Dog Blog

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I haven’t blogged of late. Not because things have been particularly difficult (although they have, from time to time), nor because I have nothing to say (I do! I do!), but because in the last month our home life has been turned upside down by a small dog named Dorothy.

It has been a bit of a shock. We are not, or were not, ‘doggy’ people. We got annoyed with the dogs who barked as we ran past and the owners who didn’t pick up their dogs’ poos. We often found the smell in doggy houses rather unpleasant and if I’m perfectly honest, we probably thought most doggy people were a bit soft in the head.

When the children started to badger us for a dog, we found every reason we could to dissuade them. Along with all the arguments listed above, there were: We won’t be able to go abroad on holiday; you will argue over it; it will wreck the house; it will upset the cats; there are too many dogs around here already; it will molt everywhere; we will end up having to look after it, not you; it will be very expensive. And each of these points has already proved itself to be true. But…

Our sad eyed bundle of fur has already given our family an almost indescribable boost. Indeed I feel quite overwhelmed (in a slightly teary and really rather soft-headed way) thinking about how our lives have changed for the better since she came to live with us. The parallels with adoption are there, although unlike our children, Dorothy was one pampered pup (we’re talking Farleys Rusks and warm goats milk at bedtime) before she came. Still, like our children Dorothy has had to leave all she knew before and make a new life for herself here with new owners and without her mum, dad, brothers and sisters. So we are in familiar’ish territory there at least.

And our daily lives have once again been transformed, for better and worse! For a start, she has given us a whole new routine: We get up early to feed her and take her out and plan our day around her (alongside the children’s school and activities, of course) so at the very least we are ready earlier, getting more fresh air and more exercise. She has given our family a new focus and dynamic – we no longer put all our attention onto the children’s behaviour and, although both have complained that they get less attention, they also love her and are slowly accepting that there might be more to our home life than their own needs and wants. It’s hard to be cross when she nips or wees on the carpet, after all, she’s just a baby! – our baby – and sweet as a nut, which helps.

Most importantly (and thank you Mizz for pointing this out before we got her because it really tipped the do-we / don’t-we balance in her favour) she gives us all endless, unconditional love. Being joyfully greeted every time you come down stairs or back from the shops with the waggiest tail, the sloppiest licks and softest cuddles, really is all it’s cracked up to be and makes us feel truly, specially blessed. Seeing daily behavioural changes based on our actions and their consequences is an added bonus! And coming as she has when our children are at their puberty-approaching grumpiest, the timing could not have been better. What is picking up poo with a bag when you are used to scraping it off the walls? Barking? Pah! Chewed furniture and wet doggy pong? Bring em on! Thank you Miss Dorothy. You have changed my life.

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In the doghouse

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Today was supposed to be the day I went over the sea and far away to collect our Dorothy doglet.

Alas, due to what Lemony Snicket would describe as a series of unfortunate events, it was not to be. Not today anyway. The high winds, the seasick sister, the doting breeder who now has ‘concerns’ and the needs of the poor wee pup have all conspired against us.

Such a change of plan (helpfully described by my husband as ‘a monumental cock-up’) on the first day of a new half term has caused untold misery shaynoo this morning. Thankfully I was able to get Blue into the car before breaking to him gently halfway to school that there would be no welcome woofs on his return. I was called a few nasty names (worrevs) but in truth he was more worried about how his dodgy knee would bear up in football training.

Red was a different kettle of dogfish altogether. She cried, she screamed, she hollered, she swore, she banged plates on her head and emptied the contents of my bag all over the kitchen in a furious explosion of untethered ire. Not having slept a single wink in anticipation of this moment, I miserably accepted her wrath, foolishly thinking my doleful resignation would pacify her at least somewhat. Ha! In my dreams. Next, she stole my phone and sent rude texts to aforementioned (extremely forgiving) sister, refusing to walk to school or even leave the house. Somehow, I persuaded her out with a promise of a lift, but she was still seething and only calmed down enough to drag herself out of the car and into school about 20 minutes after ‘in time’, stomping past the office hatch and emitting one last grunt of an insult through clenched jaws as I was informing them of her absence.

I should say that we had already rearranged to pick up the wee doggie next weekend when we can all travel together and take turns cuddling her all the way home. The doting breeder thinks that is a much better idea, as does Elmo, as do I. And I did tr-r-r-yyyy to tell my children this. Never mind that today’s seas are too rough, the timings are all wrong and our car is so filthy it is likely to give the unvaccinated puppy any number of life-threatening diseases. I am a fatbitchnotmyrealmumfromhell with a horridstupidfatseasicksister and, for the next five dog-free days at least, I will just have to PAY.