dog ended up doing was burp and go about her business.
3. They care about you and expect you to do the same.
My dogs have jumped at a friend play fighting, "protected" me on sidewalks, have woken me up on time, and a multitude of other things. But if you ever stop to look, dogs give you the most loving look. They want to be held, petted, walked, and cuddled (especially by their favorite family member).
... and when your mom is yelling at them, they need that extra protection.
4. They NEED to work out.
I mean, of course, every dog is different. I have two pit bull mixes and they're pretty big dogs. They need a big yard, lots of walks and need that pup and owner quality rope/ball time all just to stay happy and healthy. But at the end of the day, my dogs are sleepy heads! Of course they can run for hours and hours, but they nap everywhere!
Oh man, my dogs have my heart. Whether I'm just coming home from a long day, or I've been on the couch watching Netflix for hours, they always want to cuddle.. or at least be very close to me. Arm's length to some good petting. They both completely disregard their separate beds and sleep on mine. I can't complain since I have a big bed, but they always sleep on my favorite side and stretch out. Forget about sleeping comfortably, at least you're loved!
6. They take up space... a lot of it!
I have been kicked off of the bed, couch, chair and even floor space MANY times... Here's an old picture of my oldest, Luna, kicking me off the bed (THANK GOD I got a bigger bed). They love stretching out and as long as they know you're still close by they're taking your spot! I guess that's the price you pay for adopting big dogs.
7. Have Patience.
My older dog, a pit bull, was introduced to me at a mature age of 10 months. She was a rescue and unfortunately, she was treated horribly by her previous owners as well as being thrown out of a moving vehicle. She is a deaf pit bull and she knew all of the hand motions (sit, stay, paw, roll over) but even being so obedient, people would still look at her wrong and be afraid. She hated being left home alone, she would panic and hurt her nose from banging on her cage and when someone would raise their hand, she would close her eyes, drop to the floor and start shaking. It was hard to help her adjust but it takes time.
My younger was adopted at 5 weeks old. Yes, WEEKS. She is a pit bull - golden retriever mix. I bottle fed her and stayed up night after night cleaning up puppy poopy, holding her so she would stop crying, and tucking her in. I thought to myself, "ok.. caring for a pup SUCKS and if baby humans are worse... IM OUT!" But the sad part is, she grew up so fast, and I would care for pups a million times over. Now, I have to train her to walk on a leash and basic commands. She's young, energetic, and only 11 months old. GIVE ME STRENGTH!