Even I did, about a year ago… I wanted a pup so badly that I had to cry, beg and literally throw a tantrum before I was allowed one. It all began when I visited a friend’s place. She had two fully grown male labradors named Kane and Dylan. Kane was the lean, agile & easily excitable one who lived to play and bark non-stop whereas Dylan was the fat, lazy one who ate all his food without a pause and aimed at polishing off Kane’s leftovers, of which there was always plenty.
So I contacted a breeder and after a week, I was the proud owner of a two and half month fat, yellow female labrador puppy who was christened Winkie Poo. Winkie gets her name after the female house elf in the Harry Potter series.
Contrary to all the rules to be considered before buying a puppy, I did absolutely no research whatsoever before buying one. I didnt even know which and all breeds were supposedly good for what type of lifestyle. All I knew then was that I wanted another Kane or Dylan – period. Active or lazy… I didnt really care.
I also didnt have any idea that I would actually have to feed this pup, clean up her mess in the house and take her outdoors on a regular basis. Now its all hunky dory when you have people to help you with all that but when you’re a single mom to your pup, like moi, without the luxury of anyone helping out, you pretty much have to get down and do everything yourself, including picking doggy doo from the floor and disposing it outside. Every single damn time. Yuck was an understatement for a long time…
Trainers and dog walkers were not accessible to me where I live and I suck at training idiot pups. So by now, my dog is a disobedient imbecile who wont respond to any commands. She also refused to be toilet trained no matter how hard I tried to break that habit. For a long, long time. I seriously am not exaggerating when I say that my living room used to smell like a public toilet and was ashamed to let anyone enter my house.
Winkie never slept in her own bed while growing up. She used to sleep at the foot of my bed which I was okay with in the beginning… Then slowly, as the months went by, the small lump at my feet started growing heavier and heavier till I couldnt even move in my own bed at night. Thats when I started kicking her off the bed. Although she was adamant not to accept this new sleeping arrangement, several nights of kicking did the trick and now Winkie’s made the floor next to my bed her sleeping area. Whew!
I’ve spent endless cash on her vaccinations, de-wormings, food, toys, leashes that she bit her way through growing up, chains that she broke due to her sheer strength and so on. I love giving her a nice, juicy bone that she spends hours gnawing happily; which also means that whether there is meat for people in the house or not, Winkie gets meat all the time.
Finally, Winkie gave a whole new meaning to the words “Animal Loving” when she was teething. Her way of showing affection for me when I returned home in the evening was trying to sever my hand away from my body. She thought I was a chew toy and that she could dig her razor sharp fangs as and when she pleased. My arms used to be bruised with angry red slashes most of the time. Anyone would have thought I was being beaten up in my own home!
And now for the good news. Winkie turns one year old this 22nd. She’s now a sweet dog who doesnt strain against the leash and huff & puff when I take her for walks anymore. She’s also stopped lunging at any stray dog that crosses our path during the morning walks. She’s been toilet trained finally and her Animal Loving has gone pffttt. When I think back on what a savage little beast she used to be, I wonder if she’s the same dog…
What I’ve learnt from my stint as a rookie pet owner is that – while a pup may be cute and cuddy and sooooo sweet, she is also a big responsibility that you need to step upto and do your best. I’ve seen many people give away their grown dogs simply because they cant take care of them anymore. Why take one in the first place? Would they do the same to their own child?
I love my dog. She’s the apple of my eye and the best thing thats happened to me. I guess, in the end the question is, if and when you buy a pup, will you be the best thing thats ever happened to them.