It Was Two Thanksgivings Ago That We Adopted Our Puppy

He’s still doing fine, this isn’t one of those stories where the dog dies at the end

Walter Rhein
5 min readNov 24, 2022


Image by Walter Rhein

It was November of 2020 that my wife and I took our kids on a little joyride. We didn’t tell them where we were going, but my eldest started to get suspicious.

“Something’s going on,” she said. “You guys are acting weird.”

I guess our excitement was boiling over. Seriously, you can’t put one over on a smart kid.

My wife had been following the shelter on social media for a few months, and they’d just gotten in a bunch of puppies (Labrador mix). We were hoping to get one of them. She went into the shelter and came back out with Kuzo (name changed to protect his identity).

You don’t pick your dog, your dog picks you.

He was such an adorable little bundle when we first brought him home.

Bringing home Kuzo in a box — Image by Walter Rhein

I have to admit, it wasn’t easy at first. We were not prepared for him. Yes, there was an overabundance of love, but there was also an overabundance of pee and play and waking me up at 1AM.

Piece of advice: Get a dog on the first day of a 2 week vacation. It’s going to take you some time to adapt. You’re bringing a new baby into the house.

I started to fret about things. My wife has a long commute and I was worried that the puppy was keeping her awake and it would be dangerous for her to drive exhausted.

I’m ashamed to admit that I almost blew it. For a minute, I didn’t think it was going to work out. Fortunately common sense prevailed and I regrouped and figured out a way to make it work.

We got Kuzo a tent so he had a place to live, that was a start.

Then, I resolved to wake up every 3 hours to go and let him outside until he was potty trained. He figured it out pretty quick. He’s a smart boy.



Walter Rhein

I have 10+ years experience as a certified English and Physics teacher. 20+ years of experience as an editor, journalist, blogger and novelist.