The realities of dog ownership
We have now had Rosie the labradoodle for three weeks (she's pictured right walking with one of our nieces in Burnham Beeches on Monday). Here are my observations on dog ownership thus far.
- Dogs need walking every day, so this is a strong incentive to get out more often. Although sometimes the idea of going for a walk might not appeal, itís one of those things that you almost always enjoy once you are doing it. So thatís a plus point.
- Rosie needs to be put into her cage at nightóthis is where she sleeps. Itís cosy enough, as cages go, but she doesnít sleep for as long as the average human. Thus we have a choice. Put her to bed about midnight and then sheíll stay there to about 5.30 am when she begins her dawn chorus of loud yelps and barks, or put her to bed earlier and risk being awakened by canine howls at 4 am. Either way, thereís some sleep deprivation involved.
- Dogs smell. Not too much, but they definitely smell doggy.
- Dogs need more attention than cats. They donít really like being left alone. Itís like having a furry four-legged toddler in the house.
- Normally, if you speak to strangers this immediately identifies you as a nutter. But if youíve got a dog, suddenly the whole world is your friend. Itís mostly, but not exclusively, other dog owners who will approach you and initiate conversation. Usually they begin by patting or stroking your dog. Then they speak to you. Itís friendly ní all, but at first it seems a little odd. However, in a bid to avoid repetition, Iím thinking of wearing a small sandwich board bearing the following information ĎName: Rosie Ė Age: 14 weeks Ė Breed: labradoodle (Labrador ◊ Poodle cross)í.
- Iíve learned not to go for a walk without one or two plastic bags. This is because it is hideously antisocial to leave a dog turd lying in a public place where someone might tread in it. [Bitter experience speaks: one of my kids is a turd magnet and rarely enters the house without one on a shoe of his. ] After a while you get used to picking them up, even though it is revolting.