Meet My Princess!!!

Oh boy am I a lucky girl! Saturday just gone, the bf and I embarked on the most important mission of our lives and we went to collect our new baby. Lexi is a Staffie cross, 2 1/2 years old and just about the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!

She’s come to us from a broken home but thankfully has never been abused and she’s settling in a dream. Hour on hour her confidence grows and she’s really starting to show us her mischievous personality.
LexiThere I am cuddled up to her on the sofa, which is pretty much her favourite thing to do. I’ve never met such a cuddly dog, she even gives my parents’ dog, Rudi a run for his money!

So here she is! She’s not great at posing for photos but as and when she does, I’ll share more because she’s just SO cool!

That’s all I have to say, I just wanted to brag about the epic new addition to our family 🙂 x

 

What does it mean to “rescue” a dog?

For anyone who doesn’t know me that well, one thing I can’t get enough of is dogs! It all started way back approximately 15 years ago when my parents brought home Winnie, our gorgeous Old English Mastiff puppy. Suddenly my previous fears about dogs evaporated as this cute puppy grew into a giant, slobbering, clumsy oaf with the biggest heart you could imagine. I realised that big dogs really aren’t scary and that I’m happy to just rub that slobber into my jeans rather than freaking out and screaming about the slime that just landed on me. My world was changed.

Winnie being abused by a party hat!

Since then, my lovely Princess Winnie has passed on and my parents have a new pooch in their lives, Rudi the Miniature Schnauzer who has featured on this blog before. Rudi really is the dog’s doo-dahs, he is just so cool! He’s got this great personality which really brightens up everybody’s day and nobody, I mean nobody who meets him fails to fall in love with his cute, beardy grin.

The dude that is Rudi!

My problem is that I don’t live at home any more so dogs pop in and out of my life only briefly and I’m always pining for the waggy tail and chew toys that are missing from my world. I have quite a hectic lifestyle, so for me a potentially good option would be to adopt an older dog; one who is a bit calmer and happy to spend chunks of time on their own without ripping the house to shreds. I’ve looked into this a few times but haven’t yet seen quite the dog for me; a lot of rescue dogs need extra attention due to a traumatic past whereas I need one who is happy with people and dogs from the get-go. What I have done though is spoken to a few rescue centres; initially this was great but recently it’s started to worry me…

I won’t name names but the most recent rescue I contacted really don’t seem to care about the dog I enquired about and I can’t imagine they’d be much different about other dogs. I rang up to check how this particular dog would be if left alone for a few hours at a time and also to understand more about how she is with other dogs (getting on with Rudi is essential). Well, I was told that the dog is living in a kennel centre at the moment and the rescuer really doesn’t know how she’d be if left alone but I could always put her in a crate. I was also told that they think she is ok with other dogs but again, this hasn’t really been tested. So then I asked about the rehoming process and was told that I’d need to go and visit the dog and so long as I liked her, that was pretty much it.

Now you may be wondering what my problem is; well, my problem is this: that dog has been overused for breeding in the past and then dumped. She’s had a hard life. Now, although she has been “rescued”, it seems that the rescue centre are happy to palm her off on anyone who wants her. How do they know my house is suitable and that I have open space for her to go out? How do they know that she will fit my lifestyle? Why don’t they care about my motivations for getting a dog? What about experience? This dog is a bull breed, she could seriously harm another dog if left alone and she turned; when are they going to mention this? Essentially, anyone could pick her up, take her home, mistreat her and then dump her again because actually she wasn’t the right dog for them. Thankfully other rescue centres have been much more thorough and conduct home checks, etc. and then follow up with you about the dog afterwards to make sure everything is ok.

So I am angry and this is my rant; I appreciate that this dog has been rescued from being put down at the pound but I question the point of doing that if she is later to be used and abused again. Surely the point of rescuing a dog is to improve their life, not just move them around, so the rescue centres need to do their best to get to know the dogs and their potential new owners as best they can to ensure this is the case. That’s all, just had to get it out of my system and I’m hoping this little lady is still there when I can visit in 2 weekends’ time! x

The Empty Space You Never Knew Was There

This gloriously long bank holiday weekend just gone, the bf and I were once again dog sitting, however this time it was not my parents’ delectable Miniature Schnauzer, it was a friend’s Beagle. Meet Harry:

Harry - Such a Handsome Boy!

Now I have to admit that compared to the Schnauzer, Harry was a handful. He jumped all over my furniture, left muddy paw prints on my leather sofa and left fur EVERYWHERE! (The Schnauzer doesn’t malt at all!) That’s not even mentioning the walk we went on with said Schnauzer when Harry disappeared into the woods for a good 10 minutes – just long enough to make my dad and I panic that we had really lost him. I could also mention his vile bottom activity, vomiting, stealing other dogs’ toys, keeping us awake at night…but you get the picture!

However, he was so happy to see us every time we entered a room; he snuggled into me on the sofa and generally looked so adorably cute at all times that he had a really calming effect on me. The Schnauzer also has the same effect – and he’s a puppy so has that cute puppy innocence going for him as well.

Both dogs get away with murder and thoroughly mess up my life whilst they’re here but they’re so worth it. As soon as they go I feel sad enough to cry, like someone has stolen part of my core being. It really makes me wonder how I get by day to day without a dog to lavish my affection on and how people live without animals in their lives.

So there it is; the empty space I never notice until its filled. Until I have a lifestyle that lets me fill it, I’ll just keep on dog-sitting as and when people are happy to let me. If you’ve never had a dog, I seriously suggest you go out there and spend some time with one, they are just awesome! x

Learning to Appreciate the Simple Things

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but most of the people in the Western world seem to go about their lives in an almost perpetual state of misery. We have machines and gadgets galore to make our lives easier, most of us have more than enough money to live comfortably and yet we are unhappy. Take a trip to less developed parts of the world and you find people growing their own food and living in shacks who are far happier and healthier than we could even imagine being.

It was actually my parents’ dog who got me thinking about this. Whilst on a long walk with my dad and said dog, I couldn’t help but wonder how it is that the dog is so happy yet I am from the same family and spend most of my time feeling so unhappy. Then it hit me, it  really is about appreciating the simple things. The dog is happy because he is loved, fed, walked and gets lots of attention; he doesn’t care when his fur gets muddy as he splashes through a puddle, because it’s fun. He also doesn’t care whether my parents live in a cardboard box or a mansion, so long as they take him along for the ride. So why do I care?

I know a lot of it is about social conditioning but really, I’m an intelligent girl, I should be able to make my own decisions about what makes me happy! I’m not going to lie, new clothes and make-up do make me superficially happy and will continue to do so but I’m talking about what’s at the core. I don’t have to work any particular job just because I “should” and I don’t have to strive for an expensive car if all I want to do is travel the world. Essentially, I think that most of the Western world are unhappy because we have so much choice, we don’t know how to choose so we just do what we think other people expect us to do. What we need is to appreciate the simple things that keep us running day to day and start making decisions that make us happy to build up the layer above that.

Yes, I really am this cute and happy all the time!

 So here’s what I propose I do…I’m going to make a list, (my bf is happy all the time and lives by lists) and really work out which of the decisions I currently live by are making me happy and which are decisions I made “just because”. Then I’m going to work out what I can do to fix those in the latter category and spend the remainder of 2012 working towards making those changes. By the end of this year, I am to be one happy soul. I’ll let you know what I come up with and if you fancy joining me, I’d love to hear what you come up with 🙂 x