Well so far the answer is YES. I have had a few wobbles I won’t lie to you but overall I am proud of the way I am handling this situation and I am enjoying my new-found friend.
If you have been following my social media platforms you would have seen me over the past few months debating about getting a family dog. I really am not much of animal person and was always scared of dogs as a child but the rest of my family love them and the children have always wanted one. So it was time for me to put myself aside, forget my OCD and anxieties and do this for the rest of the family.
I am not a silly person and I didn’t go into the whole idea of owning a dog lightly I did lots of research spoke to many dog owners. I also borrowed a few dogs for the day to see if having a dog was something I could cope with. My home is spotless and everything has a place and the thought of a dog coming in and messing up my home and routine up was very daunting. Muddy foot prints, spit and saliva on my glass doors was really not something I wanted and I certainly didn’t want my house to smell. Not to mention the poo!
Back in October I arranged to borrow a few dogs, the borrowing was on separate days and surprisingly I coped very well. Both the dogs that I let into my home were very well-behaved and everything was still clean and in its place.
After these two borrowing days. I said to myself I can do this!
If anyone is feeling the way I felt then this really is a great exercise, make sure you offer to help out a friend with a dog for a few hours or a day and really test the water before you take the plunge.
Well this was easy for me Hetty literally just fell right into place with no real effort. A local lady who I know quite well announced that she had 5 Cockerpoos for sale so I just instantly reserved one, I didn’t need to search for a dog online or even really think about it, in my opinion Hetty seem to just come to me!… maybe Hetty really was meant to be part of my family. I had heard many horror stories about breeders and the way dogs are kept in dirty conditions so I was so really happy that I didn’t need to go through this process as this may of really put me off!
We visited Hetty back in November and we were the first family to see the puppy litter, Hetty looked up instantly and I knew she was the one. So so cute and when I picked her up she fell asleep in my arms and the breeder said this was a really good sign. surprisingly I was very relaxed. So again was this another sign that Hetty was meant to be?
So that was that deposit paid and on December the 18th she was came home.
So the big question is how am I coping and what I have been doing to still maintain order and cleanliness.
I am a very routined person and I put a routine into place with Hetty before she even came home. This book has been a great help Guide to raising a puppy I literally studied every single page of this Book and the kids all had a good read too so we were all following the same advice.
I then stocked up on all puppy essentials to ensure my home stayed clean. The Mikki puppy pads were one of the first items I purchased and I left one in every room and by all entrances. I also left one under her blanket in her cage. She very quickly worked out that doing her business on a pad was the right thing to do.
We were very lucky as Hetty was fully toilet trained within 9 days and we did this with half-hourly visits to the garden, every toilet was rewarded with a puppy treat. We have chosen natural, ethical, low-calorie treats for this exercise as with the endless wee’s she does we are keen for her to stay fit and healthy. These puppy treats are from Pooch and Mutt. Who also do some really delicious pet foods
There was one day were she had 20 accidents and I really did struggle. She did keep going back to the same place to do her business again even after an endless amount of scrubbing. I was then advised then I needed a particular cleaning product to take away the strong odour that puppies leave behind. My normal multi purpose sprays just wasn’t enough. It was time for a change so I opted for the Dooleys range who do a great pack of 4 minis which include products for odour control and disinfect. Switching to the correct type of cleaning product did seem to do the trick and she did stop going back to the same place. Whats a great result!
This has been a different story and we still haven’t mastered this. But with some great advise recently from my amazing instagram community its starting to come together. We had been waking up to a lump of poo every morning towards the side of her cage. Luckily my husband has been working from home so he has cleaned this up for me as I still can not pick up poo! Hetty’s last toilet has been around 10.30pm which we both felt was late enough but clearly it wasn’t as the poo was still there to greet us in the morning. We are both downstairs by 5.45 am and as much as I love to get early it was the Christmas break and a few less rushed mornings would have been a nice treat. We pushed her last toilet back and got up earlier and the poo was still there… I was losing the plot and the stress had really kicked in. I took to instagram last week and I received some great advice mostly in connection with her feeding.
Hetty’s last meal had been 6.30pm but I was told this was far too late for a puppy and I should be aiming to give her the last feed around 4pm.
We have now altered her feeding routine and so far so good. We have now had 3 dry morning in a row. I am feeling so much better and I just really hope this continues.
So a massive thank you to my wonder Instagram followers who really have been such a strong support.
My one my biggest issues with having a dog was..Will my house smell? I would be absolutely mortified if it did.
I have been asking everyone that comes to my home at the moment if they can smell dog and they all say NO! I did buy some of this baby fresh pet cologne after about a week of having her and its amazing, she now smells gorgeous all of the time just like a new-born baby. This cologne has made me feel so much better as it has taken away any smells that I kept thinking I could smell. I spray onto my hand rather than on Hetty and gently rub through her fur. I am also bathing her once a week in the utility sink using the Dooleys shampoo
We are now at the walking stage with Hetty and this is the part I love, I am a big walker and having a little companion is making me enjoy walking a whole lot more. The first few walks were very slow but she is a great little walker and has so much energy. After the walks she is so much more relaxed and will sit in her basket alone. Before we started waking she has so much energy and constantly need play time and attention and when you run a busy home there really is limited time for this. The walking is lovely, she is as proud as punch when she is out and about and I have brought her some really cute little pet outfits. We have also started with a training harness. Which is anti pull so it’s so much better for her and is really easy for her to wear. We also got her a little seat belt so we can take her out and about easily and this ensures she is perfectly safe.
Also DON’T FORGET your HAND GEL. for when out walking.
My home is still very clean and my cleaning routine has not been broken. When I want a deep clean Hetty goes into her cage to allow me to get on. I do not allow Hetty to go upstairs and she is only allowed in the lounge in the evenings when we are also in there. I have created a little space in my office for her so she can sit with me in the day and her crate is lovely and cosy with lots of blankets , When I go out I leave her in here so she feels nice and safe. The longest we have left her at the moment is 2 hours.
I have brough 4 baskets and endless amounts of blankets the basket she sleeps in is washed along with her blanket in the morning and a new set goes into her crate. I cover the sofa when she comes into the lounge and the rest of the time I encourage her to sit in her basket.
I have left paw wipes by the back door so as soon as she has done her business I pick her up and wipe her paws over with the wipes. I also have plenty of old towels at the ready for when we come in from our walks.
You can easily stay clean with a dog but you need to be organised.
At the moment she is being bathed once a week using the Dooleys shampoo and I have booked her first grooming session. for the 31st. I want her to get used to being groomed from an early age.
I would really recommend investing in a really good vacuum cleaner as you will find that you will vacuuming the floors a lot more than usual. I have reviewed quite a few over the past 6 months so read some of my reviews
Her toys are also being washed on a regular basis too, she loves watching her toys in the washing machine.
My journey with Hetty has been up and a little down but overall I am enjoying owning a dog. I hope this post has helped some of you with the decision of introducing a dog into the family. As we move forward I know that Hetty will encourage me to get out a lot more in the week on my own. Which will be a good step for me mentally.
This article by Mummy vs Work Blogger was a great help in my decision too. take a look here