Me and Tom have been toying with the idea of getting a puppy for a long while now. We put it off because if I was going to be a dog-mum, I wanted to be the best dog-mum and I wasn't sure if I would be. I think the reason I wasn't sure was because of what happened to the dog I had growing up. When I was younger, my mother bought a chocolate Labrador puppy and we called her Macie.
As Macie grew up we knew something wasn't quite right with her health-wise as she always stayed so slim and didn't put on weight even though she ate so much. Soon she was looking pretty skinny but the vets said she was just on the cusp of still being a healthy weight. Then she started biting and itching herself a lot despite not having fleas. She chewed at her own skin so much and it was turning scabby and she got an infection under her chin.
We spent hundreds at the vets trying to figure out what's wrong and in the end the vet said she had a mild allergy to dust mites, but then she was highly allergic to what her body produced to fight the allergy - so she was basically allergic to herself. We tried bathing her and steroids and things got a little more comfortable for her but not enough. Then she started getting lumps on her belly, the vet said they weren't cancerous at the time. Anyway, after lots of money and time spent on trying to make Macie better, my mum decided she couldn't look after her any more. (I am one of five and my two youngest siblings were still so young at the time.)
As Macie was a pedigree, a Labrador rescue centre took her in and fostered her. They sent us a photo after a while and said she was looking much better after more treatment. They had gone ahead and removed the lumps which did turn out to be tumours. All in all, our family did the right thing. I was at Uni at the time and couldn't take her in and Macie deserved to be with people who could spend the time and money on her.
So you can see why I would be hesitant on getting a new puppy. I want to be in a place where I know I will never have to rehome a dog ever again - dogs are a lifetime commitment and my family shouldn't have gotten one if they couldn't keep to that. My heart goes out to all the abandoned dogs in the rescue homes which is one of the reasons I knew if I were to get a dog, it would be a rescue dog. The other reason is that, as I'm older and the light has been shone on dog breeding more and more over the past years, I've questioned Macie's origins and think that maybe we bought her from some well disguised puppy farmers which could be why she ended up with such bad health issues.
So we weren't 100% set on getting a puppy. Yet sometimes life throws you curve balls. I was talking about puppies with my friend on facebook chat when I got a message off Tom who said that one of his clients had a puppy who was found abandoned on the street. His client had taken the puppy to the vets and he was in very good health and they guessed was around 8 weeks old. We met the little man and I just knew that I had to have him or nobody else would and he would be off to the shelter. At only 8 weeks old and unvaccinated, he would pick up all sorts of things from the shelter and he wouldn't be off to the best start in life after already being abandoned so young!
We didn't "pounce" on getting a puppy, it's something we've thought long and hard about, but when we saw this little man in need, we couldn't say no. The world had bought him to us after all ;) I'm sure my over-cautiousness can only mean that I care so much about being a good dog-mum which can't be a bad thing! Little Ronnie isn't always the easiest pup, he gets pretty hyper and hasn't got the hang of not biting me yet! But he's on his way. He's a clever little thing and is already getting the hang of sit, paw, lie down and fetch. Potty training is tiring but day by day Ronnie is slowly getting better.
Puppies require a lot of time and patience - especially this live wire! At the moment he sleeps in the spare room because there isn't much in there so he can't get in too much trouble. I put him up there during the day for a few hours so he doesn't get separation anxiety. He's actually so good at being alone and doesn't cry at night either which can be a big problem for some dogs. He just wakes me up early playing with his toys. We're thinking of crate training him which I know he's not going to be a fan of but I'm going to start very slowly, hopefully this will help with the potty training business too!
So yes, Ronnie is 100% most likely the reason I've not blogged since we got him a week ago. Also I can't really wear any nice clothes at the moment, the other day I wore my new tshirt and now it has a hole in it. Oh the joys! He is definitely worth it though and I can't wait to spend the next 15 or so years with him! I went out the other night to the pub and I think I am the one with separation anxiety from him as I couldn't wait to get back to see him :D