Lifestyle

Pup update – What it’s actually like to have a rescue dog

Hello everyone! As you may or may not already know I became a dog owner at the end of last year, and by no means was it simple. If you haven’t read my original story on how I got my dog click here. But to sum up, I was away travelling/working in the Caribbean and was introduced to a woman called Charley who was friends with the people I was with out there. She owned 4 dogs at the time. Through some circumstances or another, she decided to decrease her dog pack size to just one loyal companion. 2 of the dogs already had other homes to go to, but one was still looking. This was Pea, and I decided to adopt her and ship her back to the UK with me. Yes. I know it sounds crazy. Anyway, 5 months have passed, and I thought it would be interesting to do a pup update post on how she is adapting (as it isn’t a regular rehoming situation) and just some general points of what I didn’t know/expect when I decided to adopt a rescue dog.

There were so many unknowns for me when all of this kicked off. I’ve never had a dog before, so knew nothing about feeding, exercise, health, interaction, sleep patterns and all the other things you don’t think about when getting a dog. But not only that, where do you go about shipping a dog half way across the world?! There was a lot on my plate, but it would have felt 100% worse for Pea, she would’ve been so confused at everything that was changing. It was pretty scary knowing what was at stake and whether she would like the change or even just settle properly.

From when she arrived mid December through to March, she has been bloody freezing. Imagine being used to 30 degree heat everyday, and suddenly it’s dropped to 5 degrees and you don’t understand why! She dealt with it very well, we just had to change her routine a little to what she was used to. When the weather started getting warmer, you could immediately see a change in her attitude, she was more bouncy, energetic and is probably feeling like she’s more at home.

The other big change for her is to have other friendly dogs out and about being walked. This was not a thing in the Caribbean. Britain is a dog loving nation, and she was not used to so many other dogs that didn’t want to fight with her for food. It has been a huge, and still is, a challenge for her and us as dog owners to get her used to other dogs, without her turning aggressive and defensive. As this would have been her only means of survival whenever she came in close contact with other dogs. She is getting so much better, and as she is still young we hope she will just keep learning and continuing to adapt to the pamper pooch lifestyle we have for our furry friends.

She has settled so well into our little home, and thinking back it was actually so risky to whether it was going to work at all, but I’m so glad I did it. She has become continuous entertainment for myself and my family. She is such a weird dog, she literally thinks she is human sometimes.

What it’s ACTUALLY like getting a dog – the things you don’t learn until you’ve done it

I took a lot into consideration when I made this decision, however they’re are things that you just have no idea about until they happen, or things you think should be simple to sort out, but actually…..you should know nothings simple! I don’t regret anything, but here are my extra top tips to look into and research if you are thinking about getting a dog.

Chewable items – It’s very much the same way of baby proofing your house, by moving things you don’t want them to put in their mouth…same thing. Pea proofing. I had never really seen Pea chew anything before when I knew her in the Caribbean so when she came over here I didn’t even think twice about her chewing anything being an issue. Oh boy was I wrong. Numerous times she has chewed, broken, ripped up the in soles of my shoes. Some just of very cheap nothing shoes, others expensive boots that I’ve had for years. Anything that can be chewed or even you think can’t be chewed (she broke our TV remote) – put out of reach!!

Vet appointments & insurance – This stuff seems so obvious. Of course you have to get pet insurance, duh! But when it comes to it, if you’ve never bought pet insurance before it is so hard to know what’s going to work your dog. How much is the average amount?What cover do you need? And on top of that, there is a bunch of extra things you need to be doing. Deworming. Fleaing. Nail clipping. Dental. Annual vaccinations. It can all be so overwhelming so just make sure to do your research, ask friends that have dogs, she was illness/diseases your dog could be prone to.

Commitment – This one just comes from the old saying ‘a dog isn’t just for christmas it’s for life’. I totally get it now, and understand why it’s so important to think about this properly before you commit. I’ve had to make a bunch of sacrifices to my everyday/ social life in order to put Pea’s needs first. It hasn’t been massive things but definitely extra things I’ve had to consider, things that wouldn’t have been an issue before. Who’s going to be home later? How long has she been on her own? Does she need another walk? She’ll probably need a wee by now? I need to go home to take her out. 

Rescue – This one only applies if you are thinking of getting a dog from the shelter. Rehoming a rescue dog is such a great idea, shelters are over full capacity at the moment and need people to adopt rescue dogs. However, as a biggest most lovely gesture as it is, it does come with it’s own baggage. When getting a rescue dog, you don’t know their history. You don’t know what has happened to them in the past that has made them the way they are. This can, for example, make training a lot harder when you don’t understand why your dog is behaving like it is. A puppy’s first months are so important, and without that piece of the puzzle, it’s hard to know the complete story. This doesn’t mean they’re bad dogs, it can just be more complicated than getting a pedigree or having them from a puppy. But, this clearly didn’t put me off getting Pea home but Pea definitely has her ‘qwerks’ let’s say, due to her past.

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this little catch up with my dog, and I hope, if you’re thinking about getting a dog, this has helped even just a little bit.

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