The end of 2021 brought big changes to our lives. First and foremost, Corey and I took the perilous plunge into cohabitation just shy of a year into our relationship (happy to report we’re both unscathed so far!). Secondly, was my change in job and diversification of my career, resulting in new challenges and a very cushy three-day week. With this new set of circumstances, we felt it was time to venture into the joys of dog parenting and began looking for our new, furry, family member.
I have always felt strongly about trying to rescue or rehome rather than purchase a puppy, especially when there are so many dogs out there who need a second chance at a loving home. After hours of scrolling through rehoming sites and multiple failed attempts to rescue, we’d put our dreams of dog ownership on hold for the time being. This was until Bobbie came to us through a stroke of fate just as the new year rolled in.
Bobbie, Boblet, Bobster, The Bobinator, and occasionally “Bob the Knob”, when he’s driving us around the bend, is a roughly 6-month-old staffy cross. He was found as an unmicrochipped stray and after no one came forward to claim him, my friend asked if we’d be interested in giving him a home. The rest, as they say, is history!
The Joys of Dog Ownership…
Now, they talk about dogs being man’s best friend and it’s certainly heart-warming being greeted by a waggy little tail each morning. We’re loving the sofa snuggles, his funny mischief-making, and the knowledge that someone is always happy to see us (especially if we have food!). It’s great for me to have a little pal to keep me company, the house never feels empty, and I am now provided with endless entertainment on my days off.
Since Bobbie came along, we’re happier and healthier. He has provided us with an excuse to get out in the fresh air which has done us all a world of good. Having a responsibility to ensure Bobbie gets enough exercise, means we too need to exercise in the process, and taking a mad little whirlwind “walkies” certainly keeps us on our toes!
Owning a dog has also opened the door into the exclusive little club of fellow dog enthusiasts. Bobbie loves everyone and everything and is quite the crowd-pleaser. His puppy enthusiasm and tail wagging ten to the dozen never fails to attract all the dog-lovers on our walks, allowing us to have a chat and share stories about our furry friends. We’ve found the excuse to meet and talk to new people really refreshing and it’s all thanks to this little hound.
It’s great practice for parenting – Now before anyone who knows us panics or starts getting excited, a human baby is certainly not on the cards any time soon! However, having a little creature to look after who relies and depends on us is good practice for parenthood of the non-furry kind. It’s also brought Corey and me together as a couple – trust me when I say there’s no greater test of teamwork than when your new “baby” has a bout of midnight explosive diarrhoea requiring a head-to-toe hose down and total home disinfection.
Like all new pups, Bobbie has needed a significant amount of training and I have to say I’ve loved getting stuck into teaching him basic commands, tricks, inventing games to help him learn and keep him entertained, in fact, it’s kept me just as stimulated as it has him!
Owning a dog is lots of fun and as he grows and we learn more about each other, we unlock more and more about his funny little personality. We can’t wait to go on adventures and see what life sends our way with this crazy little guy in our family!
The stuff that doesn’t make Instagram …
I think it’s important to address that bringing a new pet home isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. They make a mess, they’re needy, time-consuming, often uncontrollable (at least initially), they get in the way (I am currently typing around Bobbie’s head as he’s helpfully plonked it on my laptop and fallen asleep) and you lose a lot of your freedom. Owning a pet is hard work and adds an additional level of complication to your life (of course there’s joy too!) and sometimes you can question if you made the right choice.
I now know how people feel when they’re a stay-at-home mum with a needy toddler they can’t put down. The second day he arrived, Bobbie did not settle or stop all day. The minute I stopped playing with him he would try to hump me (he had quite a penchant for that when he first arrived) or start jumping up and snapping at my clothing or feet. I tried everything in my arsenal to settle him and nothing worked. By the time Corey came home from work, I was ready to throw him out the window and bawl my eyes out. Thankfully, we haven’t quite had a day as rough since and now he’s settled he’s a lot less needy so, although I have still fought an urge to throw him out the window on occasion (this is obviously a joke and I would never intentionally harm him or any other animal for that matter), the inclination is much less frequent now.
The mess … Attempting to settle and entertain this little tyrant involves a lot of work AND a lot of mess. Corey has nicknamed him “The Paper Shredder” as his favourite thing is to incredibly meticulously shred boxes and paper to within an inch of its life. The result looks like a paper bomb has gone off and every morning and evening we have to pick up all the shredded pieces only to have to repeat the whole process a few hours later. Toilet training can also be a messy affair, we’ve just about cracked it now, but it takes time, and it isn’t without the occasional accident and that’s not to mention the carrot-speckled redecorating incident that occurred when our little chap had an upset tummy.
Say goodbye to lie-ins! Now we have a little fur-creature who relies upon us for his every need, unless we want to walk downstairs to our living area being used as a portaloo, we need to make sure we’re awake and downstairs before the “baby” awakens and needs to do his business. Unfortunately, at least for now, we have had to accept a Sunday morning lie-in is a thing of the past.
Now dogs, unlike people, do not have the capacity to get embarrassed. Hence why Bobbie has no qualms about attaching himself to the first available living thing to satisfy his humping urge when the need arises. He doesn’t care if there’s an audience and welcomes active participation from other parties. As prudish Brits, this isn’t quite something we can get on board with!
Dog ownership can be treacherous, excitable puppy mouths often aim with little accuracy resulting in nipped fingers and long lines used for recall training are a particularly effective trip hazard. I’ve also found that having Bobbie has provided even more opportunities to embarrass myself. On our first weekend together, we decided to take Bobbie around a local lakeside for some socialisation and a change of scene. We weren’t sure what Bobbie would make of the water, so I trotted down to the lake edge being a good supportive mother to try and encourage him to investigate. Unfortunately for me, I did not spot the slimy algae coating the concrete at the water’s edge, and just as Corey was issuing a word of warning, in I went! I slid, screeched, tried in vain to save myself with the running man before face-planting the floor and sliding into the lake. Onlookers were chuckling at me, I was screeching with my legs akimbo like a turned-over tortoise trying to right myself and shimmy back up the bank to safety. The algae-coated concrete meant every time I tried to save myself, I slipped and fell right back in again, I was covered in mud and green, my bottom half was soaking, and I smelt like duck poo and pondweed. Bobbie was looking on with intrigue as to what his crazy new mother was doing, unsure as to whether this was a game or not and Corey thankfully after a minute of staring at me open-mouthed jumped into action and hoiked me out. Unfortunately, I predict this will be one of many such incidents now we own a dog!
I have no doubt Bobbie will go on to provide many more stories and laughter in our lives. He’s already developed into quite the character in the short time he’s been with us. I look forward to sharing his story with you all and filling your news feeds with dogspam from now on!