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One year of being a dog owner

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.

Of course I had to capture that moment

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?

Wrong.

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.

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I’m going on holiday! But what about my dog?

holiday

The annual summer holiday has come around again! It’s been a very busy year so far so I’m super excited to have a little break and go on an adventure.

This will be my 4th time going to Lanzarote. Now I’ve counted, that sounds like a lot. I definitely feel like I know it pretty well, but now that I’m comfortable there, I have more confidence to explore!

Travelling is always fun, but there’s just one thing I’m worried about.

My dog.

As much as my friends like to take to mick out of me for it, Olive is my best friend and I don’t quite know what I’d do without her. She holds a massive place in my heart. Cheesy, I know.

But that’s my point with this post. I miss her when I’m at work, or if I go away for a weekend, so what am I going to do for 2 weeks without my little puppy following me around everywhere?

Those times when I do spend a night or two away, usually for gigs, family members will look after her. But with her bundles of energy and natural beagle tendencies, it didn’t seem fair to leave older relatives to chase her around for a fortnight.

So that brings us to kennels. It’s a standard thing for people to put their pets in kennels while they’re away, I know that. Still I can’t help but feel selfish. I’ll be relaxing in the sun, while my pretty puppy will be in an unfamiliar place.

The worst part?

We come home on her birthday. Her 1st birthday. So I won’t get to wake her up with cake, but I’m hoping that me coming home will be a good enough present to make up for that. And there will still be a massive party with lots of treats as soon as I pick her up.

Fortunately, we know someone who works in the kennels I’m putting Olive in. Who also has beagles, that Olive loves to play with.

Even though I think I’ll always feel a little bit guilty, she’ll be having a holiday too. She’ll be running around with other dogs most of the time. Will meet lots of new humans who I’m sure will give her many cuddles.

 

holiday

 

I have no doubt she’ll be well looked after, and have mega amounts of fun, it’s just the thought of leaving her. What if she thinks I’m not coming back? I wish there was a way to tell dogs it’s not goodbye forever.

It’s going to break my heart seeing her little face looking up at me as I have to leave. Probably bigger than any heart break a boy could cause.

Oh dear, now I sound like a crazy dog lady.

Well, maybe I am.

In a way, I hope she’s having too much fun to even think about what I’m up too. I know I’ll be thinking about her, but I know I can enjoy life without my pet for a while. And that’s not selfish. I want to remember this holiday positively; not like I ruined everyone’s time because I was being miserable, worrying about Olive.

Now I’ve finished writing this, I’ve realised it might sound a tad over dramatic.

Right now, you’re probably thinking I’m stupid. That I should “man up” and get over it, because it’s “just a dog”. To be honest, I would’ve said the same thing a year ago if I’d have read this. But now I have a pet of my own, I understand what people say about them being part of the family. You get so attached.

I’m sure there will be plenty of updates from my holiday. And of course Olive’s too! Because she’s going to be fine and have a whale of a time!

Okay, I think I’ve told myself that enough now to believe it.

Adios! for now