A Year as a Dog Person

A year ago today, I returned home in the evening with a cardboard box and a Westie puppy in it. It followed an impulse decision, the worst kind if one wants to get a dog, I made earlier that day – I called some breeders, found one who had a recent litter and wasn’t too far away, and a 160 km drive later, I was back home as a dog owner.

I had never before had a dog. I had no idea what to do with one. I hadn’t even thought of a name for her – Pika was what I came up with during the drive back. I wasn’t materially prepared – she spent her first few nights sleeping in he cardboard box she came in, and eating the little food I got from the breeder. The first few walks were much fun, since I didn’t have a leash. But, equipment was bought and ordered, stuff was frantically researched on the Internet, and the puppy neither starved, nor got run over by a car, nor died of neglect.

A year later, I think I can call the dog experiment a success. I have a well-behaved doggie who doesn’t suffer from the small dog syndrome, who pees and poos where she’s supposed to, who doesn’t chew on things which aren’t supposed to be chewed on (too much), who is social and socialised, and in whose mind there is absolutely no doubt about my unreachably superiour status as the pack alpha.

I’ve learned some things about myself, too. It seems I’m more patient and tolerant than I thought – I am capable of finding a pile of dog poo in the middle of the floor without murdering the offending party, and I don’t fly into a rage when she does something wrong. This came as a bit of a surprise, as I thought it would be one of the biggest problems.

I also realised I should’ve gotten a cat. As nicely as I think my dog and our relationship have turned out, I’m, in the end, not a dog person. Dogs (well, mine, at least) are too needy. Too dependent. And I’m finding that a bit too much to deal with sometimes.


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