Today it’s one year since I brought home the prettiest little pup from Stoke-on-Trent. It definitely feels longer than a year, in a good way! I still remember feeling all excited on the drive over there, not sure if there would be 4 seats filled on the way home.
When we arrived at the breeder’s house, there was 3/6 of the litter left. 2 boys and 1 girl. Straight away I got down on the floor and started petting all the puppies. I asked which were the boys because ever since getting a dog was a realistic option, the thought of having a “good boy” Beagle called Olly was too much.
The two that were currently on my lap were the boys, so I carried on playing with them for approximately 30 seconds to see which one I was going to take home, before they both jumped off me and returned to their basket to sleep. It was adorable they way they snuggled up, but I won’t lie, I was a little offended.
I’m sorry, were my cuddles not good enough for you, huh, pups?
Anyway, then I noticed that one Beagle hadn’t left and was sitting next to me, all quiet and doe-eyed, wagging her tail. I scooped her up and she started licking my hand before getting all cosy in my arms.
“I want this one!”
My inner Veruca Salt came out to declare my love for this little dog. I wasn’t even thinking about a name for her then, but I still loved the name Olly. So I thought what girls name is similar to that? And Olive is what stuck.
After sorting out the formalities, I carried her out to the car, where she lay asleep in my arms the whole 90 minute drive home.
But as they say, the quiet ones are always the worst. The second she got in our house she went mad. Running around, playing, chewing almost anything she could find. But that was just her getting used to new surroundings, right?
I spoke to a lot of people and read up online about Beagles. Everyone said the same, that they’re a difficult breed, and I believed them, but something in my mind kept saying “they can’t be that bad”.
Well, I think “bad” is the wrong word. They’re just a very mischievous breed of dog, which at times can be annoying, but most of the time is entertaining.
It took a hell of a lot of effort over months to train Olive, and there’s still a few more things to perfect. It’s definitely been more hard work than I thought. Of course I understood the responsibility of having a dog, but like most things, what you imagine is different to the reality.
The main thing I miss is having a good lie in. Then again, getting up earlier has gave me the time to do more things in the day, so everything has its positives. Plus, I can’t complain because I love spending time with my dog.
Writing on this blog helps me to relax and looking after Olive does too. Walking her is one of my favourite things to do. Yeah, okay, I “won’t be saying that when it’s tipping it down and -10 degrees outside”. But the thing is, I probably will.
I was fine walking her last winter, so why would that change? Some days I feel like I can’t be bothered, but as soon as we’re strolling down the street, I love it. I’ve always enjoyed walking, so it’s nice to have a little friend to accompany me everyday.
Anyway, I always get told I talk too much about my dog so I’m going to (try) summarise my point.
My first year being a dog owner has been a roller coaster.
Lows when training just wasn’t going right and I felt like a failure. Highs when I found better methods of training, saw her learning and realised I can do it.
Lows when Olive hasn’t been well and I’m full of worry (plus those damn vet bills). Highs when she starts to pick up and is her normal, happy self.
I got stuck here because I felt like I needed 3 highs and lows, you know, just for a rhythm. And if this was an actual roller coaster and not just a metaphor, it’d be a pretty shit one with only 2 hills and drops.
But I couldn’t think of another low. Yeah, having a pet does take up a lot of time, but that hasn’t stopped me from doing the things I want, like going to events. My social life has actually improved since I’ve had Olive, and so have I as a person.
The responsibility has made me grow. Before I had zero patience, and it’s still very close, but I’m learning to not get as agitated.
Okay, I promise I’m getting to the point now.
Having Olive has brightened up my life. Although I don’t recommend anyone getting a dog unless they are completely prepared, it’s a wonderful thing to have at some point in your life.
There’s so many more positives to having a dog than negatives. All the hard work is worth it for the cuddles, how much I laugh when she wants to play tug of war with one of her toys and seeing her tail wag as fast as helicopter propeller every time I get home.
Cheers to Olive for choosing me as her owner a year ago today. I wouldn’t have it any other way.