Posted 7 months ago ago
Last summer, we took the plunge and got a puppy.
It's something my wife and I had talked about for a long time, but long hours in the office had always meant it wasn't something we had ever seriously considered.
But with Covid-19 changing the work landscape irreversibly, we scouted around to find a reputable puppy breeder.
When we brought Floki home with us, we thought we had done everything possible to prepare us for life with a four-legged bundle of chaos.
We'd read practically every single word of advice online, asked every question possible of the fantastic breeders and puppy-proofed the house to the nth degree - or so we thought.
What has followed since is a whirlwind of ups and downs like nothing else - and a whole host of things that I never thought I'd experience.
I talk about poo… a lot
“When did he last have a poo?”
“How big was his poo?”
“Have you got a poo bag?”
I never thought I’d end up talking so much about poo. Even as a seven-year-old, when my entire joke book revolved around toilet humour, I wasn’t quite this fixated by bowel movements.
And when I'm not talking about faeces, I'm tiptoeing around the garden scooping up his latest pile of poop. Lovely.
I can’t enjoy my cake in peace
After a long day at work, all I want to do is sit down with a cup of tea and a slice of cake for five minutes. Except that simply can’t happen with an excitable and hungry puppy on the prowl.
The first signs of interest emerge when he hears the cupboard door open and his ears prick up. The second the cake slides onto the plate, he’s up and sniffing around my feet.
As soon as I sit down, he has jumped up onto the seat and attached himself to me like a wriggly backpack as he desperately tries to climb over my head to nibble my cake. So much for a bit of peace and quiet.
The house is a mess
Another constructive lockdown project that my friends are proudly posting about on social media is their DIY work. Some people have redecorated bedrooms. Others have even had new kitchens installed while we’ve been stuck at home.
A quick glimpse around our house reveals a very different DIY reality - puppy-proofing.
There’s a bright purple plastic storage box lid wedged infront of the fireplace to avoid our little rascal from chomping the firewood, the bin is pushed against that seemingly ‘tasty’ section of the kitchen wall that he simply can’t stop chewing and all our plants have been put out of harm’s way on shelves five feet high.
Oh, and the floor is covered in chew toys. It’s not exactly the feng shui I was going for.
Who needs a TV when you’ve got a puppy?
While everyone else has been binging Netflix boxsets throughout lockdown, we’ve found our own form of entertainment - watching our dog’s crazy antics.
Our evenings are now spent looking at our pup manically trying to catch a tennis ball, go loopy chasing his tail or chomping on his latest favourite toy.
*Disclaimer: Yes, I have seen Tiger King. I’m not completely out of the loop.
I can’t leave hot drinks on the coffee table
On the rare occasions that we do actually sit down and watch TV, there are some new rules that we’ve had to put in place.
Let’s face it, there’s no avoiding the dog jumping up on the sofa - but this doesn’t stop him from sniffing around the room for a tasty treat. No matter how hot our cups of tea are, he simply can’t resist having a little nudge with his nose.
Lie-ins are a thing of the past
Remember the halcyon days when you could lie in without a care in the world?
Our alarm clock is now the pup shuffling around in his crate - but we’re the lucky ones.
Floki often doesn’t stir until 8am, but some of our friends are regularly woken up a lot earlier.
As soon as he’s awake, he’s ready to bounce out of the crate and dart straight into the garden for another day of chaos and destruction.
I can’t wear nice clothes anymore
Gone are the days of putting on a clean white t-shirt or a new pair of jeans. Muddy paws and razor-sharp teeth mean they’ll just get ruined.
Instead, your wardrobe will begin to resemble the same torn tracksuit trousers and tattered jumpers that you end up wearing day after day.
As for your socks, they’ll all have holes in from all the nipping at your ankles.
Good job we're in lockdown, hey?
Your dog doesn’t just have one name
Thinking of a name for your puppy can be hard enough, but what no one ever tells you is that you’ll quickly come up with some strange and, quite frankly, weird nicknames for your four-legged friend.
Some are simply too odd to admit, but Floki isn't simply known by his actual name.
When he's causing mischief, he becomes known as 'Monster Munch'. When he's doing something daft (which is a lot of the time), his name changes to 'Nuggethead'. And when he turns on the charm, we call him 'Popsicle'.
Don't ask why. I don't know either.
Unconditional love from my new best friend
For all the bad things listed above, having a puppy is just amazing.
For instance, imagine walking back into the office after nipping out for a cup of tea and getting a hero's reception from your colleagues. It just doesn’t happen, does it?
But our dogs treat our re-emergence as the best thing that has ever happened to them.
Of course, they show their unbridled joy at this reunion by running across the room to say hello and licking your face into oblivion.
Yes, there are times when your puppy will get on your nerves, but just a little glimpse into their adorable eyes is all you need to fall in love all over again.
Someone else whose life has changed since getting a dog is Rachel Mainwaring - she thinks she's addicted to her dog.