One thing I have to write about is how a dog can change your life. No, I am not talking about ‘you will become a morning person’ and ‘love will enrich your life’. While these are true (well the former, rather begrudgingly so) they are the things you expect. What about the things you DIDN’T expect? In no particular order, here are a few of the major differences I have noticed in my life since adopting Trevor:
1. I am worried that everything, including me, will accidentally kill or harm my dog. Broken glass on the floor makes me irrationally cross, all rubbish and food on the floor makes me cross. If I see him eating something I rush over and claw it out of his mouth, usually to find its some grass or a biscuit he found and I now have a mildly surprised and disgruntled dog on my hands. Supposedly new mothers often dream about accidentally harming their babies, and I keep having these dreams too. While I realise that Trevor is not my child and I resent it when my boyfriend tells the dog to ‘Go back to Mum’ or something of a similar ilk, I can certainly see some similarities in the situation.
It has got to the point eventually when if I couldn’t hear or see him, I thought immediately that he was dead. Solved this problem by attaching the bell from a Lindt Bunny to his collar. Now it sounds like Christmas every day but I can hear him mooching about and know he isn’t (probably) dead.
2. I get carsick now. I spend more time looking at him than out of the window and inevitably end up feeling rather ill.
3. My life is not reduced or limited in any way because of my dog. It is positively enriched. I had an endless torrent of people asking if I was sure that I knew what a commitment I was making, how I would never be able to go out again, how I would be housebound, tied down and limited in everything I did? Well I accepted that was the case, then I realised that none of these things are a bad thing, and are only half truths.
The main issue I have is the concept of the world not being very dog friendly. Look a little harder and you will find lovely places like The Cricketers in Pontcanna that is very dog friendly and serves relatively cheap wine. Cardiff buses allow dogs, as do the trains. The only way my life has been ‘limited’ is that occasionally he does get left at home, but usually he is a great excuse for me to leave an awful event early. ‘Sorry I have to feed the dog’ is so much better than ‘Sorry I have to wash my hair’, don’t you think?
Instead of being limited, I am in fact going out more! I rarely leave him at home alone if I can help it. If I am visiting a friend, I simply take him with me! I love walking and exploring, however finding reason to go out for a walk is sometimes hard when the couch is calling. My little dog forces me to go out in the rain, sun and (probably) snow, and while sometimes I really don’t want to, I inevitably end up loving it which is very odd seeing as he actually hates the rain and gets steadily more grumpy the more we are out in it.
4. How ANNOYING he can be. Sometimes I just want to sit down and he wants to chase his tail, bark and leap about. Sometimes he doesn’t understand what I am asking. Sometimes he jumps up when he shouldn’t and tries to eat his lead. The frustrations are short lived however and few and far between. I am sure he gets frustrated with me when I want to sit where he is sitting and I want to go home when he doesn’t yet.
5. Everything got a little more comical. The way he lies down is hilarious, he just leans to one side and collapses in a heap! The snorts he makes constantly, the snorts he makes when looking for tasty things. The barks he does at next doors dog (a staffie twice the size that literally couldn’t care less about my idiot dog). How excited he gets when I get up in the morning or come home in the evening, he just wiggles and wiggles and wiggles. How often he falls over. How truly rubbish he is at catching and playing fetch. The list goes on and on but every day he makes me giggle!
6. How utterly rewarding he is. He couldn’t sit, stay, lie down, give paw or leave when I got him. Now he can and impeccably so. His off lead recall is rubbish but other than that he is turning into a model citizen! And you know what? I did that! A little dog that got abandoned, who no one wanted, who was bouncy, unruly and idiotic is learning to calm down and behave, and he is looking happier and more and content every day. I did that. He is mine, I am his. It’s all rather lovely really!