‘Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased’ – Mary Oliver
Since the beginning of time I’ve always been a cat person over a dog person. We had two amazing cats while I was growing up; Korky and Alfy. And I had a love/hate relationship with the cat I got when Dave and I split up for a couple of months a billion years ago. He’s allergic so it just made sense. Ruby loved my mum and dad but hated me. Perhaps because I started calling her Pubes. Perhaps we’ll never know.
Anyway point being dogs ain’t my thing. Until my best mate Ang got quite possibly the cutest puppy to ever walk the earth; enter Pickles into our lives. We puppy-sat Pickles a few times over night while Ang and Dave were out or away and when Ang told me how much kennels cost for their two week holiday in August, there was no way I was letting her pay that. Pickles was going on holiday to Auntie Helen and Uncles Dave’s.
Having a dog in the house is quite simply a joy. He’s so bloody excited to see you every morning and when you come home from work and once we got used to having him, and got over the guilt of him being in the house while we were at work, we settled in to a nice routine. I got him up in the morning and opened the back door for him to sort his morning ablutions out. Then he went for snuggles with Dave in bed while I had a shower and came and sat on the bed in the spare room while I got ready.
After work we’d take him for a walk around the park. Dave actually tried taking him for a run one night which Pickles thought was the funnest thing in the world for about a mile then just got tired and sat down. He is only little after all! We had a family bbq one of the weekends we had him so he had great time playing with loads of new people there and being fussed over.
It wasn’t of course all kisses and excitement. Having a dog is hard work. And I didn’t realise quite how much until we had Pickles for a fortnight. I’m one of life’s worriers anyway but the first night we had him, I barely slept because I was so worried he needed something, or was choking on something. Similarly the first day we left him and went to work I was worried all day that he’d gotten himself so anxious, something might happen, and I didn’t settle all day. No one wants to be the girl who kills her best friend’s dog!
These things we of course w got used to. It was, however, incredibly tying. There were times I wanted to go to the gym but didn’t want to leave him alone any more as he’d been on his own all day as it was. So I didn’t go. So it kind of got in the way of my normal routine. Dogs don’t understand when its quiet time and Pickles’ quiet time rarely matched with our quiet time, which meant play time when you didn’t always feel like it. There was also a few accidents in house when we couldn’t get to the back door in time. That was more our fault than his though to be fair as we hadn’t quite learnt his signals for needing to go out!
You know what did strike me though? How good a dog is for tour mental health. Not only is it this little cute ball of gorgeousness who thinks you’re the best person on earth, it also gives you some purpose, something else to think about, a reason for regular fresh air and exercise, and never ending cuddles. If I were single, I’d get a dog in a heartbeat for the companionship.
For now though I think we’re happy being doggy auntie and uncle and having the best of both worlds!