Owning any pet is a learning curve but today I wanted to share with you some of the things I’ve learnt since becoming a dog owner. Last Friday was National Rescue Dog Day here in the UK. Whilst I have had Trixie since she was a puppy, I just wanted to mention that there are so many lovely rescue dogs in shelters around the country that want a loving and safe home. I’m sure in the future I will have another dog and I would definitely love to give one a second chance at happiness.
Meet My Dog Trixie
To give you a bit of a back story if you are new around here, Trixie is my nine year old Patterdale X Jack Russell. I’ve featured her a few times on my blog in the past. Earlier this week uploaded her birthday vlog to my YouTube Channel. It still feels strange saying that again but I would love for you to subscribe to that if you haven’t already.
I first went to visit Trixie when she was five weeks old. She was tiny and I fell in love with her. I paid my deposit there and then, knowing instantly she was the puppy for me. It felt like a huge responsibility to my nineteen year old self but I felt ready for it. I’d always wanted to have a dog, having not had one since I was two years old. That first visit to Pets At Home was so special. I loved choosing out all the adorable things for her.
Her Name Was Already Picked Out
I used to love sitting down and watching Call The Midwife each weekend. There is a character on there called Trixie and I just loved the name. It suited her well too.
I picked Trixie up earlier than usually recommended because her dog mum was struggling to feed them all. She was weaned off milk and put onto slop. I’m sorry but there’s no other word for it. It was made up of Pedigree dry puppy food, mixed with a bit of boiling water and then left to cool. It smelt awful but it was what Trixie needed at the time.
That first day as her mum, I gave her lots of cuddles, played with her and just tried to make her feel settled. She was mine and I couldn’t wait to go on lots of adventures with her.
Over the next few months and years, I would end up learning so much. Which is why I am writing this post all about things I’ve learnt since becoming a dog owner. So lets jump straight in with this post:
Puppy Teeth & Nails HURT!
I honestly didn’t realise just how painful they would be at the start but wow they can cause a lot of pain. Its like little needles that seem to leave big scratches. Thankfully this didn’t last too long. Trixie soon lost her puppy teeth and once she was able to go out for walks, her nails soon wore down a bit.
Just The Basics Will Do
You don’t need to buy everything that is recommended in the pet shops. Ok, so this one took me a while to realise and I could have saved myself a whole load of money but never mind. A dog only needs the basics to start with.
I practically bought the whole of Pets At Home puppy section at the beginning. A lot of it was barely ever used and I wish I’d done more research and thought about what I was buying. The things I found essential was a bed, bowls, food, training treats, a cage/crate, blankets, harness/lead and a couple of toys. In hindsight, if I’d stuck to that list, I’d have saved myself hundreds of pounds.
Be Prepared For A Debate
Sticking with things you will need, I learnt that some of the things you choose to buy can spark a huge debate, especially on social media. For example, cage/crate training can cause a huge debate.
Personally, I chose to have a cage for Trixie. I know that your standard cages can be deemed quite small but that certainly wasn’t the case in my situation. It was massive. As a puppy, Trixie looked lost in it but it had enough space for her bed, puppy mat and bowls too. I could even climb in and sit in it comfortably too. This became her safe space and she loved it. When I would cook, she would jump up and sit on the top, watching me.
Your Dog Will Naturally Play
This leads me nicely onto the next point. If you have long hair, especially in a ponytail, your dog will think its a toy and start tugging on it. Trixie used to love doing this to get my attention and it took quite a while for her to learn that it wasn’t good behaviour.
Their Funny Little Ways
Dogs have funny little ways that can have you both frustrated and laughing at the same time. One of Trixie’s is to grab a mouthful of dry food and bring it into whichever room I’m in, before spitting it out everywhere. She will then eat it piece by piece whilst keeping an eye on me. Obviously, it can make a bit of a mess which can easily be cleared up. However, the pain when you stand on one of them is out of this world. It’s like standing on a piece of lego!
Health Is Wealth
Dogs have health problems just like humans. Ok, so I knew this already however, I didn’t realise they could be so similar to humans. Trixie has epilepsy, which is triggered my heat. Thankfully she is on medication which controls the fits she has but it took a long time to get that dosage correct.
Trixie has also had hives a few times which is basically an allergic reaction. The first time she had it, it was so bad she needed an injection, however now the vet just recommends using hay fever tablets from the normal chemist. (Don’t take this as medical advice, always consult your vet first)
Dogs Secretly Love To Embarrass You
Your dog can behave impeccably when your around, can have the cutest looking face and still completely embarrass you in public. Trixie has definitely done that on so many occasions. On her first ever day out as a puppy, we took her to a local event. The car had to be parked in a field and of course Trixie found probably the only dry cowpat in the field. She then proceeded to carry it round with her the whole time.
Man’s Best Friend
When they say that a dog will be your best friend, its true. Trixie is my partner in crime. I love going on days out that I know she will enjoy, whether to the beach or countryside walks. The look on her face when I walk in the door after work melts my heart.
Dogs might not be able to talk, but Trixie will always find a way of showing you exactly what she wants. If I spend to long in the bath, she will come and find me. When I’m having a down day, she will be by my side. If Trixie senses a danger when we’re out on a walk, she will stand in front of me like my protector. All of these things and more make her my best friend.
I’ve Learnt About Myself Too
Giving Trixie a home has taught me so many things over the years. Whilst I’ve talked about a few of the things I’ve learnt since becoming a dog owner in this post, there is so many more things I could mention.
Obviously learning to take care of your new pet is a learning curve in itself. However, Trixie has taught me things about myself that I never knew. I’ve learnt to be more patient, the kind of patience that comes with standing around whilst she sniffs every blade of grass in the field. I’ve learnt that when you feel like your world is falling apart, a cuddle from Trixie will make me feel so much better.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the things I’ve learnt since becoming a dog owner. When I first got Trixie, I remember seeing a quote on Instagram, which really made me think about the kind of mum I wanted to be to Trixie. It made me understand the importance of ensuring she has a loving and fulfilled life. On days when I look out of the window and think its too much effort for that walkies, I remember that same quote and push myself to get us outside. I’ll leave you with that quote because I think it sums up pretty perfectly how amazing having a pet is.
A dog might be in just a small part of our lives, but to them we are their whole world. They love & trust us unconditionally & will make your life rich in ways you would have never thought possible.
If you enjoyed reading about Trixie and the things I’ve learnt since becoming a dog owner, why not give her Instagram account a follow!