I wasn’t so sure if it was the right time. I never had a dog before, and I wanted to do more research. But there she was, staring back at me in the photo my husband brought home. “I think she would be a good dog,” he said. “I really do.”
I trusted my husband with this. He knew dogs, grew up with them, even trained one to take to Afghanistan. I didn’t really have a history with them. I knew I wanted one, but wasn’t sure what that would mean.
We adopted Gwen when she was about a year old. She was already potty trained, which was great, and she knew a few commands. She fit right into our family of three young boys.
Seven years later, I am so glad we said yes to this girl. She has made our lives so much better. And I am thankful for all that she offers this Military Family.
Dogs can be an amazing addition to a military family. There are so many reasons why. Here are 6 of them:
1. They make you feel safe
When my husband is away, I always feel a bit safer with my dog by my side. I know she can alert me to anything outside, and knowing she has my back is important. Having a dog in the home can help with the anxiety of being without your spouse, no matter how long they have to be away.
I work from home, and I love having a dog home with me. Even more so during COVID and, of course, she likes to make an appearance during Zoom calls. Having a dog is like having a best friend around all of the time. You can talk with them, snuggle, and just enjoy each other’s company.
3. Your kids will love them
My boys were 3, 7, and 9 when we brought Gwen home and they have loved her ever since. Kids and pets go hand and hand. Creating memories together and giving them someone else to love.
4. They teach responsibility
From picking up the poop to giving a dog a bath. A pet can teach your family responsibility. Your kids can help with all things pet care, and that will make owning a dog even easier for you.
5. They make you get out of bed
Let’s face it, sometimes during deployments, we don’t always want to get out of bed. But a dog will make that happen. They will need to go outside sometime in the morning, and taking your dog for a walk every day can be a good routine to help you pass the time.
6. They are too darn cute
How can you not put a smile on your face when you walk into a room and see how sweet your dog looks when they are sleeping? Dogs and all pets can cheer you up. And during military life, we need that. Having a dog around will put a smile on your face, even when you least expect them to.
While not all Military Families will ever get a dog, some prefer cats of course, bringing a pet into your family can be a smart choice. They can add so much to your family and help make your military life a little bit easier.
Julie Provost has been a Military Spouse for 15 years, is a freelance writer, and owner of the blog, Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life. She lives near Fort Campbell with her National Guard husband and three boys. In her free time she loves to read all the books, watch movies, and spend time with family and friends. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.