Second only to my significant other, there is no doubt that I spend the most downtime with my beautiful pooch, Barkly. Whether it’s at the park, snuggling at home on the couch, or hanging at a local cafe, I have to say – it’s the best way to spend it!
I’m a massive fan of having a dog in your life – and for us child-free folks it’s just enough like having a baby, but without having quite SO much responsibility, and with quite a lot more freedom and flexibility.
It was to my total surprise that having a cute little puppy was much more like having a baby than I had bargained for. Don’t go into it blind – for better or worse, here’s where the early lives of puppies and babies collide.
It turns out that puppies aren’t all sleepy, fluffy cuteness rolling around in balls of wool. Yes, I did think about taking him back. The sleepless nights, the crying, the pee EVERYWHERE. I had to come straight home from work every night – it’s like my life changed overnight. This was, thankfully, very short-lived! The little guy loves us so unconditionally, that with the right amount of love and attention he is the perfect pooch who is quite happy to stay at home and nap while we’re out having our fun.
So, I get that nappies can get messy (you know, the poo explosions), but at least they have nappies. Not so with puppies – there’s the constant threat of the puppy squat, or worse, the poo hunch. There’s nothing as delightful as finding an ‘accident’ only because your sock is strangely wet after walking across the carpet. But oh, the sweet joy you feel when he pees in the right place, at the right time. Proud mumma right there.
The first word??
Call me crazy, but I swear Barkly can understand me. I feel like words are at the tip of his tongue, and so I talk to him. A lot. I even try to reason with him – and it’s amazing how often he makes the right decision when I clearly articulate the options. Sadly, my furbaby will (most likely) never talk back. Sigh. But come the teenaged years that might not be such a bad thing, right?!
Melting the hearts of strangers
Just like a gorgeous little bundle of human joy, a puppy is an amazing icebreaker. Our first outing with little fluffball Barkly was at the markets for our Sunday shop. I left Laker alone for 5 minutes only to return and find him surrounded by cooing women – he tried to tell me it was his natural charm, but I think we all know what was going on there. If you’re a single man out there that’s struggling to get noticed, trust me – puppy up (but only if you’re happy to be a committed and loving furparent, of course!).
Just like parents sit on the outskirts of the playground watching over their kids, as do we furparents. Our local dog park is an amazingly friendly place in an otherwise quite anonymous city. You can have a perfectly delightful conversation with someone you have absolutely nothing in common with, aside from the fact that your dogs chase each other around, or steal each others balls. There are even doggy play groups and Christmas parties – it’s just like school, just without the schedule and annoying parents’ committees.
The most gifted puppy around
You know that old joke that every parent thinks their child is the most gifted/smart/beautiful of all? Well, that’s what I think about my dog. I mean, just look at these pictures. ‘Nuff said.
Sap alert: Undying love
I’m sure the love towards a child is a bit like loving a puppy, but to the power of infinity – but I haven’t experienced that. All I can say is, I freakin love my dog, I don’t even mind picking up his poo, and that’s really saying something.
My dog really is one of my besties – we hang out together, we exercise together, we blob out together, and we go on adventures together. He’s a major part of my downtime and so I’ll be sharing tips for great things to do with your dog in your downtime (sadly dogs aren’t as accepted as babies in a lot of places, so we have to get creative!) – after all, they’re part of the family. Stay tuned!