Thursday, 7 August 2014

Reflections of a dog owner// Klaus at 21 Months

I haven't mentioned Klaus much really in the past year? Other than the dog bed palava. We just got him a beautiful new one that he's managed to eat.. anyway. 

Liking my dog has taken me a long time. I mean I loved him from the moment he squeaked at me at the breeders house, he was the runt of the litter what wasn't there to love!? (I'm definitely a bit of a runt/underdog-lover). But we just didn't gel. Maybe it was the weeing, or the lovely things he insisted on chewing, or maybe the fact that our personalities weren't matched (I am a cat person through and through) but the bond really took its time to form. 

I took him for walks, fussed him, kissed him and was a good pet owner, but I just didn't get the connection "dog mama's" seem to have. It was nothing like my bond with Molly, though I never expected it to be, but still I thought I'd at least you know, like him. Anyway a year went by and many of my things got chewed, and I was on my knees a lot cleaning up smelly dog wee when I felt I should be making Molly's breakfast and my morning brew. Then suddenly he stopped weeing at night, and the cloud lifted. He calmed down, I mean I still have to put him in the kitchen when my Nain and Taid come to visit but when family members he sees regularly come over there's no fear of him stressing them out or having to clean up his protest wees from the kitchen.

I think you really have to give it time. To be honest, stubborness is what made me so insitent that I wouldn't get rid of him. I mean it would have broken Molly and Jamie's hearts but as I was at home with him 5 days a week and it was me who was finding it hardest; a few times Jamie did half-heartedly offer to let me give him up for adoption. But what stopped me was the saying 'dogs are for life' and if I couldn't put up with him, who else would have our terrible dog!? And I am SO glad I stuck by him. He may have taken his time potty training, but he has a heart of gold and he is so so gentle with Molly. Their bond is incredible to watch. And I think Jamie loves him more than me.. so there's that.

AND... I love my dog!! I mean I always loved him but he quite often made me cry, but now, now I LIKE him! And I haven't cried in frustration in a good six months! Whoo. I don't know how it happened, or when it happened, or why. But I fell in love with him. And now we're best buds. 

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that being a dog owner is not all photo ops, despite my pet pinterest boards. It's a nightmare for the first few weeks in between dog naps and to be honest with you I'm not always sure how I got through the first year, but it is so SO worth it. He's our family dog, our second baby. He'll be two in October and I must say watching him get out of the puppy stage has been a pleasure. If you do get a dog, remember that he/she will be an absolute terror while they're a puppy. No one tells you this. For some reason I think it's the biggest kept secret.. like why wouldn't people warn others!! I went through a small phase of thinking everyone must hate their dogs but are saving face because puppies are an absolute nightmare. 

Tips for keeping your dog and keeping you sane in the process:
- My biggest piece of advice in hindsight would be to let go of the toilet training. It will take time with some breeds and that's that. Keep using puppy pads if its not an easy surface to clean (buy in bulk). It won't magically happen in a month, or even in 12 ;)
- Buy a pretty dog bed, it's much nicer to look at a pretty bed being ripped apart than an ugly one :P
- Lots of dog toys and chewable treats, they teethe for two years, and although it won't stop them from eating your favourite hand knitted blankets it does help.
- Oh yeah, hide the nice blankets for two years..
- Good pet insurance, vets bills are insane. We have had platinum cover since we got Klaus.*
- Regular walks, I'm talking twice a day if you can while they are a puppy, we went about a week once not giving Klaus a long walk due to business and it was a week of hell. Always find the time and if you can't don't get a dog or get yourself a dog walker which is what we will be doing once I am working full time.
- Scented candles, dog shampoo and conditioner. A lifesaver in the winter!!

*This post was sponsored. All opinions are my own. We have in fact been using and paying for Argos Pet Insurance since we brought Klausey home so I thought this was an ideal endorsement. 

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