from Jono Diener of The Swellers:
Recently while I was on the Take Action Tour I got one of the coolest calls ever from my girlfriend, Kate. She told me she was on the way to pick up a puppy right now! I flipped out and jumped with joy. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with me interests, but one of them is DOGS. I’ve grown up with a dog in my house my whole life but never had the chance to be an actual, “Dog Dad”.
I would get pictures of the beautiful Boston Terrier puppy she named Delilah for a month until we played Pontiac, MI and I was able to head to her house overnight to finally meet her. She was even smaller than I imagined and couldn’t stop shaking because I came into the room at 1:00am. Kate let me know to give her a treat and take her out to go potty so she’d warm up to me and she was absolutely correct. The dog was stoked I helped her out, but I had to continue about a week of the tour until I got to see them again.
For the first time in a long while I am home for over a month, which is an amazing feeling. I had to make the transition of sleeping in until noon to waking up at 6am to a whining puppy pacing around the room ready to pee all over the place. My usual routine is keep a pair of gym shorts by my bed so I can throw them on to take out Delilah at any given point during the day. She’ll be incredibly hyper so I’ll play fetch with her with these tiny tennis balls she loves. She also has found an affinity for drumsticks. That’s right, she truly is my puppy child, a fellow drum enthusiast and prefers Vater ROCK sticks.
We’re also training her a special way, it’s called, “Positive Reinforcement”. Kate has been reading books about the subject and it makes a lot of sense. You reward the dog for doing something good instead of punishing it for doing something bad. That way, dogs want a reward/good vibes and ends up avoiding the bad things. “No” is not a part of her vocabulary, unless she is doing something dangerous of very stupid. So far in less than 2 months with this technique we have taught Delilah how to sit, lay down, spin, use puppy steps, fetch, she also knows when to warn us if she has to go pee or poop. It’s pretty amazing actually. It’s also hilarious hearing people scream at their dogs nonstop and the dog has no regard for anything other than being in fear all the time.
Delilah has been with me virtually everyday and soon is her six month birthday! Even having to clean up messes she’ll make around the house, it’s all worth it because she’s learning, growing and for the first time you have another life dependent on your own. One that loves you, misses you when you’re gone and looks up to you. It’s an amazing feeling and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I suggest you pick up a puppy from a rescue league ASAP and it will change your life. Delilah is pretty much perfect and now I have two girls to miss while I’m gone on tour.