A Dog is for Life Not just for Christmas

DSCF1939Whoever dreamed up the sentence couldn’t have said it better.
Getting a puppy can be a real trauma. This is the first time I have bought a dog other than a miniature Yorkshire Terrier, and never realised what a huge responsibility and how much time is needed to care for and train a puppy. No-body tells you. Whatever you do, don’t trust what your breeder tells you. They may be decent people but, as I experienced, they are in the business of breeding to make money, and will tell you what you want to hear. I was told Poppy would not likely to be more than 3 kilos, and here I am with a puppy of no-more than three and a half months and already weighing more than that. I have to be honest, the breeder did give me feeding guidelines for a 6-kilo dog but assured me that Poppy wasn’t likely to be that big. How gullible am I and in the longrun that can determine how you feel about your dog.
DSCF1944Buying a puppy is emotive. You definitely have to think it through before you buy one. It is not just about taking it for walks. It needs to be watched all the time. Anything on the floor or within reach is an easy target. Spines of books have been nibbled, slippers ransacked of their stuffing, shoes carted around and chewed. The recycling bag is pounced on at every opportunity and objects taken out and played with. Any washing that is on the dryer and within reach is taken off and carried around as a prize trophy to be then hidden. Where half my socks are, I still don’t know.
Doesn’t she have toys you may well ask? Of course, she does, scattered around the room – empty plastic bottles, balls, squeaky toys, but like children they easily get bored and look for something new. Wires are a prime target. Vigilance is everything and forgetting can be very expensive. My laptop lead, at £65 a time, has been nibbled through twice.
DSCF1950Yesterday she came onto the patio from the garden with a plastic flowerpot on her face, which she then dislodged to show off her black face, normally snowy white. Not content with this, she returned to the tub where she had found the flowerpot. It was filled with water from the rain and its contents very muddy, and returned with a lot of her body the same colour of her face. My lovely white fluffy dog had become a black monster.
Another problem is that although she has learnt her name, she has restrictive hearing. That is, she comes when she wants to and ignores me when she doesn’t. Nobody told me that Coton de Tulears eat their pooh. Well she did, and maybe still does unless I go out with her and pick it up immediately. This means I have to stand out in the pouring rain with her when she wants to go to the toilet.
When she was checked out, the vet suggested puppy-training classes, but I stupidly thought I could do it on my own. After all, I had had two dogs, both beautifully trained, and of wonderful disposition. How wrong I was. I am signing up for puppy training classes this week, if not for her, definitely for me!DSCF1956


About Natasha Blair

Travel journalist who enjoys discovering new places in style, where possible, with her dog, a Coton de Tulear, called Poppy. Good food, not necessarily gourmet, is important as is the atmosphere as she also writes about restaurants. Culture is another love, and as she is based in London, she reviews theatre and art exhibitions.
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