Over a month ago now, Luke’s mum went on holiday. She has a very cute yorkshire terrier called Poppy who we offered to look after for the week while she was away. Well, I pretty much offered as I miss having a dog around SO MUCH but being a student is way too impractical to bring up a dog.
It was a mixed week and made me realise how much work goes into keeping a dog, especially in a flat. Oh and did I mention she was also in heat? The time where female dogs essentially get a period and want to hump every dog in sight.
The first couple of days went well as she mainly spent the time sleeping.
Once she had discovered the balcony however, she perked up a bit. By perked up, I mean started having barking contests with the dog from the flat next door and any dog that happened to be on a walk outside.
We went on a few long walks, but didn’t manage to get to all of the parks I had wanted as the weather was terrible. She isn’t used to walking in the rain much so it was tricky.
We did, however, make it up Grangemoor Park to investigate the weird blunt piece of art that was made to represent the joining of different communities in the Grangetown area (metal chain links, get it?). Apparently this whole park was built on an abandoned rubbish tip so that’s always a nice thought.
On one of these walks, I noticed these weird adapted gates that I can only assume has the purpose of keeping out obese people? What other use do they have exactly?
After these long walks (she’s a small dog, 30 minutes is long) she went right to sleep on my lap multiple times…
Even when I sat at my desk to do some work, she couldn’t be left alone for more than 20 minutes, which lead to her snuggling up in the side of my hoodie.
Our issues however were in potty training. She’s so used to being let out into a garden that she never got used to our balcony/pee mat routine. This lead to quite a few angry mornings of scrubbing carpets after accidents.
I have to admit though that my stress levels throughout this week hit the lowest they’ve been in years. Having a dog is just one of those things that i’ve always missed from my childhood, they’re such lovely animals despite their potty training issues.
Rescuing a dog has always been a future aim of mine too. I would love to turn a dog’s life around for the better. The only issue is I have an innate fear of certain dogs from an incident when I was 10. A rottweiler who was brought up in social isolation attacked me when I waved to their owner on a walk. I’m lucky that a catalogue distributor was nearby and stepped in to help as I was bleeding everywhere. He used one of the tea towels he was selling to bandage me up, such a lovely guy. Unfortunately, ever since this i’ve been petrified of rottweilers and generally large dogs. In my head, any dog that can fit it’s mouth around my arm/leg/head is dangerous. I know that “it’s all down to the owner and upbringing blah blah blah” but that doesn’t take away the memories and associations I have about big dogs.
I understand that the only way to overcome this is to face such dogs but it’s difficult when every time I try I freeze up and cry. I have literally broke down in a park before because a sheep dog came bounding up to me with a stick wanting to play catch. I think the owners were as traumatised as me by my reaction.
I have a feeling we’ll get a small dog in the next few years when we’re settled into our own careers of some sort and then maybe move onto a larger/rescue dog afterwards. At the end of the day, having a large or rescue dog in a flat without any space to run about isn’t very fair. A pug, for instance, will cope with our lifestyle moreso though.
Until then I can only hope that more people with dogs go on holiday. That or maybe i’ll sign up to one of those dog sitting websites. Either way I loved spending the week with this bundle of joy.