Thinking of buying a puppy?

Take this test first!

Best taken in the autumn or mid winter.

1. Buy a lead and tie it to a big stone, walk around dragging the stone behind you.
2. Get up at 5am, go out in the pouring rain and walk up and down a muddy path, repeating good girl/boy, wee wees…poo poos, quickly please
3. Stuff your pockets with plastic bags and pick up all the poo you can find, obviously not your dogs as you have not bought it yet
4. Start wearing your shoes indoors, especially during muddy times
5. Collect leaves off the ground and spread them on the floor
6. Carry sticks and branches indoors and chop them up on your carpet
7. Pour cold applejuice on the rug and floor….walk barefooted over it in the dark
8. Drop some chocolate pudding on your carpet in the morning and then try to clean it in the evening
9. Wear socks to which you have made holes using a blender
10. Jump out of your favourite chair just before the movie ends and run to open back door
11. Cover all your best clothes with dog hair, dark clothes with blond hairs and light clothes with dark hairs
12. Tip all just ironed clothes on the floor
13. Make little pin holes in all your funiture, especially chair and table legs
14. When doing dishes, splash water all over the place and don’t wipe it.
15. Spread toilet paper all over the house when you leave the house and tidy up when you get back home
16. Forget any impulse holidays and/or breaks
17. Always go home straight after work or school
18. Go walkies no matter what the weather, and inspect every dirty paper, chewing gum and dead fly you might find
19. Wake up at 3am. Place a correct size bag of flour on top of yourself and try to sleep, whilst wiping your face with a dishcloth, which you have left next your bed in a bowl last week.

Repeat everyday over 6 months and if you still think getting puppy sounds like a good idea, congratulations, you might be ready to get your puppy.

(All joking aside, it goes without saying that a puppy is a huge responsibility and not one to be taken lightly and don’t forget – adopt, don’t shop!)

Dogs and fireworks

It’s the same every year and you can almost predict what people’s responses to fireworks will be.  There are two camps…for ease let’s call them ‘Them and Us’.

The ‘Thems’ believe that you choose to have a dog (or cat or any other animal that could potentially be spooked by fireworks) and that you should just ‘get on with it’.  They believe that anyone who is concerned for their pet should just go to the vet and get something for it or go into the bathroom and turn the shower and the radio on.  They think that you are just a killjoy who never had a childhood and should get a life, that the way to deal with a dog who is spooked by fireworks is to make it aware that it ‘has to learn’ because it’s only one night a year.

The ‘Us’ camp cannot get ‘Them’ to understand that it’s not so easy to calm a panicking dog;  that you cannot just expect it to learn that there’s nothing to be afraid of and that they’re safe from the unseen and incredibly loud thing that is all around them.  For some reason the ‘Thems’ can’t seem to grasp that, despite their protestations, it’s not just one night a year.  This year alone, because Bonfire Night was on a Sunday, we’ve had people celebrating on Friday night, Saturday night AND Sunday night not counting the run up to the weekend and the days following when there will still be fireworks left.  Then there’s New Year, Chinese New Year, Diwali…you get the idea but the ‘Thems’ don’t.  Many calming remedies have to be built up over a number of days but there’s always that one sneaky firework that refuses to be silenced!

Would they be as vile in their comments f their child was afraid of the fireworks?  If they had been a victim of a firework injury?  I know when I was growing up, I was terrified that a rocket would alter its trajectory or that someone would put a firework in my pocket. 

There is no quick fix, no easy answer, but personally I would like to see a ban on public sales and only licensed displays, or even quiet fireworks…after all, is it the sound or the spectacle? 

We aren’t killjoys.  We like to have a good time as much as the next person, but we’re also heartbroken for our terrified pets.