I’ve become “that” obsessed doggy person and I am not afraid to admit it

So I have loosely referred to my beautiful dog in the last few posts, but I have never written a whole post on him.

Meet Bumble, he is img_8873.jpg

a Bearded Collie and turned 1 in September, he is my 3rd baby….yes I just referred to him as my baby!  When I first started to think about getting a puppy, I kept my plans to myself for a while….then I just couldn’t help myself and my plans would just fall out of my mouth.  Cue the comments from concerned family and friends….”are you mad”, “do you know how much hard work they are?”, ” how are you going to cope with a dog when you struggle to juggle kids and and work on your own”….I got them all and I seriously questioned my own sanity for a while.

What was interesting to experience, is that when you think about getting a dog and you start to tell people your plans, a lot of negativity comes out, well it did in my experience and it made me question my own judgement and whether I was making the right decision.  I have come to realise that when you get a dog, or any pet for that matter, you get hounded by everyone’s opinions on how you should handle and bring up a pet. One person suggested that I was being selfish and even had the audacity to presume that I would regret within the first year of getting a dog as it would hinder my social life….well let me tell you, I have loved every minute of Bumble so far.  I watched in horror on a local Facebook community page after a young woman asked for advice on which breed of puppy she should look at.  The poor woman must have received over 80 responses and 90% of those were the most judgemental, patronising comments I ever read, but unfortunately, from my own experience, it didn’t surprise me. I rarely comment on these posts, but when I saw her being lectured by people who were assuming she hadn’t a clue on how to bring up a dog along with the responsibilities, I had to comment and assure her not everyone is quick to judge.  To my relief, it encouraged others to do the same thing and I later received a private message from her thanking me for the positive comment.

Ok the puppy stage is hard and being house proud makes life harder when you have a dog, but no-one & I mean no-one gets me like Bumble does.  All you doggy owners out there reading this will know what I mean.  In fact, as I madly type this blog, he is lay at my feet.  Every time and even today, I realise he doesn’t leave my side, particularly after the RugRats dad comes to pick them up.  He just senses and seems to know I adore his company.  I can have the worst day or I will be walking into the house after picking up the RugRats and they will be talking over each other and arguing about who should have sat in the front this time & telling me off for not getting it right and up his fluffly little head pops from his dopey snooze and with a cock of the head, he makes me smile instantly and in that moment all the worries and RugRat arguments disappear.

Yes, I’m in love with my dog and I really don’t care and you can tease me and mock me, but I am and he has been there and comforted me at some really shitty times, when no one else has.  I tell him my worries, I moan to him about the weather and I ask him if he thinks my boyfriend is the right choice and it really doesn’t matter he can’t talk back and this is probably why dogs are seen as being so theraputic, they don’t judge!

Some of you may think I love my dog more than the RugRats but it isn’t the case that I do, it is just that he gives me an uncomplicated relationship and he makes me feel calm at times when I never thought possible.  When I find myself being on my own and a little low, he is there and makes me get up in the mornings when I don’t have the RugRats and has made me stop and realise that I live in a pretty part of the country, whereas before, I may not have seen that.

I was recently having a chat with a colleague and old friend and he admitted to me that when I told him about getting Bumble, he thought it was the biggest mistake I’d have made to date.  He hadn’t voiced this to me at the time, he kept it to himself, but it was pretty big of him to admit this to me recently and he made me smile as he said, “I have to eat my own words now and I am sorry, but he really isn’t the biggest mistake, it was a genius move for you and the kids”.  You see, for all you doubters out there, this wasn’t a quick fix and patch up from a divorce, as from experiencing having a dog as a little girl, what also happens is that they teach children an important lesson in life, responsibility.  I felt as a mummy to two RugRats, that they needed something to anchor to when they had experienced an upheaval, but also at the same time get back a way of communicating to them in terms of teaching them life skills, with the help of a puppy to reinforce the message I wanted to give to them.  Sounds deep, but it really isn’t and felt like the right way to teach them discipline at a time when rules seemed blurred as they were getting used to different terms in their two homes.  The RugRats know that Bumble needs feeding, walking and playing with, but they also have learnt the discipline you need with a dog in terms of training them and working as a team so Bumble knows where he stands in the family (or pack to him).  It is working and they also relate to people in their day to day lives better in terms of feelings and empathy towards others around them.

What is most special of all, Bumble has brought laughter back in the house.  There have been some fraught times, but he has brought back the RugRats magical giggles and I love how they beg me for him to have a sleepover in their rooms now he is older & I know that they will have their moments where they will use him as their own sounding board and get comfort from him when they don’t feel able to come to me or their Dad.

So I may not have the savings I once dreamed of having as my money now gets spent of the dog and RugRats and I have to plan my holidays wisely, with or without the dog and taking into account dog sitters and vets bills, but I really don’t regret my decision one bit and would go as far to say “up yours” to the doubters out there.

It made me laugh when I went to a conference last week, which actually inspired me to blog again, as an entrepreneur Sam Jones spoke of his blog on having a dog in the office and how it caused a dramatic split in opinion and it was the most commented blog he’d produced to date.  Becoming a dog owner and asking for people’s advice really does seem to open you up to passionate comments from both sides of the fence even when you are a dog lover.  But what Sam recognises is, there are so many articles on dogs being good for office morale and people’s well-being, it is hard to argue against those pros and to me the far outweigh the cons.

To close, I may rock the boat further by making this statement, but if you are planning on getting a puppy and people tell you having a puppy is like having a baby, I am sorry but I really don’t agree.  I know I refer to him as my baby, but I didn’t have to get up with every 3-4 hours and change his nappy and breastfeed him, like I did with the RugRats.  He has learnt to fit in with us and along the way he has taught us some pretty amazing lessons on unrequited loyalty and he is the bestest friend I’ve ever had & he may have even inspired me to write about his adventures…..now just to try to convince work that he will boost productivity too!