Ever since I can remember I have loved dogs. No matter what size or breed I felt the need to pet and cuddle any that I came across. For years I swore I would be a vet when I was older ( until I realised how tough it was to get into).
At ten I was surprised with a puppy and soon after we rescued another pup. These dogs were family to me. I looked after them as best I could as a child and was heartbroken when my dogs eventually passed. I didn’t think I could go through that heartbreak again. I’d been very lucky with not losing people close to me at that stage so it was my early experience with death.
Over the years I would help out with other people’s pets but never committed to one. Unless you are a dog lover yourself you may feel that I was foolish to feel this way, but I genuinely felt that to get another dog was being disloyal to the previous two. However following the DSPCA on Facebook my mind slowly started changing. They had a picture of a dog with text saying basically that it’s unfair not to pass on the love you showed your pet to another. It got me thinking about adopting a dog again, even an older type as they were unlikely to be rescued.
I live in an apartment so my husband didn’t think it fair for us to get one. Other people had dogs but he said it would be cruel to be working all day and leave them couped up. He promised me that when we got a house we could get two dogs so that they wouldn’t be lonely and they’d have a back garden.
A year later my dreams of a house crumbled down when I discovered the debt. It took a couple of weeks to sink in and when it did I made the most selfish decision I had made in years. “I’m getting a dog, I don’t care what you say!!” is what he got told.
I had made my mind up when my dogs were alive that I would never purchase one. Too many were abandoned in need of a good home so I would only adopt a rescue. Also after minding a puppy for two weeks I realised I wanted an older dog as pups are very hard work and they destroy your stuff!
I set about looking on DSPCA and Dogstrust websites. I was informed by a friend that to rescue I would need to show them a house with a back garden to succeed in getting one. I’m not 100% sure if this is true, however I have never been taken up on my offers of fostering when they request help on their social media. My friends brother however was looking to regime his pet and was getting desperate as he didn’t want to contact the pound. She was a Cairn Terrier and looked very scrawny in the photo. I agreed to go over and see if we were suited but I didn’t commit for definite. When we met she was noisily barking but I could see she just wanted attention. I got told abou her, how she didn’t get on the furniture, how she was trained to not go toilet indoors and how she didn’t like the rain! I felt she suited my home and I agreed to take her a week later as I had other commitments and didn’t want her left alone when she would only be adjusting to her new home.
From the very first day we were a perfect fit. I took her to introduce her to my parents and they loved her straight away. They love dogs however after trying with puppies previously they realised they are too old to deal with dogs daily and it was unfair on them. Three years on and you rarely see me without my dog. She became family the moment I got her. My parents take her whilst I’m in work and like most “grandparents” they spoil her. This has lead to her being a bit heavier than when I first got her. I think it suits her though.
Izzie has come on many trips with me. We took her go a pet friendly hotel in Killarney before we split, she climbed Croagh Patrick and Sugar Loaf (twice) in the past year. Though I actually think I exhausted her too much on CP, so never doing that again. She’s visited the Cliffs of Moher and Giants Causeway too. I basically feel like a traitor if I was to do something outdoors without letting her accompany me.
My best friends dog recently passed and it brought home how lost I will be when it happens with Izzie. This dog has got me through so many lonely times, cheers me up when I’m down and makes me get out of bed when I’m hungover. She adores me and is so very loyal, even against her own benefit at times. I believe pets can help so much with mental health for all the points I’ve made just there.
For anyone considering getting a dog I would definitely think hard about things. It’s a big adjustment. I walk her 2/3 times a day but I have no kids so I can afford to. Food and vet bills can add up. Mainly though you feel so much guilt leaving them alone. Izzie was trained not to go the toilet indoors but I believe that can be tough. She was also used to being left alone everyday. It didn’t make it easier though. Obviously you have to go to work but I rarely do anything in the evenings which would leave her alone. I got her before I realised I would be her sole owner so I didn’t think I would be leaving her to go out dating etc. Also I’m lucky that I have my parents to take her when I go on trips away. I arrange them when I know they will be here themselves as I know they are her family too.
Take this all into account. If you still think you would like a dog I recommend adoption from a rescue centre or dog pound rather than to buy one. There are so many puppy farms out there mistreating dogs that you don’t know what is good and what isn’t. Plus the fact that there are many many good dogs in need of a loving home and a second chance.
Hopefully I haven’t bored you or come across like a crazy dog lady!!