If you've been following along on The Wakin' Up with CJ and Jess Show you know that I'm a brand new dog mom.

At the end of January I rescued a pup from Compassionate Animal Rescue Efforts of Dutchess County in Wappingers. His name is Alan, he's some sort of medium sized mixed breed and I'm head-over-heels in love with him. Here's a picture, because I can't help myself:

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It's been a full month since I first brought Alan home and let me tell you, my world has been flipped upside down. All for the better, of course.

Before I went through with the adoption process, I talked to a lot of my friends who have rescued dogs in the past and those conversations didn't really prepare me for how much my life would change. It's definitely a learning experience.

So here are 5 things I think new pet owners should know if they're going to adopt a new family member.

1) Remember to Breath. You're bringing a new life into your home. They're getting used to the change and if they're a young puppy or kitten, they're figuring out how to live. I had to teach Alan how to walk up and down the stairs. It's the little things you don't think about. Of course there are going to be accidents too, it's a learning process for all. Deep breaths. It's all worth it.

2) You'll Become an Introvert.  In a good way! If you're anything like me, you'll feel terrible leaving your new bestie at home. I seriously can't wait to leave wherever I'm at, whether it's the gym or work, to get home to Alan. Happy Hour plans? You can invite me, but I'll probably tell you I'm busy hanging out with Alan (bonus points if you can find a pet friendly bar/restaurant to visit).

3) What is Time? Time is a figment of my imagination now. I get home from work and it's hit the ground running with the pup. Alan loves going outside. We're going on longer walks at least 4 times a day.

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4) Welcome to the World of Walks. I've never been on so many walks in my life. At the end of the day, it's a new healthy lifestyle. Because I rescued Alan in the middle of winter, I wasn't getting outside much. Is it bone chilling cold? You know it. But you're getting fresh air and changing up your daily routine. It's been very refreshing. Now, to train Alan on the leash so we can hit some Hudson Valley trails this spring...

5) It's a Different Kind of Love. I don't think I've loved someone so strong. Seriously, I just want the best for Alan. He gives one little whimper and I'm trying to figure out how to fix whatever is making him sad, when in reality he's probably just gassy. He also has me wrapped around his little paw. I'm not a parent to a human yet, but I'm guessing the love I feel for my pup is up there with how parents feel when they first meet their children.

Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been all rainbows and butterflies. But I wouldn't change it for the world. Nothing beats cuddles with Alan after a long stressful day.

If you've adopted a pet, we'd love to hear your story and see photos of you and your furry best friend. Text us through the mobile app or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

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