Ten things I’ve learned since owning a dog

1.    Dogs take up a LOT of time. Dogs can get really bored so you need to interact with them much more than you do with cats – teaching and reinforcing tricks is good as it makes them tired. It is a lot easier to work from home if your dog is tired and content to sleep while you’re trying to work. To achieve this you first have to make your dog tired.

2.    Dogs that haven’t been properly socialised as puppies can be scared of the most unexpected things. Be patient with them while that baby in a pushchair/ man with a hat/ couple under an umbrella walk past.

3.    There are a lot of irresponsible dog owners out there who do not clear up after their dogs. This is a bit of a problem if you are a responsible dog owner of a dog with coprophagia. Willow has coprophagia. If you have a dog then clear up after them. End of story.

4.    There are also dog owners who bag up their dog’s leavings and then leave the bag hanging from a fence or a tree. That’s just disgusting. Come on, people, at least if you leave it on the ground it will eventually decompose… or get eaten. If you leave it in a bag hanging in a tree it will be there a LONG time. Unless it gets found by a particularly tall or agile forager with coprophagia, which is highly unlikely. Bagging your dog’s mess does not count as clearing it up unless you also dispose of the bag responsibly.
Dog face
5.    Dogs have a great sense of smell. They are especially good at finding things that other dogs have left behind. See number 3.

6.    There are a lot of irresponsible people who may or may not own dogs but who leave a LOT of rubbish around. Some of this rubbish smells interesting and/or edible to dogs or consists of dangerous items such as broken glass or torn drinks cans.

7.    Dogs are weird. They just are. They probably have good reasons for doing some of the things they do (e.g. ripping their bed to shreds) but to a human it’s just weird.

8.    It is quite possible to swing from thinking your dog is the best dog in the world, ever, to wondering why you ever adopted her within the space of about five minutes. This is usually dependent on what your dog is doing at the time.

9.    Dogs chew stuff. A lot. It’s better if they chew things you give them for that purpose rather than letting them decide for themselves what is chewable as, to a dog, EVERYTHING is chewable.

10.    Do not leave socks on the floor. Willow’s favourite thing to chew is socks.

Another of Phill’s great photos of Willow by the way!

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