Thursday, 18 July 2013

10 Things 'They' Didn't Tell Me About Owning A Dog

So Saskia is now happily in her forever home, and it left me thinking, what if people had a more honest view of what owning a dog would be like. Would this help to curb the number of dogs in rescue. There are of course all the usual things that are trotted out, from 'it's a huge commitment' to 'they're very expensive'. I think anyone giving thought to getting a dog will have heard these, and so I suppose to many they may just go over their heads.

So I thought I would put together the things I didn't know... Now, obviously there would be more to this list, and maybe I'll add to it at some point, but these are the first that came to me.

Think of this a little like one of those parenting blogs '10 Things They Didn't Tell You About Childbirth', but just a little less grizzly.

'Sunday mornings... made for lazing'
1/ Just like in those parenting blogs, I'm going to start with the obvious 'sleepless nights', whether you adopt or pick up a puppy, you are going to get some of these. Once your puppy has grown or your rescue has settled in don't expect it to stop there. Then there will be nights like last night when the little buggers decide to visit you at 3am after opening the baby gate...

2/ Say 'good bye' to a lie in. I don't think I've got up past 7am since getting Barry, I'm fine with this, many people wouldn't be. I actually love getting up early, and now on a Sunday morning the dogs come up to our room, we read papers, drink tea and immediately wash the white sheets, well, something has to motivate me to do them.

3/ You will never, ever feel worst after a dog walk, but you might start off really hacked off your having to leave the house, in sleet, in the dark, realising five minutes after you've left the house that your wellies have sprung a leak and your gloves don't work. Everyone getting a dog hears 'You're going to have to walk it', which you will, otherwise, in my case you could say goodbye to your sanity as your dog climbs the walls. What I will say is regardless of the weather, walking my dogs makes me & them happy, which is never a bad thing.

'The Three Musketeers' 
4/ You will worry. I worry about their health, the heat, the dangers of poisonous food, poisons plants, leaving them at home (at all!), having other people look after them, training, theft, if a fence panel has blown down in the night, roads, recall, people, over feeding, under feeding, if the gravel in the back garden hurts their feet...      if I baby them too much.

5/ Dogs do not have 'days off' this means you won't have one either.

6/ You will not stop at one... We how have Barry, Mars & Sonic, fabulously big dogs, and we really do need that bigger sofa. Apparently Al always knew this would happen...

7/ You will have to plan everything. No more visiting a friend and deciding to stay over, no more popping out shopping then deciding to go for meal as you have your furry stopwatches at home. Oddly though, going from someone who was very used to doing what I wanted when I wanted, this took absolutely no adjustment. I want to come home to my dogs... I think I may get the separation anziety....

''Come on... I'm perfect!''
8/ One day, although they are stashed in every bag, every coat, and hung off leads, you will leave the house without a poo bag. You will have to root through your bag to find a tissue. It will not be pleasant.

9/ Your dogs will not be perfect. I had a vision of me wondering with an off the lead dog walking neatly to heel just before we paired up to fight crime, both perhaps wearing capes. As it is, Barry is his very own Super Hero, let's call him the 'Counter Surfer', Mars is more of a 007, in that he loves humping blonds (really) and Super Sonic has super hero hearing, it's just very selective.

10/ You will sing to your dogs, dance with them, talk to them very publicly, introduce them as a member of your family, laugh when they've wrecked something you've saved for, cry like a baby when they have to go to the vets and know that that your life is better and you are better because of them.

My list is entirely mine, yours may well be different. I think it's number 10 that makes all the difference. If you're not prepared to accept your dogs as family member they will always be disposable. I'd fight tooth and claw for mine. They are family.

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