I have been coveting a dog for our home for some time.
I am seldom a “quick decision maker” when it comes to acquiring a new member of the household. It took me about 3 – 4 years to decide to get Jackson.
I took less time to decide on a second or third child (we can unpack that idea on another post)
I look at it that a “new dog or cat” is a 12 – 14 year commitment on average, and it’s a lot of responsibility. You do not always know what you are getting, and you can’t always predict how it is going to change the dynamics in your household, and the going rate for kids to pick up doggie poo! (I use R20.00 a weekend for full weekend doggy poo clean up as a guide)
As much as my kids may scream “we really want a do/cat/hamster/snake/vermin, at the end of the day the responsibility for on going care will be mind, so I decide when I am ready to take on the responsibility.
I have long said to them that we are “not ready for a pet” so it has taken me years to get to a point where I am no longer have to to say “no” to mice/rats/hamsters/snakes/dogs/cats and so on that my kids want to bring home. My kids know the blanket answer is always going to be NO, so they have stopped asking.
I consider the demand for food, water, care, attention, vets bills and potentially new shoes to replace the pairs that are lost along the way.
Decision making involves a spreadsheet, numerous hours using google search, chatting to breeders, reading breed standards and much staring into the distance and sighing.
I have decided some time this year that I was “less opposed” to looking at maybe getting a dog. I thought about it. Made a list. Then put it aside. I repeated this every month or so.
A few weeks back I decided “actually I am quite interested in getting a dog for our home.” And then it turned into a rabid project. Like Bridezilla. But not. However has a similiar frantic decision making where you start seeing the white of my eyes and spittle forms on my chin.
<Just to cut this conversation before it gets started. I am not interested in rehoming a dog from a shelter. I am not going to argue the merits of either, really I am not. Suffice to say I choose to approach a legitimate breeder and purchase a dog that is bred to a particular breed standard. Case closed.>
I have two breeds in mind at the moment. Both I like equally. They have difference and similarities.
To assist my decision-making I went along to a local breed show to meet the breeders and also have the chance to snuggle a dog. I snuggled, I hugged, I ogled, I appeared to appear controlled, I sat on the grass and gave myself over to slobber.
I thought it would help me “choose” between the two breeds, if anything it made me want them BOTH. More.
One of the breeds have a litter here in Cape Town. It’s a specialist breed, and I am very fortunate to have the breeder nearby, and even more lucky that one was born soon after my “real commitment to getting on a puppy list” started.
I have made it on to the shortlist for this litter. To explain there are about 16 of us, there are 9 puppies in the litter. Clearly there is going to be name calling, bitch slapping, a bit of name calling and maybe even some slandering of competition.
I feel an overriding urge to puff out my chest, lift my chin and say “Bring it Bitch!”
I can attribute this to the fact that I have been listening to “Die Antwoord” this week, and not to a strategy that will work for me today (or ever).
Today the breeder has invited us to an open day to meet the puppies. It is also an opportunity for them to meet the “prospective owners” and evaluate them in person.
They can then get a better feel as to whether they really want you to have a puppy, or whether they are going to bounce your application to the kerb.
So it’s like speed dating. But different.
I gave it some thought and decided to only take Connor.
I cannot imagine me (excitable me, who jabbers when they are nervous and over excited), Kennith (who is slightly disinterested in this), Connor (who does not know we are thinking about a dog/puppy, so he will be in shock), Georgia (who wants to hug everything, so I can only imagine her reaction when presented with 9 adorable puppies), Isabelle (who just appears to not listen when she is on a mission).
All of us facing 9 puppies and me attempting to make a good impression, and keep control.
Total Puppy Open Day Fail.
Solution: Leave the two girls at home, explain they are at cello and violin lessons, and just take Connor along.
I know the girls will be fine if we got a new dog at home. There will be the first day where they are going mental screaming PUPPY PUPPY PUPPY, and then I will medicate them and send them out of the room. Threatening to “punish” them if they go within 2 metres of the puppy.
By day two everyone will be fine, and have lost interest. It will be fine then. Calm will be back.
Taking three kids to a puppy viewing, would be like “puppy waiting list suicide” and I have opted to at least give myself an outlying chance.
I am so excited about later this morning.
I am going to go and shower, do my hair, and rub some biltong behind my ears and between my breasts to make the puppies like me more ….. strategy people, strategy!!