I had always wanted a dog. Having waited more than 50 years to be in a position to own one, I was determined to choose the perfect pooch. I read every piece of advice that I could find to ensure that I made an informed choice. There appeared to be several serious mistakes that I could make:
- Never take on two puppies at the same time, especially when the dogs concerned are siblings. Two puppies mean double trouble when it comes to all that wee, poo and destructive behaviour. To make matters worse, the puppies may end up bonding with each other rather than with you.
- Always familiarise yourself with your chosen breed. Spend time with a dog of that breed, if at all possible, to satisfy yourself that you can cope with it and that you are able to meet its needs.
- Don’t introduce a dog to your home during a period of disruption. Choose a quiet time when you are not moving house, decorating your home, having an extension built or playing host to visitors. It is best to welcome your furry friend into a peaceful environment and at a time when you can devote your days to settling them in.
- If you are new to dog ownership, it is a good idea to choose a pet from your local rescue centre. There are always plenty of fabulous dogs looking for forever homes and an adult dog should already be house trained. An adult dog is certainly a better choice if there are many demands on your time.
- Prepare properly for new arrival by investing in the toys, beds, crates, feeding bowls and training mats that you need before you collect your new friend.
- Don’t choose a dog simply because it looks adorable. The dog’s character traits are far more important than its appearance and many cute fur balls will require extensive grooming.
- White and light-coloured dogs are more difficult to keep clean and presentable. If you lead a busy life, avoid white dogs.
Having taken on board all of this advice, I realised that what I really needed was one adult, house-trained rescue dog with a good nature and a short, dark coat. All I had to do was avoid the temptation to choose any cuties which didn’t fit the criteria and I was on the road to successful dog ownership.
It wasn’t long before I had made my choice:
Yes, I know! There are two of them, they are siblings, they are puppies and they are white! Oops! I should also mention that I am about to move house. In my defence, I had been told that the move had fallen through. My solicitor chose to tell me that it was going ahead after all, the day after I collected the dogs.
Unfortunately, all the advice in the world couldn’t stop me from falling in love or bringing the dogs home before I had bought everything I needed from Time for Paws! Happily, Dougal and Bodie are bonding with my partner and I just fine and I have managed to cope with taking care of the little darlings. Double trouble has proved to be double the fun, double the cuddles and double the love – at least thus far. Perhaps two goldendoodles were a good idea after all. I will keep you posted.