Discovering that today is a National Day to celebrate our furry friends caused me to drag myself out of my blogging slump.
I’ve been a dog owner since February 2016, which was a surprising development for someone who had previously considered themselves to be more of a cat person.
I’ve since discovered that dog’s are packages of absolutely disgusting behaviours, wrapped up in deceptively and irresistibly cute wrapping paper.
My dog is a long-haired mini dachshund, and in the 13-months that I’ve owned her, I’ve learned the following:
- Dogs can and will eat anything they find. They’re like sharks in that they’d prefer to give something an exploratory nibble rather than risk missing out on something edible.
- There’s no easy way to clean poo out of the long hair surrounding a puppy butt, therefore you will be giving someone a bath at 3am after a pre-dawn poop goes all sorts of wrong.
- Some dogs are cuddle monsters, some are not. Thankfully, my furry jellybean is an absolute glutton for love and ends every day curled up on my lap, snoring and farting away happily in her sleep.
- Mini dachshunds are diggers: there’s no way of escaping it or suppressing it, it’s in their DNA, therefore your garden will start to resemble an explosives testing zone.
- Mini dachshunds are, like all dachshunds, hunters and prone to chasing after anything that moves. The lizards in my garden now tell their children stories of the rampaging furry monster that took Daddy away.
- Some dogs eat poo, either their own or the chocolate pudding gifts of others. Thankfully my puppy is an aficionado of other animal’s poop and not her own, which makes it easier to control as we don’t have many random animals wandering through our property.
- Dogs go absolutely crazy for stick and ball games. Getting them to chase is it easy, but convincing them to drop it/give it up is the hard part. I always keep a 2nd item handy with which to bribe my dog into dropping her prize.
- Dogs love to lick their humans, possibly less for affection and more to check on their temperature and health. They don’t care what they’ve just eaten or what unspeakable body parts they’ve just licked, your well-being is their primary concern and they insist on doing their health check at any time of day or night.
- Long haired dachshunds are incredibly sweet-natured, possibly as a result of the intermingled Spaniel blood that created the long-haired flavour of dachshund. They seem completely uninterested in doggy politics, and will join in any game of tug-of-war or chase simply for fun and not for any House of Cards sort of skullduggery.
- Dachshunds are incredibly stubborn. So much so that since learning value of putting my puppy on a leash during her 3am garden piddle visits (to prevent her disappearing into the darkness to chase the nightlife for hours at a time), despite desperately needing to tinkle (or so she would have me believe) she will squarely sit her butt down and pointedly ignore me in disgust at her nighttime jaunt being restrained.
- Despite being little stumpy gnomes, mini dachshunds can really jump, showing an amazing ability to vault over obstacles and up onto furniture, things that were previously believed to be out of their reach.
- They like to be super comfortable, so much so that at bedtime my puppy will climb up onto my pillow and plop her butt down on my head and commandeer my pillow.
- For such a tiny dog, they can generate some outstandingly powerful farts. I mean, this is an animal that is willing to eat absolutely anything, so there’s no guessing what foul concoction she’s spent all day brewing up in her tummy laboratory.
- Although they’re supposed to be good with children, my puppy can’t seem to figure out what these mini humanoids are, treating them with a mix of cuddle-longing and apprehension.
- They are suckers for treats and food, which means you need to control their portions to avoid getting a tubby little furball.
My life is all the better since adding a dog to it as it’s taught me a lot about myself and how well I can ‘adult’, now being responsible for nurturing the life of another. The unconditional love and affection I get in return more than makes up for the stolen socks, 3am baths, vet expenses, nibbled furniture and poop riddled garden.
So in honour of National Puppy Day, this is my tribute to the little poopacabra that I can’t imagine being without.