Summer of the Dog

We finally took the plunge, after many discussions, different thoughts, and opinions. We did it, we got a dog. Welcome to the family, Zack the black labrador.

The decision about when to get him was made easier by the travel restrictions which are still in place, and the fact that both my wife and I are teachers. So, summer was going to be spent at home. Nearly 8 weeks to welcome a puppy, train him, make him feel at home. What could go wrong?

Well, actually, not much did that was not to be expected. Expected, that is, if you have done your research. I feel sorry for those who go into such a big lifestyle change without learning all they can first. Because that is what it is, a total change of lifestyle. When you get a dog you are deciding that your life is going to revolve around this new family member. That is what you should be thinking anyhow.

It has not been easy. There have been many sleepless nights, changes of strategy, and the occasional frustrations. You see, I am a first time dog owner and so am doing my best using the advice of friends, and those experts that can be found online. Those YouTube videos make things look very easy of course, and reality often doesn’t turn out that way.

Zack is now 4 months old, so still a baby, and we are still working on many things. The main one being him staying home alone, I hope the neighbours won’t hate us too much. Maybe being home for 2 months has been a double-edged sword, he is so used to having someone around him that now he gets upset and barks as soon as we leave him. But it is back to work now, and soon the kids will be in school too. I don’t want him to be stressed, and family members will visit and check on him, but he needs to start being content on his own soon.

There has not only been stress of course, there has been much joy too. I don’t think you will ever see anyone so pleased to see you as your dog, even if it has only been 15 minutes since he saw you while you nipped to the shop. He greets every one of us, every morning, like we are his favourite people. Each one of us gets the V.I.P. treatment as we emerge from our bedrooms. And the cuddles just couldn’t get any better, the licking can be hilarious. I am still getting used to having wet ears though.

So, welcome again Zack. We are happy to have you. Sometimes we are tired, but there are no regrets.

© Neil Hayes and neilhayeswrites

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