Getting a Dog - One year on.
It was 54 weeks yesterday that our dog arrived on our doorstep at 8 o’clock in the morning. He was nine weeks old and ready to chew everything and everyone.
Getting a dog hadn’t been a snap decision that we had made over night but had taken us several years before we were finally ready to make such a big commitment. Over these years we had thought about what breed we wanted and what would suit our lifestyle. I’d grown up with a Standard Poodle so was keen to have a dog that didn’t shed hair. We also needed a dog that would like being outdoors as this is where we spend most of our time. In the end we decided on a Perro de Agua, or Spanish Water Dog, a hardy breed found all over our adopted home of Spain that is half dog and half sheep, a curly haired water lover with webbed feet that has enough energy for any mountain.
We’d visited the breeders, David and Debbie, who own Jesselliots Perro de Agua, several months before in Andalucía in southern Spain and were certain these were the people to make our dream come true, so after what seemed like an eternity, there was a knock on the door and our puppy was delivered.
After one year has it been worth it?
Totally. Our lives have changed for the better and Bruce is now a part of the family. That is not to say that being a dog owner is not hard work, especially with a high energy breed like ours. We’re often stopped in the park by other Perro de Agua owners who assure us that they “do calm down after about 18 months”. There is also the constant battle between Bruce’s desire to be as dirty and smelly as possible and out desire to live in a clean house. We feel incredibly lucky that we a very sociable dog that is well behaved, well ..most of the time, has never caused any damage to our house and happens to like cuddles daily, we’re fully aware that it might not have turned out like this.
So what’s the secret? I’m still not certain. That is the truthful answer. Now we are certainly not Dog Trainers in any way so as with any new dog owners, we got the books, watched the videos and asked questions on the blogs but we always seemed to get contradictory answers. Youtube is a minefield of telling you which way to do it, just as long as it’s the opposite of the last video. The biggest thing we’ve found is exercise. Walking the dog is often referred to as Operation Exhaust Dog, this keeps him from getting bored and gives him lots of nice things to smell. We also play in the house, whether with toys or by training him which also seems to keep his grey matter going.
Thinking of getting a dog? Choose a breed that suits you and your lifestyle, visit the breeders, spend some time with the dog and more importantly have fun.
© 2012 hewzay