We signed up for a puppy, but had no idea how baby like they are, and how much time it really takes to invest into bringing them up to be a well behaved dog.
I don't want to sound silly, as if I didn't expect there to be a few hiccups on the way, but my dear god we've had our few hiccups!
It's awfully unsettling when you realise there is something wrong with your puppy, and they have no way of telling you what's making them poorly. In our case the puppy will cry in the night, two or three times, much like a baby will. There's the first similarity.
You feel like a fool for calling the vets, once or twice a week, for advice or to book an appointment, but then find something happens so you have to take him to the out of hours vets (£££) when you were just planning to go to your weekly pub visit. Babies are spontaneous and not always in a good way, as so are puppies, similarity number two.
Similarity number three is when it comes to spending time at friends houses. The puppy is made to feel welcome, except you can't help but never relax as you will always worry and hope they treat the home with respect, and not let new smells and objects get the better of them. Just like a toddler walking around in a new environment, touching and wanting to feel everything, the puppy is exactly the same.
It's difficult to control puppies in new environments, you don't know how safe they are, what they are allowed to do and if they know how to correctly behave.
More often than not they can get it wrong, but this is the number one thing which is guiding us to bringing him up.
We have these golden few months to make sure he experiences so much, meet so many and learn all he can so he can grow up to be a well natured dog. No pressure! Raising him and putting all our puppy class training into action, we are expecting quite a lot from him, but I can see the results slowly emerging, which makes up for the lack of things we haven't been able to do since before march, like going shopping together or having lunch out..!
Once weary about other dogs and other people, especially children, he shows no fear, once interested in grabbing food at his eye level, he's learning to leave it alone. Once running where he chooses, he's learning to look to us for direction. Once crying when we left the room, he's now happy with alone time and settles in his bed.
I couldn't of quite imagined just how much time it takes to invest in a dog. Of course you don't have to spend as much time doing the things we do, but we both believe it is vital; we owe it to his working breed, we are responsible for him and his behaviour with friends, family and strangers. We dreamt of a dog like him all our lives, we owe it to ourselves to make sure he lives the happiest life, and to be a 'good dog'.
The best thing about Fearnley is that he makes everything worth it. Including all the sleepless nights, lack of pennies, endless vet visits.. He is part of our family. This is similarity number four, which is our favourite.