To puppy proof or not puppy proof

So when we had C we didn’t really baby proof. It wasn’t that we were bad parents (I promise) it was a conscious decision, but anyway, back to the puppy. One of the great things about getting a puppy now is that we’re going to be ripping this house to bits so it doesn’t really matter too much about damage. Well that isn’t true. We obviously don’t want a puppy to chew our house to bits but the odd accident on the carpet isn’t going to bother us too much. So whilst we are not planning on encouraging or allowing Jessie to destroy things we don’t really want to have to remove everything precious from our house or get child locks on the cupboards. We didn’t have a stair gate for C and thankfully we won’t need one for Jessie either as we have a door at the bottom of our staircase so we just need to remember to shut it (we’ve decided that Jessie is going to be a downstairs only dog). 

The big question for me is how much should I declutter downstairs. We are a family who tend to have a fair amount of clutter, not least because we don’t have enough storage space which isn’t damp. C has a lovely beanbag chair which is going up to her room and I may take a few more of her toys up to her room. My knitting basket which sits by my chair will probably move up on to the window sill for the time being. But what will a puppy really try to eat? Or should that really be what won’t a puppy eat!?! We ran into a dog owner the other day who said that Labrador retriever puppies will eat everything, floors, walls, furniture, anything. And I know that our golden retriever which was a puppy when I was born chewed through the walk right down to the brickwork. So I figure we need to keep an eye on her and as much as possible keep her occupied and away from anything precious. I guess the plus side is that if she chews the walls back to the brickwork then that will actually mean the builders don’t have to do that! 

I guess when she arrives later today we’ll know whether we made the right decision. Hopefully before she does too much damage, I mean how can anything so cute do damage?


Meeting the puppy

So today we went to meet our new puppy for the first time. We’ve been preparing C for the idea of having a dog and she has been ridiculously excited. We did have a bit of a panic that we would arrive there and C would not like the puppy and not want her. Yesterday we went to the pet shop and let C select some puppy toys for her. When we arrived today the puppies were asleep (like babies they sleep for an extraordinary amount of time) but the breeder woke up our girl (who C has now definitively named Jessie) so we could have cuddles and a play. Now the puppies were very much at the mouthing everything stage and C was very convinced that they were trying to eat her (which to be fair they kind of were but shush let’s not tell her that) so she was naturally cautious. Despite not really being a dog person I totally embraced them – so cute to have seven puppies climbing all over you! 

It took a while to get C to stroke one due to their excitement in trying to climb all over her but she still was really excited by them, even if she didn’t want them to lick her. We had all our questions answered by the breeder and were reassured that our set up was ideal for Jessie. Jessie is a working dog rather than a show dog and J was very excited by the idea of trying to train her as a gun dog, thankfully I have managed to temper his enthusiasm as we need to take one step at a time. 

Jessie is the puppy with the turquoise collar who having finished her food tried to demolish everyone else’s! I’ve nothing more exciting to say except to throw in a few more puppy photos. 

Dog · Life in the Countryside

So let’s get a puppy….

As if we haven’t got enough on our plate at the minute we’re getting a puppy. Yes that’s right a puppy. Because a husband, a two and a half year old, 6 chickens and some sheep aren’t enough for one mum to look after! So where on earth has this idea come from….well obviously from J as I’m not really an animal person. When I was born my family had a dog (Ben, Golden Retriever) then we had a bit of a gap after he passed away before getting Max (can’t remember his breed but he had to be put down before he was two as he attacked my mum) and then after him there was Meg (a Wheaten Terrier who my mum still has now). However, I would never describe myself as a dog person, I think our bad experience with Max made me nervous. That said J and I had talked off and on for a while about getting a dog or a cat (basically a normal household pet) for C when she was a bit older but I had been adamant that I wanted to wait until we had the work done to the cottage. I was also adamant that we weren’t getting chickens until C was three and we all know how that one turned out. Guess I’m just a soft touch, but really who could resist this…

I’m also a great believer that sometimes something is just meant to be. A work colleague of J’s breeds dogs as a side-line and had plans to foster two from his litter of seven and sell the rest but had someone pull out of fostering due to personal reasons. Fostering basically means she is ours but she will be used once/twice to breed between the ages of two and six where she will go back to stay with the breeder. At first when J called me up and begged I was very reluctant; we already had so much on, and she couldn’t be left when I was at work, and she would cost too much, and she was too much of a tie, and I didn’t want to go through toilet training again…. But do you know what? I actually think she will fit into our lives perfectly. We are very much home-bodies and are increasingly enjoying the outdoor life. We have a good amount of land for her to roam on and working in a school the actual hours I’m out of the house are minimal. J’s dad has agreed to come over and puppysit in September and October and by then we’ll have hopefully built her a kennel and run outside or we will sort someone for comfort breaks. In truth the big selling point for me is that C adores animals (I remember her as a one year old insisting on petting a German shepherd puppy and my being petrified she would be bitten) and I know that she will love having a dog. And as any mum knows, anything that enriches your child’s life will only enrich yours further too. So we’re going to go meet her on Saturday and, if I’m honest, I can’t wait!