This weekend was very good for our social life.

Between weddings and church, we don’t have many dedicated weekends at home, and not much time to just hang out with friends.  This weekend we were in town, and we took full advantage, spending time with a number of couples.

The consistent theme?  Babies.  One couple is pregnant for the second time, another for the first time, another is praying and thinking about trying – and they’re all asking us about it too.

Nancy and I are moving that direction, but not there yet.  I feel more prepared and emotionally ready for it than I ever have, though.  That’s due to several reasons – including a certain 135-pound reason:

Everyone told us having a pet would help prepare us for kids, but I never believed them.  It’s a dog, not a human baby, I would think.  But I’ve come to learn the true value of having a pet as a young married couple – specifically a dog, though any pet would be helpful in some ways.  (Disclaimer – Yes, of course you can be a good parent without getting a dog first.  I just think it’s helpful to get one!)

6 reasons every newlywed couple should get a dog:

1) It forces you to care about something else other than yourself and your spouse.

Just like a kid, getting a dog requires that you take someone (something) else into consideration when you make your schedule and live your life.  You can’t just run down to the beach or spend a whole day away on the fly and leave the little guy in the lurch; you have to arrange care or do it yourself.

2) It requires you to adjust your lifestyle – specifically your sleeping schedule.
Early on in our marriage, we stayed up late and slept till the last minute nearly every day.  That all changed when we got Winston – he was up early, and so were we.  As a young pup, we got up with him in the middle of the night because he couldn’t “hold it” for eight hours.  Those changes were definitely a good test-run for the major life change of introducing a baby down the road.

Winston sitting on Nancy’s lap – he learned this as a little guy, now he’s not so little.

3) It enhances your teamwork as a couple.
Just like having a baby, you have to work together to keep your sanity.  One spouse cleans up the mess while the other doles out the discipline.  One person catches up on sleep because of a crazy work week while the other takes out the dog.  One of you holds him in the tub while the other shampoos.  Doing this requires teamwork, and helps to whittle away your overgrown selfish tendencies, which we all have.



I’ll post the other 3 reasons tomorrow!  

Question – What life benefits have you enjoyed from having a pet, if you own one?