Once your child gets to a certain age, they start to need to company of other little people. Often cousins or preschool friends just aren’t enough interaction and your child seeks a companion that will give them a more meaningful relationship on an everyday basis. Someone to cuddle up with at night, talk to about their feelings and go on adventures with. My little girl desperately wanted a brother or sister, however if you like me, are in this position but not ready for another child, you think to yourself
I’m not ready for another baby so how can we give our child a buddy they deeply desire?
So second sibling while not off the books just wasn’t on the books for the time being so the most logical solution that came to mind was a fur baby. We plunged into the idea and got onto discussing different animals and quickly it became evident only a dog would work for us.
Being responsible and well informed pet owners we immediately resorted to google for advice. We took a ‘what breed of dog would suit your family’ quiz and we were presented with a Labrador. Romantic scenes of an obedient and attentive Labrador puppy filled our minds and we were hooked. While part of me questioned a lot of our answers to the quiz on how active and routine we were. I quickly ignored my self-doubt and got straight to work, searching google for the dog of our choice a chocolate Labrador or as our wee girl would say ‘chocolate Labra-dog’ and just to keep things clear “just because he’s chocolate doesn’t mean you can’t eat him”.
The day to pick him up came around quickly and to our delight he was as cute as we imagined and as cuddly as ever! Then…. it started. One afternoon I came home to a backyard that resembled the Antarctic. How could it snow in the middle of summer you might ask? Well our DELIGHFUL little puppy had taken to his bed and very evenly distributed the foam beads from his bed across the entire backyard. The clean up a story for another day.
Silence is NEVER good in a household with a puppy!
While silence can be relaxing, it normally indicates they are munching on something you cherish, like your favourite high heels, ray bon sunglasses or even a passport. True story not made up.
Bath times. A mother of just one child is often still at the stage of trying to keep everything perfect, in control, boarder line OCD, while other mothers with two or more children would let their children juggle knifes (figure of speech just to keep things clear). So, me, mum of one, while bathing my three year old turns for the shampoo to return to my child and be greeted by a 20 kg dog who had plunged in the bath to fetch a squirty toy. Less than ideal as you could imagine.
We got to a point where we actually looked at re homing him as we just didn’t know how we would cope with the endless needs of our forever growing puppy. When paying someone to take him away wasn’t an option we resigned to the fact that his chaos was actually quite cute. We continue to remind ourselves of this. Cooper our little bundle of chocolate joy wasn’t going anywhere and was to be imbedded in our hearts. He is still with us and we couldn’t ever consider being without him again but the lesson well learnt here for us was, baby, or fur baby they are both massive commitments and either way they both require parenting in different ways but neither less work.
So when considering an addition to the family furry or not, don’t make decisions based on your child’s needs because the addition comes with its own personality, needs, routine and work load, things that will not only just affect your child but the whole family. While this may seem obvious to most when you love your kids you want to do everything you can to make them happy but small tip #domorethanjustgoogle.