The Puppy Edit: Peach - One Year On

Can you believe it has been a year? Nearly a year has passed since I brought my little fluffy bundle home, and I can say it's been eventful.

Peach has been a major joy in my life from the moment she was born. The second I knew that there was a puppy waiting for me was easily the best day of my life - I must have cried for a solid week!

I have wanted a Border Terrier puppy for as long as I can remember (and not because a certain Scottish tennis player has two...), so when I found a reputable breeder who was KC approved (and I had done all my research) I went straight in and visited my puppy, and never looked back since.*

*Disclaimer: Yes I know a lot of people are "adopt don't shop" campaigners, and while I would adopt every dog that needs a home on the planet, I really wanted the breed of my choice. And while a lot of people would crucify me for this, it's my dog and really none of anyone's business. It's not fair to criticize me for how I brought my puppy into my life and buying my dog doesn't make me a lesser person than someone who saved theirs from a shelter, because trust me when I say this, I support my local shelter and will re-home a dog from there when I am ready for my 2nd dog. Okay? Okay.*

Since then we have been on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, events and emergency vet trips that have left me with a lot more grey hairs than I did this time last year. And you know what? I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

Peach has been the most lovable (in my opinion), snuggly and caring little pup that I could only have ever dreamed of having. We have been through so much in our 12 months, everything from dog attacks to tummy bugs and even a tumor in between. But the best thing about her is that she really does take on everything that life throws at her.

She loves the same things as many pups do, being off lead, chicken, chasing birds and most importantly, slippers. But as much as she is very typical of other pups, there still was no rulebook that followed my pup exactly. Which is why I have listed a few tips below that I found very helpful when times got a little stressful;

  • It really is not the be all and end all if your dog can't sing and dance by the time they are 5 months old. I really struggled with this as I put too much pressure on myself and Peach, thinking that she had to have all her tricks and be "Crufts" ready by the time she is barely toilet trained. Trust me, you are doing fine. And you will find that even if you barely have the basics (sit, down, paw etc) your pup will have a few tricks of their own that no other dog can do. And that is worth more than anything.
  • Take as many pictures as you can. Trust me on this one. You may feel like you have taken so many and that you couldn't possibly take anymore, but their little faces change so fast and before you know it, they already have little grey eyebrows. (Just my dog? Okay)
  • Research your breed and your breeder. Some breeds have long-term health conditions that you may not know about and could prove costly, not to mention a struggle for the dog. Make sure that your breeder is approved by your national breeding association (in my case KC) and ask ALL the questions that you can. 
  • Research your local vet. Make sure you are friendly with their terms and conditions and befriend them. A good vet is worth their weight in gold and a brilliant vet is worth life itself. I can say that my own vet is easily the best vet I have ever seen and will always have my back with every decision I make with my pup. She knows that I will ask a million questions about everything and she encourages it. Having a vet that makes snap decisions and isn't as attentive is not the way to go, even if they are cheaper. Your dog's health is imperative and this should reflect in the care your vet provides and in the insurance you decide do choose. 
  • Find a safe area for your dog to roam off lead. Being off lead for a pup is the difference between a happy dog and an insanely happy dog. But not at the cost of an accident happening. It's not worth your dog getting into trouble over something that is so trivial. Make sure that your dog has a good recall and will ALWAYS come back no matter what sheep they spot. And never ever let your dog off lead in public areas. Trust me, after having my own dog attacked by a rabid dog off lead, keeping your dog on a lead if you know it is prone to running away is the solution to avoiding major vet bills and possibly police action. It is an offence to let your dog off lead in a public area, so don't do it if you know your pup is a wild one. It's really not worth it. 
  • Most importantly, have fun! Revel in you and your pup going on adventures, go see the sights, try new terrains, go get muddy every once in a while. A sleepy dog is a happy dog. And a sleepy dog after a day's worth of running is the best sleep of all. Being your dog's best friend is the best gift a pup could ever wish for, and they will thank you tenfold. Plus, it's worth it just to see the look on their little face when they are zig-zagging through the trees.

Having a dog is a life-long commitment, and there are many things that you should consider before you decide to even look at having a pup. I am no expert on dogs (even though I watch a lot of The Supervet) and I will never claim to be, but I have learned a few things that I was never taught in my pre-puppy parenting lessons. (Not kidding...I had a few!). 

But once you get your pup, there is no greater feeling than snuggling your little fluffy friend and I promise you it will be worth every sleepless night, ruined pee stained carpets and the odd mangled slipper. 

And really, it's worth it just for pictures like these alone. Yeah. That's my dog. And I bloody love her. 

 Have all the fun and laughs and I hope to see your puppy pictures in the comments!

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