It’s well known that dogs are good, no great, for our mental and physical well being. But can they benefit our home? Sam seems to think so. He loves bursting out the front door for a walk, sniffing all the goings-on outside and then returning for a treat, some water and a nap in front of the AGA. Lucky boy.
As he gets older, slower, deafer and mellower, we’ve started thinking about getting a puppy. WAIT! WHAT? For the past 30 years, I’ve only rescued adult dogs. Scratch, Al, Jack and then Sam. Scratch was actually a puppy when I rescued him from the pound, and he was a bundle of joy and hard work. I swore then, “no more puppies.” Somehow, Crockern tells me to ignore this broad brush stroke rule and start talking puppies.
“What kind of puppy would you want Roger, if we were to get a puppy?” begins my campaign about a year ago. “Do you think Sam would like a puppy?” “I wonder if a puppy would help Sam as he gets older?”
Roger, having never had a puppy joins in on my explorations. While I dove right into websites and kennel club forums, Roger was happy to listen to all of my updates. The pros and cons of crate training. The 100 most popular names for dogs. The top 10 smartest breeds. Discovering the difference between intelligence and obedience. Hours of you-tube videos on teaching your dog how to run agility courses, or play dead, or fetch your slippers. I moved past the hard graft of training a puppy and right into the big payoff.
Roger brings me right back to earth with a concern: “Will a puppy chew our furniture?”
If we were gone all day long, that might be a concern. But one of us is usually home and Sam currently spends almost no time without one or both of us, so that would enable us to keep all our furniture safe I assured Roger.
Having had dogs, we both know how they can leave their mark on the interior of our home. Dirty paw prints, drifts of shredded hair under the furniture and in corners, and shaking muddy water across the room on a rainy day. Roger and I may take care to remove our boots, but Sam doesn’t share this thinking. He couldn’t care less about avoiding puddles or squelchy bogs before racing back inside the house. Sometimes, Sam gets so excited for a walk he steps in his water bowl, spilling its contents all over the kitchen floor. And lets be honest, what dog barfs in the loo or outside? No, any carpet will do. But who cares?
The truths are clear. Dogs are terrifically opinion-free. While Roger and I may spend hours deciding and then working on a ceiling, or a wall, or even the type of tap for the bathroom sink, Sam is blissful in his lack of concern. He could care less if we lived in home laid out by interior designers or a shack in the outback. As long as he is loved, fed, walked, and loved some more, he’s happy.
Besides, who else is going to greet us at the front door, tail wagging and gazing lovingly up at us as we potter around the house. Dogs! Who else makes us laugh with their ways of getting us to do their bidding (really Sam? Do you see how hard it’s raining? You really want to go for a walk?) or chase bunnies in their dreams? No one except a dog, that’s who.
And since nothing completes a home like a smelly, shedding, daft but delightful dog, we’ll be picking up a puppy in June. Watch this space.