I have some exciting news to share with you guys...
After talking about it frequently for years, a couple of weeks ago we finally made the decision to welcome a puppy in to our family!
We put a deposit down for this little lady two weeks ago, and will be bringing her home at the beginning of March, when she's ten weeks old! I can't wait! I'm already a little in love with her and I've not even met her yet. I was going to wait until she was home with us before I shared the news, in case anything goes wrong, but I'm too excited to keep my mouth shut.
She's a pure-bred Tibetan terrier, which isn't actually a terrier breed at all, but more closely related to old English sheepdogs and shih-tzus. They're medium-sized shaggy-haired dogs that look like a cross between a lhaso apso and a bearded collie, and they're just gorgeous.
She was about five weeks old in these photos, but she's around seven weeks now so she'll probably look so different already. The photos were sent to us by the breeder when we got in touch to find out what puppies he had available. There were two girls unspoken for, and we fell in love with her straight away. I mean, look at that face- how could you not? She's such a cutie.
Waiting to bring her home is beginning to feel the way waiting for Christmas morning did as a kid, that mixture of excitement and torture because each second feels like a year and it can't get here quickly enough. We could bring her home at eight weeks, but the breeder offered to microchip her and vaccinate her again at ten weeks for very little, and financially, it made more sense to wait those two extra weeks. It's tough waiting, but at least we'll be able to take her out and about and start socialising her once she's settled in.
We're busy getting ready for her arrival; buying puppy stuff, reading up on care and training, and puppy-proofing the house. It's funny watching my parents prepare for her arrival together; you'd think they were expecting a new baby! I suppose in a way we are. It just has four legs and a tail. (Hopefully it'll act as a great substitute for grand kids for a while!)
None of us have ever had a pet dog before, so it will be a whole new experience and learning curve for all of us. I've had plenty of experience with all kinds of animals, and have spent a lot of time around my sister's German shepherds over the years, but I've never looked after a puppy before, so it's going to be a fun ride. Thankfully, we have the time to dedicate to it, and I'm sure we'll be just fine.
The only pets we had growing up were some goldfish (when I was about nine or ten), and I wasn't able to convince them to let me have any others until I was sixteen and studying and working in animal care. I wasn't allowed a cat or a dog, so I gradually accumulated a hamster, two rabbits, two guinea pigs, and a huge tropical fish tank with my own money. I still have fish, but the last of my fur babies died three years ago of old age, and as a huge animal lover, I've been finding it difficult without any critters around at home.
We've been talking about getting a dog for so long I never really thought it was going to happen. My Mum first suggested it three years ago after my last fur baby, the Honey Bunny died of old age. She wanted me to have some company at home, as well as something to aim for, and something that might encourage me to get outdoors more to build up my strength and get enough vitamin D. She knew I hated having no animals around at home (besides the fish, which isn't quite the same thing), but she didn't want to look after any small animals in the garden again when I couldn't. We've regularly talked about it, looked at rescue centres, and discussed different dog breeds. I was pretty sure we were going to go for a Westie or a Scottie dog until my parents spent the night in Poole last month, and got talking to a couple who were walking their Tibetan terriers. My parents were apparently smitten with them (the dogs, not the owners), and got the number for the breeder who turned out be less than an hour's drive from home. When they got home they contacted the breeder, and by the next morning we'd bought our puppy! And the rest, as they say, is history.
I can't believe I'm finally getting my first dog at age thirty! I'm so excited! I'm sure some of you will be thinking 'it's just a dog', but I love animals, and I've longed for this day pretty much all my life. I think she's going to make a positive difference to my life, and hopefully benefit my mental and physical health. I don't know if I'll be strong enough to walk her on the lead myself, but I'm hoping I'll be able to take her on gentle walks in the country every now and then, and work on building up my strength and pain tolerance. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens!
So, dog owners... where do I go for good, tasteful, high-quality puppy things like toys and collars? (Brand-wise). It's been so long since I worked in the pet shop that I can't remember the names of the high-end brands I liked, and if I'm honest, I wasn't really impressed with the selection at Pets At Home last week. I'd be grateful for any suggestions!