A Dog is for LIFE…

…NOT just for Christmas!

IMG_2179Hey guys I hope you’re all well and feeling festive. Sorry I’ve not been posting but I’ve had to take some time away for personal reasons. Anyhow I also have some exciting news…meet Belle, our new puppy.

puppy3For a while now we’ve been considering getting a little friend for Mr Otis. He is seldom on his own, but for the odd time he is we thought it would be nice for him to have company. We contacted Jane the lady we originally got Otis from and had a chat, about potentially getting a pup from her next litter. A few months later she informed us her girl Willow (Otis’ sister) was carrying. So here we are months later, and as I write this post little Belle is sat on my lap all sleepy and adorable!

Do not be fooled though guys, once this little terror wakes up all manner of havoc is wreaked! Seriously, this adorable little beauty is beyond hard work. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind one bit, I was ready and prepared for what was to come and was under no illusions that raising a puppy (if done correctly) is really hard. So hard that at times I have to admit I sit and worry I wont be able to rear her properly.

You see the reality of raising a puppy is a far cry from the vision of the waddling little fur ball chasing toilet rolls that most people imagine it to be. Like I say it is really, really hard work. You need to have eyes in the back of your head, the patience of a saint and the acceptance that your life will be consumed by this little fur ball for as long as she is with you, which should be her whole life.

All that being said it got me thinking about how many people give and receive animals as a Christmas gift. This is something that I can’t get my head around. Now usually I’m an each to their own kind of thinker, on this point however, not so much. Adopting a new pet into your family takes one hell of a commitment.  You need to plan, plan, plan! Educate yourself, puppy proof your house, garden, whole life really. Then once you think you have everything covered that sweet little puppy will find something you forgot.

puppy8In absolute honesty the reality of puppy ownership is a far cry from what most people imagine it to be. Training your new puppy can be frustrating and down right exhausting at times. It takes a lot of time and energy and the sad fact is that a lot of people give up, hence why so many dogs end up being re-homed or worse euthanised in shelters around the world. A heartbreaking fact but nevertheless true and the reason I felt compelled to write this post.

Now I am not here to put anybody of puppy or dog ownership. As I have stressed it is hard, but at the same time it is one of the most rewarding and positive experiences you can have. BUT, only if you are committed, patient and kind. For me dogs are the most beautiful creatures on this earth. I adore them and would have a house full if Ché would let me. I am completely happy to have my life taken over by my four-legged best friends, I do realise though that this is not a sacrifice that everyone can make.

So the reason for my post is to stress the importance of evaluating your life before you get a puppy. Really think hard about whether or not you have the love, time, patience and money a dog will require. This is a question only you can answer, hence why you should never, ever give an animal as a gift. There may be exceptions to the rule, like say if you and your partner have discussed it at length and plan commit to it together. If however the person you are gifting the animal to is unaware then you should never spring it on them. If they are not ready or committed enough then the novelty will soon wear off. The cutie you are bestowing on someone is relying on them to be kind and patient and show them what is expected of them. If the person isn’t up for the challenge then frustrations may grow and that’s when tempers may flair, something that is not fair to either the dog or the owner.

As for me getting Belle right on top of Christmas, that wasn’t intentional, but just what fate had in store for us. It is working out well though as we have lots of time to dedicate to her and Otis whilst they both adjust to their new life. We have lots of family visiting so Belle is getting socialised well. The only pitfall with this time of year is the weather. Belle is very reluctant to go outside, making toilet training a bit of a mare! We will continue to  persevere though and hopefully my head strong little diva will realise soon that there’s a lovely little biscuit on offer every time she does her business outside, bribery is most definitely the way forward with dogs!

Anyhow, apart from the ankle biting, wee puddles, stinky poops, screeching and Christmas tree attacking we are having lots of fun together. I’ve been snapping away so if you fancy a little nosey at my new princess keep scrolling…

puppy9puppy5puppy4puppy2puppy

While I’m at it I should really throw in some pics of my handsome boy…

526186_10151240528661580_1655607395_n 5259_10151270478686580_741225174_n IMG_7383 IMG_0081_2Guys if you’re in throes of puppy training I hope you’re loving it. I know it’s tough but stick with it. That naughty little hound will soon be an absolute dream-boat like my gorgeous Otis. Only thing is I don’t think they ever lose that mischievous twinkle in their eye, especially if cake is left unattended. I wouldn’t have it any other way though!

PEACE & LOVE
Sonya D x

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