I’m Mum’s first dog. And then George came along.
We came into her life under different circumstances.
Mum got me as a puppy. She has never had a dog before and in fact there was no room in her life for a dog. But things changed – and she thought bringing a puppy in her life might help resolve some issues. Obviously that was not the right reason to get a dog – you live and learn.
By the time she became a failed fosterer and George became part of our family, she was at a different stage in her life. I think I helped to open her heart and she loved BIG when it came to dogs.
But it wasn’t always like this. I know Mum struggled with me at the beginning. She often wish she had been more present with me when I was a pup – not just being with me but connecting with me. So when Belinda asked a question – What would you do differently if you have a puppy now that you didn’t do the first time around?
Well, that got Mum thinking …
May’s comment: If I had to do it all over again, I would …
Play more with Darcy.
I really didn’t know what I was doing and this was pre-Facebook and Dog Forums. I didn’t know anyone with a dog with whom I could speak to. I never had a dog growing up, and never really encountered dogs. In fact, I avoided them. Yes, I was overwhelmed. And because of that, I’ve missed her days of puppy-dom.
When speaking to someone while on the search for a dog-trainer before Darcy arrived, the person said in parting – “Enjoy the puppydom. They grow up very fast.”
Years later, I remember well what he had said and it is with regret when I think that I actually did miss her puppydom.
I was very strict with Darcy. I disciplined her. When she wouldn’t stop pulling on the leash, I would get so annoyed and embarrassed. I kept her behind a baby gate to stop her from destroying anything. But I can remember maybe three things she had chewed. Yes, she gutted every one of her toys, but that was fine. What was not fine was a small hole at the back of one my my Ugg boots – which defeated the whole purpose of wearing these warm boots. And another time she almost chewed the tongs of a slipper but not completely – so it could still be worn. And one time she took something from the bathroom that I had left out and tore it apart with much glee. So she was really by no means a naughty pup, but I was so into making her the “perfect dog” that I forgot to play. I suggested to my friend, Mairi not to play tug-o-war with her. Why, she had asked. It riled her up, and we don’t want a crazy dog. She didn’t heed what I said and continued playing with Darcy. And quietly, she said – “YOU need to play. That’s what puppies do. That’s what puppies make you do.” I heard what she said and took note. But I didn’t play.
Darcy is by nature mostly a well-behaved dog, quite subdued and serious.
Or is she? Did I make her that way?
When she is with me walking in the park, she knows I don’t want her walking into puddles. And I don’t want her rolling around on the grass. But I have given up having her walking to heel when in the park because she loves to run and she runs with joy. And when I see her running happily, being her free-spirited self or on the hunt for squirrels, I stop and remember – she is a dog. Let her do what she loves most when all the other times she does what I want her to do.
And even though she’s irritating when she decides to play tug-o-war with her leash these days, I appreciate that crazy side of her. Maybe even a little relieved to know that I have not completely squashed her zest for life.
So when I answered Belinda and told her I regret being such a disciplinarian, her answer – “But the way she is, is right for your lifestyle.”
That’s true, I suppose. With all the travels that we do together, and for her to be with me, she does need to be calm and she does need to be aware of what I need her to do.
Another regret? Or maybe – what would I have done differently?
Taken more photos of her when she was a puppy.
In my bewilderment, and eight years ago, the iPhone cameras weren’t that good and we had no Blog, Facebook nor Instagram on which to post pictures, I hardly took any. This was one of the few photos that I had taken.
She was super cute. We were constantly stopped on the streets. If I could turn back time …
I would stop being focused on myself and enjoy the delights of a puppy. I would have thousands more photos of her.
With George, he already had a personality and a life before we met. He was no longer a puppy.
He too, I have no puppy pictures of him. He came fully grown and with issues. LOL!
We went through a difficult time too – he didn’t know how to co-exist in our world.
But we had lots of photos of George!
What would you do differently?