What I wish I had known before getting Sandy..

When the Mr and I first moved in together, we made a rather impulsive decision to adopt a dog.  When I say impulsive I mean that we woke up one morning when we both had a day off and after breakfast decided that we should take a trip to the local dogs home, both saying just to have a look. This resulted in us falling in love straight away with a 5 year old German Shepard who we later named Sandy. Sandy had not really had the best of starts in life and was used as a breeding machine by her previous owners but not much else was known about her. We didn’t know what she was like with other animals, people, if she was house trained or what she was like with children. That didn’t stop us and after a mere two hours of leaving our house that day we were returning home with our new family member Sandy.

This was nearly 8 years ago and although we have given Sandy a great home to enjoy her retirement there are certain things that I wish we knew before getting a dog.

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Dogs shed, even the short haired ones, Sandy sheds an awful lot and it only seems to be getting worse as she gets older. As much as I love the old girl, she leaves a trail of dog hairs across me whenever she rubs against me or comes for a cuddle.

 

  • They smell no matter how much you bathe them, Sandy has a weekly bath but as soon as she dries off she can’t help but roll in puddles, fox poo, horse poo…practically anything to make her dirty and smelly again.
  • In Sandy’s old age she likes to be let outside numerous times, this wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t when we had decided to go to bed. Getting up every hour or so to let her do her business is like having a newborn baby again.
  • Even though we feed her a healthy diet she still cannot refuse the allure of bins, picking up rubbish is not what I want to do first thing in the morning.
  • We were lucky that Sandy turned out to be an obedient dog when we brought her home. We soon realised that this was only at home, as soon as we let her loose on the field and she spotted a rabbit, squirrel, fox or any other small animal she was off. We have tried taking Sandy to obedience schools, doggy training classes but we still have the same problem. She responds to all commands until she spots those little critters. It was apparent that as an owner you had to train a dog, they don’t just arrive pre-programmed.
  • They don’t clean up after themselves, doggy poo bags become a big part of your life.
  • They still require walking and exercise even when you are poorly
  • Not all dogs play fetch, some look at you like you are stupid
  • You soon learn that begging was only cute in the beginning and regret giving them your table scraps of meat.
  • They become giddy for no apparent reason, this can be when you are trying to get the baby off to sleep.
  • No matter how big they are, they can still be scared of a squeaky toy
  • They have no boundaries, if they want to follow you to the bathroom they will, if they want to sit on your sofa while you are out  or in bed they will, if you leave the bedroom door open they will take a snooze in your bed.
  • They love water and taking swims, sometimes when you tell them no they choose not to hear or sometimes it doesn’t register.

Despite the smell, the hair and the waking up at ungodly hours she’s our big girl and she brings us so much joy and I would not change her for the world.

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