We are fast approaching the most wonderful time of the year. The season of peace , joy and goodwill. The giving and receiving of presents. It truly is wonderful. One thing I always think about though is the dogs that get bought for Christmas to then be passed back to rescues before the following Christmas. Homing a dog is a huge responsibility and a lot of work. You get rewarded x100 with unconditional love and loyalty. But there’s a hell of a lot of crap to deal with (literally). Dogs are wonderful, friendly creatures, loyal to the death but they can also be royal pains in the arse! This is what people need to know before they get a dog. We all know about the cute stuff they do but what about the crappy parts? Don’t get me wrong I love my dog inspite of all these things but let me tell you some of the things that have happened to me as a dog owner. If you don’t like the sound of some of this, maybe a dog is not for you 😂
If you are following me on Instagram then you may have seen me posting about my dog. If you’re not following me go do it now. http://www.instagram.com/th3secretlifeofme
Ok you’re back? Good. Read on.
I’ll start with my first dog, George. I got George from a dog rescue as a puppy. If you have not had children or a puppy (which i had experience of neither at time) you are in for a rude awakening. Puppies don’t sleep through the night. They wake every couple of hours to pee or to be cuddled. It’s freaking tiring! He was a GSD roughly the size of a miniature horse when he had fully grown. He was a big softie. Super intelligent which was great, except if I had to go out for a long period. Then he would chew and destroy. Once I came home and he had chewed a massive hole through the door from the kitchen into the next room. It was huge and a perfectly round circle. There weren’t phones with cameras then or I’d have a pic to show you. Another time he chewed ALL the cushions on my sofa. Let me tell you chewed up foam expands. I was weeks cleaning that crap up. He was a serial trasher and I was almost on first name terms with the guy at the foam place! The only place he would happily go and not trash was on my bed. And so it was. He was also an excellent guard dog. AT ALL TIMES. Someone walking past the window BARK. Kids walking past the back gate BARK. Birds flying past BARK. My new neighbours loved me! With time he settled down and he lived a long and happy life until he was taken by a stroke. George was my best friend and I was devastated when I lost him. I vowed never to have another dog. But time goes on, the heart heals and I thought about dogs in rescues again.
Now onto my current dog, Dexter. He has never really been much of a trasher which has thrilled me but he has a few other erm let’s say issues. I had him from a rescue centre also. The rescue manager wasn’t 100% sure about his history but he had some issues with aggression if his collar was pulled by hand and if you tried to get him off the sofa. We hit it off right away. After the checks I took him home and I noticed a few other behaviours. He would not go out in the rain to the toilet and he was the worst theiving dog I have ever come across.
We joined a dog behaviour class and he came along in leaps and bounds. He showed no aggression when I pulled at his collar or removed him from the sofa. He sometimes was even able to ignore the treats on the floor in training practice. But in reality I was never able to very effectively train the thief out of him. He is just more sneaky about it now and he will eat bloody anything! And I mean anything!
So let me tell you an infamous story. It’s rather disgusting so if you are easily queasy stop right now. Ok for the rest of you…let me set the scene. It was a Saturday night. I was heavily pregnant and making sock puppets at the kitchen table with the 5 year old minion. I was enjoying the last few weeks of playing with him before he had to share me a bit. I was feeling good. The minion went off down the hall to the toilet as I carried on. After a few moments he was shouting excitedly that he had done the biggest poo ever. I helped him clean up and he ran off excitedly to call my partner to come see the super turd. I sat amused continuing with my sock puppet. Then I thought what’s that noise. The dog was eating something…he must be in the bin! I was not prepared for what I saw. What I saw as I walked through the door was Dexter chowing down on the mega turd. I screamed, I shouted, I may have even foamed at the mouth a little. ‘Dirty, disgusting hound get out!’ and I put him outside. The Mr was horrified. The minion was hysterical! I was gagging. So I sorted out the bathroom and got the dog in and I attempted to clean his teeth but I couldn’t stomache it so figured some dry dog biscuits would do the trick. A moment or 2 later I turned around to see the dog regurgitating said biscuits and the mega turd over my kitchen floor and then he proceeded to get stuck in and eat it. I was wretching and shouting words I cannot repeat on here and chucked the dog out for the second time for me to clean that mess up. How I didn’t go into labour I’ll never know!
More recently he decided to raid my bin. He ate all the vegetable peelings which apparently didn’t agree with him because when I woke up in the morning it was like vomitgate. There was dog puke everywhere! I mean everywhere. I spent practically the whole day scrubbing floors, mattresses, laundering bed linen and taking the quilt to the launderette. To be quite honest I didn’t know if it was best to clean it up or burn the house down and claim on the insurance! My house stank of dog puke for 3 days!
Despite these episodes he is a cute little bugger (even though my partner is convinced he is trying to trip him up at every turn) and I would never be without him. He’s a really funny dog and does some hilarious things to make us laugh. He is also lovely with the children. And even though these ‘events’ are awful at the time they are pretty funny to look back upon.
Other things to consider before getting a dog or any animal is the cost. They are expensive. Especially if you got a little bugger like mine who chews on his toe if he’s feeling a bit neurotic, which then gets infected and antibiotics cost about 60 quid.
With all likelihood you will end up with a delightful dog that doesn’t ransack your bin, eat shit or self harm but there’s always a possibility of getting one like mine and you can’t take them back. They are not an unwanted jumper or a pair of socks. So hear my warning and take your time making your decision.
A dog is for life not just for Christmas.
Love and peace xx