Life was better before the puppy

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I didn't want to label this as puppy blues because I don't think it is, I think it's a fairly sober assessment of the situation. But anyway, we've had our puppy for a month and I'm still not convinced it's going to work out.

I love him, but I can't help but see that my life was clearly better before we got him. It feels terrible to say that but it's objectively true.

I could go out where and when I wanted (theoretically, at least. Thanks Covid-19). I could sleep in late. I had actual free time to pursue hobbies. I wasn't constantly tired and stressed. Our cat was the happiest she's ever been in the house we bought a year ago.

He's only going to get more active as he grows, and I just don't see how we go from this needy, time consuming puppy to a dog that fits into our lives. I don't want my whole life to revolve around a dog.

For context, he isn't a troublesome dog. He figured out potty training in about a week, he sleeps in his crate at night and only needs to be let out once to pee. He takes on commands incredibly quickly. Of course he has moments where he's naughty and destroys our plants, but even that is improving as he learns what his boundaries are.

I have a run of night shifts next week, and I don't know what the hell I'm going to do because my girlfriend is working in the day and the puppy can't be left alone. So either I go without any sleep, ask a friend or relative to take time out of their lives or we pay for daycare. So far we've managed to rearrange our schedules so that one of us was off work, but we can't do that indefinitely.

This isn't fair on the puppy and it isn't fair on us. It certainly isn't fair on the cat, who cannot deal with puppy boisterousness. We thought she was getting better, but as the puppy's confidence grows he becomes more determined to make friends with her and she's finding it easier to just avoid contact with him (and, by necessity, us). And in the last month I've become even more of a cat person than I was before. I love my cat's energy and personality. I love that I can trust her on her own and that she doesn't need attention all the time (though she's definitely missing our company now). I think I feel worse about this than about anything else – She was so happy and relaxed and now she's a bundle of nervous energy and creeps about her own house like she's in someone else's territory. I feel like we've been incredibly selfish, to do this to her.

I really think we made a mistake but I'm sure my girlfriend doesn't feel the same.

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