I’m for dogs … (as the saying goes)

I have always been dog people. I have always had a dog or dogs.

I used to show dogs, judge dogs and play around dog show rings –with a special interest in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. But then kids came along and spending time at a dog show became more challening than fun … I still nurse illusions that in a year or two I will be able to make my way back to dog shows and it will be a hobby that I keep up, with the family or without the family. 

I really do like dogs.

We had a dog Annabelle (yes I do realize my daughter is called Isabelle, it did lend itself to lots of confusion and often having to re-scream the name as we would get them mixed up) and she was born on the 1 January 2001. 

Annabelle was always a bit on the wild side and as much as she would drive me to distraction – because she really was like Robby Williams on TIK – just way too much energy, I was still fond of her.  She was however really difficult to train, and was really the dog that taught me humility.

I was always quick to judge someone if they did not have a well-trained well-mannered dog, because clearly they had no control over their dog (tsk tsk).

Then the universe conspired and gave me Annabelle – and I learnt humility, because she was virtually untrainable …. virtually.

Last year October, we were coming to the tail end of renovations on our home.  In the second last week one of the building guys left the gate open, and our dog bolted.  Annabelle had a bit of Forrest Gump in her and could run and run and …. you get the picture.

Annabelle did a runner.  But I was not too worried as she was micro-chipped and I figured sooner or later someone would take her to a vet/SPCA/animal welfare, bar code scan her and I would get a call and it would be that easy.

I drove around and looked for her.

I ran some ads, posted things on social media sites, sent emails around, phoned vets/organisations and got hold of a few people who know people who are involved with lost dogs – and I waited, as I figured sooner or later she would appear.

I got a call from a vet, to say they had a dog that matched my description. 

I was very excited, threw Connor in the car and headed to the vet.

Annabelle is a 10-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, spayed bitch with red and white markings, with a distinctive white blaze on her chest, across her snout and she has white feet.

I arrive and the vet shows me to a fawn Great Dane cross Labrador – the only thing they had in common is that they were of the species Canine and both were bitches (not the vet, who might have been, but I really did not hang around with her to find out).

I generally have a lot of respect for vets, I do.  But this one sort of made me go “Seriously, seriously?  I spoke to you on the phone and explained my dog in detail – great detail.  Did you think this was mine and then washed her and she stretched and grew a uterus since my call? I mean seriously!”

I might not be welcome at that vet again.

Clearly it was not Annabelle.  I took my lead and collar and went back to the car with Connor and felt very dejected.  Then I felt very worried, as this was the only response I had regarding all my advertising.

I started to get a sneaky suspicion that maybe Annabelle might not be coming home.

That was 6 months ago.

Connor still tells me every 2 – 3 weeks that he really misses Annabelle and he wonders where she is.  I say that I hope where ever she is she is warm, safe and has someone who cares for her, and has decided that they love her so much they are going to keep her …..well that is what I wish and like to tell myself repeatedly.

I still get very sad when I think of her, and I feel guilty that I had not done more to find her and more to protect her from getting out.

So we are dog-less in our house.

I have never been dog-less in my entire life.

I know I am not ready for a new dog. I am just not ready. I just do not feel ready.

My friend Ilze sent me an email from a breeder who has a young Staffordshire Bull Terrier bitch and I started looking at the pictures and then I felt a small twinge – that maybe I am ready for a dog. 

I am not sure yet if I am ready for this particular dog, and need to give that all some thought.

I am also not a fan of “getting a dog for a child” (hear me scrunch up my nose in disgust and really go tsk tsk) – a dog has to be for you, as kids will lose interest generaly after about 3 – 5 weeks if you are lucky.

However – no but, just a however – I like children to grow up with dogs and be respectful of them, and also not be afraid of them.  I think a dog in our house with our kids will lose it’s mind because there will always be someone to snuggle with and play with.  I also like children around dogs, and like children who are not afraid of dogs.

But I am not sure yet if I am ready for a dog.

<I am not an impulsuve decision maker when it comes to pets, it took me about 3 – 5 years to get my cat, so spontaneous decisions in this area are hardly my forte….>

Leave a comment


  1. julz

     /  May 5, 2011

    Ah Celeste thanks so much for this post. I think about you dog often still hoping that she will return.

    We lost two dogs in a year to old age. Very sad indeed and we are dog people and we prefer two dogs so it was strange . Since we reside in Goodwood, we tend to stick to pavement specials and were very fortunate to adopt a sweet Lab cross and more recently a cross Boerboel pup much to my insistance that we would never get a puppy.

    Dylan adores them both and there is nothing better than to see your toddler romping with a nice sturdy animal.

    That picture of the pup is too precious. How can you say no to that????

    Having said that our pup (who is going to training and is doing well) has eaten though the adsl cable and the alarm cable etc etc . The joys.

  2. I am totally a dog person. So totally. Our labs are children in our home, regardless of the human children. And that picture is seriously cute.

    Buuuuuut, I am not sure that I will be able to deal with a puppy right now. Not just right now. Not until all are potty trained and sleep through,

  3. Sharon

     /  May 5, 2011

    I’m like you… a dog person through & through. I’ve also had a dog or dogs my entire life, I can’t imagine living without one.
    Having said that, they are a HUGE committment, a kin to having a child, so if you’re wavering at all, or concerned you have too much on your plate right now, then perhaps now is not the time to be looking into it?
    Perhaps Connor will settle for a goldfish in a bowl?? 🙂

  4. Hey you could house train Isabelle and the puppy at the same time. FUN.
    And just as you get Isabelle to sleep at night, the puppy will start screaming / barking
    And you will get to step in turds at 3am. And the dog can chew all the kids toys and games. No really it sounds like a great idea.
    Man I LOOOOOOOVE dogs, also really really love staffies.

    We had a Basset Hound last year and had to re-house it after a few months because quite honestly I was going to kill him and I was a bit afraid of being in jail.

    • reluctantmom

       /  May 5, 2011

      I love your “sunny outlook on life!” it makes me heart you more!

  5. I use this hastag every now and again #worsethanatoddler That is my dogs! We’ve got two now, and we tell each other we should not have gotten them! But now we have them…

    Photos: Those eyes are seriously cute!~ I don’t know how you will be able to resist! Stay strong! 😉

  6. Countess Kaz

     /  May 5, 2011

    Just get the dog! You know you want too. He/She will entertain the kids while you get stuff done.

    • reluctantmom

       /  May 5, 2011

      I know I want a dog …. but as usual I am not sure if I can handle another thing to balance on the plate …. I also have a cat, and I feel “guilty” that I do not spend enough time with him! And he is a cat!

  7. Tania

     /  May 5, 2011

    I was told by my husband that a dog is just too much with everything we have on our schedules daily… I eventually managed to convince him that it would be good for our family, also for the kids to learn to respect dogs, etc., so, now we have Maccabee “Mac” for short, he is a pitch black scottish terrier, he is such a gentle soul and has just crept into our hearts and fitted into our family and routine as if he has always been there and only 3 months old…. Good Luck in your decision

  8. I am for the calm!

    We have a hamster and a budgie and its enough!

    David and Kiara put through arguments daily for us to get a dog but the thing is its not US that would get a dog its ME! and honestly I have 2 kids, a husband, a soon to be baby, a hamster, a budgie, a house and a shop to look after – a dog is just too much right now!

    BUT that pic you posted is dam cute!

    • reluctantmom

       /  May 5, 2011

      I agree, part of me also feels a dog might be too much (more) than I have on my plate right now ……


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