When the pitter patter of tiny paws enters your life there are some things you don’t know. Read on my friend – I’ll share the highs and lows of pet parenthood..
How many baby wipes you will get through…
A colleague of mine once told me she had never known anyone’s dog have as dirty a bum as mine. Yup, it’s true. Bum checks are a routine in this house, to the point Mojo actually looks forward to it as he knows he will get a cuddle at the end for being good. Baby wipes are your friend for mucky bums, paws and wet noses. Stock up while they are on offer and keep a pack everywhere – the car, the bathroom, by the back door, the bedroom.
You’d rather sleep with your pet than most people.
‘You let your dog sleep on your bed?’ some people just can’t get their heads around it. My preferred response to this is just to look over at said critic’s boyfriend/husband/S.O and say ‘seriously? You share your bed with him and you’re questioning me?’
I mean, sure it isn’t for everyone but I know my dogs are clean – they are well groomed – they don’t shed their hair. There is something quite comforting about hearing their gentle snores in the night. Of course it’s not all fun….
How much room a small dog needs to sleep
I have a double bed and a 12 inch tall lhasa apso…one of me, one of him. How come I end up clinging on to the edge while he stretches out in luxury? In Marley’s case he is the master of growling every time I shift my weight or roll over, hence in the last nine years I must have become accustomed to avoiding conflict. Either that or he nailed the hug and roll technique.
He has serious attitude about bedspace though, he is not amused when we have to share it with R. Good job he has no teeth left.
How ridiculous things become the norm when it comes to spoiling your beloved pooch.
It started with a tiny bundle of fluff who needed a bowl, a lead and collar, a bed and lots of love. It has escalated in to two rather bundles of joy who have car seats, a filtered water fountain, coats that cost more than mine, designed collars and leads, harnesses, a toy collection to rival most toddlers and a plethora of beds and sleeping spots including a cot. I jest you not, Mojo has his very own cot. Before I became mum to these two I would have laughed at such a ridiculous notion, a cot for a dog? Nine years on, two outgrown puppy crates and one sleepless night spent pinned between two growling boys who couldn’t bear to touch each other but had a competition as to who could sleep the closest to me. Sure, a cot seems normal.
Walks do not look anything like they do in the movies.
Lovely beach side walks with the sun setting on the horizon, two happy dogs running round while you throw a ball or a stick? Forget it! Walks are a chore. For a start, with small dogs you can forget the notion that you’re on a power walk. Stopping every four metres for them to sniff and spray does not a work out make. That doesn’t mean that your heart rate won’t increase however. Sure it will, right as you’re mid poop scoop and another exasperated dog owner comes pounding down the road so your little pooch pulls at the lead with the strength of an entire team of sled dogs. When you have two dogs like mine they also love to tangle themselves so you’re constantly unravelling yourself.
How darn expensive everything is
Vets bills, flea prevention, boosters, insurance, food, treats, special equipment. It all adds up. I estimate that I’ve spent somewhere between £15,000-£18,000 on Marley and Mojo in the past nine years. As I’d happily point out though, some people spend that on holidays or weddings. I’d guarantee my money is better spent keeping those tails wagging –I dare bet that their short lives will last longer than a lot of marriages too. They are worth every penny.
How many sleepless nights I’d have.
Thunder and lightning is one cause for a sleepless night in my house. With one dog scared of the thunder and the other of lightning it isn’t easy to get through a storm. My thunder buddies both wear Thundershirts now and I can honestly say they are better for having them but still not happy boys.
I’ve also spent many a night soothing a poorly tummy or attempting to relieve colic. Dogs get colic? Oh yes they do. All Marley wants when he has it is to be held in a certain position which involves me sitting cross legged on the bed, his weight supported on my thighs and his front paws over my shoulder while he cries into my neck and stretches it off. My poem 2am a lot of readers believe is about nursing a baby, it is, just a furry baby. I’m beginning to realise that they are just good practice for when I do one day have a baby.
How poop bags become a trophy
I’m serious here, nobody likes doggy number twos. Of course all dog owners rightly so, should pick up after their dogs and dispose of it properly. Unfortunately, not all people do and that means that a lot of folk find it easy to blame the steaming dollop at the end of their driveway on you. Until your dog does his business on your walk you feel an easy target for this – but oh once you’ve filled a bag you carry it like a damn trophy “Not me, no sir, I pick up after mine”. Oh yeah!
How often you will get stopped.
My dad loves to say that he attracts the village idiot when we leave him holding the dog leads while we shop. I on the other hand attract everybody, who wants to know what breed they are, how old, are they related, etc etc. Not that I care – they are like my children and I’m a proud pet momma, of course I want to tell you all about my boys but not while your three year old is yanking his tail.
How much you love them.
Of course, all that poop picking, tushie cleaning, paying out and embarrassment is worth it when you see that tail wag, how happy his face is when you walk through the door. Cuddle time is the best time and every time I get cuddles with these two I remind myself it is all worth it. A dogs love for his master is unconditional and that my friend, is priceless.
How about you? What’s your favourite thing or your pet peeve about pet parenthood? Comment below!