‘If Millie has puppies I’ll have one’, I said to my friend about her gorgeous spaniel dog! And guess what, 6 months later Millie was pregnant!
So I then had a choice – did I want a puppy?. Of course the answer was yes but was now the right time?! Single, working full time in London, good social life.
I thought long and hard and researched all my options. To be honest I wanted to change things and thought this may give me the change of life I needed. I thought about nice long dog walks in the country, holidays in the lakes, pub lunches and always having someone there when I got home. I looked into dog walkers and dog minders as this wasn’t a breed that could be left for long periods at home.
Of course you can’t go and see puppies and walk away without one so I decided to go for it. Harley was the first one that came up to me and wanted cuddles and then basically wouldn’t leave me. I thought he has to be the one. He was bigger than all the rest, all black but with the cutest face ever looking up at me! Sold… So then work began in turning my house into a puppy-proof place. Baby gates, making sure the garden was secure, my life completely changed from this moment on.
I picked up Harley and we made the 3.5 hour journey home and I have to say he was a little poppet in the car home. He slept most of the way and just woke near the end to take a look at where he was.
We arrived and of course, he wanted to explore his new home, sniffing everything, looking everywhere but this cute ball of fluff was mine. As predicted, I was up to comfort and fuss him 2-3 times the first night. But I was very strong and no cuddles allowed. I just spoke to him through his crate.
So the first week was all about settling in and bonding. I have to admit a bit like a new mother with a baby, I had mixed emotions, I found it tough. I loved him but he was tiring and I was getting more and more tired and I did start to wonder if I had done the right thing. My house was turned up side down by this little ball of energy. It was constant and I had to keep an eye on him every minute otherwise he would be chewing something, jumping on something, weeing!!
I called my dad and said I can’t cope. I can’t do this. You need to come and take him. My dad’s response, “you wanted a puppy you deal with it. Just be calm and give yourself time”. So I had a roller coaster ride, for several months. Trying to hold down a full-time, full-on job, look after a tiny puppy that wanted attention 24 x 7. But I did have a great help from my dog minder. She has Harley in the day from 8-3pm and it works. So all those people that say you can’t have a dog when you work full time. You can but you just need to pay for someone to have them!
My life has changed but I wouldn’t be without him now. It’s made me calm down, not worry about cleaning all the time, I’ve had to become less selfish and I now have responsibility. My life does have to be a bit more pre-planned than before but I wouldn’t change it. It gets me out every weekend and you always meet people when dog walking.
It’s made me realise that I have to think about someone else first before me and I’ve learnt not to be so OCD about cleaning the house and car. Life’s too short and Harley gives me the motivation to get outside come rain or shine. The best thing is a lovely long walk followed by a pub lunch! That’s my life now. That’s my weekends. No longer laying in bed nursing a hangover!
I don’t say I don’t go out anymore, but I have do have 2-3 people that I trust to look after him. I appreciate my nights and weekends out more now as I’m not doing it every weekend.
Harley has taught me a lot about myself… And I think I’ve changed for the better. He’s taught me about commitment, having responsibility for someone else other than myself. To think about others. To chill out .
People say he’s just a dog but he’s more than that.. He’s my best friend. And if he could talk he would tell you everything, as he knows exactly how I feel and I do talk to him . When he’s not around, the house seems empty and I miss him.
I’m hoping Harley will help me meet my Mr Right. It worked for Davina McCall so why not?!