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

Lifestyle

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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My Top SAVING Tips

Lifestyle

Hey guys, I’ve really wanted to do a post like this for a long time! I think saving money can be such a hard thing it do and get into the routine of doing, and if you’re any kind of shopaholic like me then it’s even HARDER. I’ve put together my best tips, for what I do when I’m trying to save money.

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Free Activities

This is the simplest and easiest thing to do if you’re trying to save money. Like most people it is always nice to spend money on doing things, whether that’s going out for meals, shopping or going places! If I’m trying to save money what I try to do is spend as little as possible without sacrificing any enjoyment. For example, I love going to coffee shops, having a coffee and maybe a small snack, then I get my laptop out and do some blogging stuff, or if you’re a student this is a great way to study in a different environment. This for me can be an afternoon on a Sunday and all I’ve spent is £6. Done. I also try fill my time with stuff around the house, if I feel myself wanting to go shopping, I try and keep myself busy! Paint my nails, tidy, organise, get friends over for a cuppa. Easy, simple things that cost no money and are way more productive than shopping!!

Voucher Apps & Loyalty Cards

My next tip is all about saving in particular areas. I find voucher apps are so helpful! There are so many helpful apps out there that give you so many good offers on meals, activities and even weekends away. I’ve been loving using groupon, wowcher and voucher codes for finding offers on afternoon tea and meals. Keeping on the same subject, loyalty cards are a must for me!! They aren’t an immediate way off saving but I always find it such a good perk once you’ve filled a card and you get your freebie. It doesn’t hurt to be collecting points or stamps on anything you do purchase, as you know it will all add up eventually.

Make a list

This tip is all about organisation. I don’t know about anyone else but quite a lot of the time I find myself buying things that is just an utter waste of money! I like to shop and collect things which isn’t my issue, I’m talking about those times where you’re just on a spree of spending on pointless things. It has to stop. This can be made even worse if I know I have an expensive time coming up so this tip is great for helping you organise your money. I love making lists anyway, but this one is a life saver, if you categories your spending into priorities and essentials compared to not necessary. For example my priority spending consists off toiletries, birthday presents, bills and pet stuff etc. Then on the other hand I’ve got everything else that I want to spend money such as : makeup, bags, shoes, clothes, dining out, takeaways and the pub!! Obviously I’m not saying I don’t spend anything on this stuff, because that’s just not true but what I try to do is spread out any spending so I’m spending in lump sums. But by making a list I know what I HAVE to budget for.

Monzo

This one is a brand new tip for me as I’ve just discovered it courtesy of my cousin and her boyfriend telling me to get it. Monzo is a digital mobile-only bank. The basis is a prepaid debit card. You can use it like a regular debit card, but it’s got so many extra features on it that make it so great for saving! There are so many budgeting tools that help you really keep track of your spending. You get instant notifications every time you use the card, you can set targets for monthly spending and get extra notifications if you’re spending too quickly.  Also when you go abroad there any no charges for using the card and exchange fees (an extra perk if you love travel like me!). If you haven’t heard off it you should definitely check it out! Free to sign up, and I for one am completely sold on it, it’s really helping me organise my money better.

That’s all my top tips for saving money, whether it’s cutting down altogether, spreading out your spending or just organising your money better, I think it’s so important to know where you’re at.

Thanks so much for reading guys x

 

 

How I get MOTIVATED

Lifestyle

Hello everyone, I thought as January is over I would do a post about motivation, as it can be one of the main things people struggle with at the beginning of the year, I know I did. So here are my tips on how I got back on track after a break, whether that’s back to work, the gym or just getting back into a routine.

Get motivated, stay motivated

Prepare yourself

This one is so important for before you even start to get back into a routine. You want to feel prepared. It kind of ties in with being organised but more importantly it’s about slowly doing parts of your regular routine before you even officially get back to it,  it’s a great way to minimise the shock. For example the week before you go back to work, start setting your alarm the time you would set it for work, so it isn’t a massive shock when you have to get up and go the following week. By minimising the shock you’ll feel more motivated as you won’t feel out of your depth and out of sync.

Write a list

One of the main reasons I usually feel demotivated is because I feel unorganised. So one of the first things I do is write a list of everything I need to do, need to buy, plan my day that kind of stuff. It always makes me feel so much better. People can normally feel demotivated because they may feel like they’ve lost control of an aspect of their life, so buy writing a list, you regain control and feel empowered by knowing what you need to do.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

This one is an emotional tip, it’s so important not to be to hard on yourself. It can be so easy to feel like you should be doing better and maybe that you’ve fallen behind. Whether that’s at work, the gym or at home. For example: going back to the gym after a break can feel like a step back as you feel unfit and find it harder to stick to your regular gym routine. For me, when I was away I didn’t go to the gym for 4 months, so when I returned I was so down hearted that I wasn’t as fit as I was before, but I just had to tell myself that I can get it back. It’s not the end of the world.  So take it easy and enjoy what you’re doing and don’t worry about major progress instantly. It’ll happen!

Treat Yourself

This one is the best tip. I feel so much more motivated if I treat myself. If you’ve had a small victory in your day, or just feel like you deserve it- TREAT YOURSELF. Eat some chocolate, buy some new gym gear, go out with your friends. We can get so stuck down in everyday life, feeling like you’re failing or not going where you want to go. Forget it- just do something you want to do and don’t stress about it. It’s about the little steps, so even if you feel like you’ve only achieved something small today- celebrate it!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you found this helpful!! Bring on February and the rest of the year- let’s make it a productive and a motivated 2018!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet my new dog!

Lifestyle

This is such a crazy story! Here’s a little background to why this is such an unforeseen story. I have loved dogs…not even loved…been obsessed with dogs since I can remember! I always, always wanted one growing up and would consistently ask for every birthday and every Xmas (also on the list was high heels-always wanting to be older and cooler). But never got one, because mainly my Mum is not a fan of animals at all. She’s not scared of them per say but definitely tries to avoid them. So having one in the house was never an option. I finally came to terms with it when I was maybe 17, and decided I would just get my own dog when I had moved out and got my own place. So I was mentally prepared to be without a cute little pup for however many years I lived at my family home.

If you’ve read either of my recent travel posts (more coming soon…) you’ll know I’ve been in the Caribbean since the start of August. 2 months doing conservation work on Montserrat and 2 months travelling. When I was on the conservation project, the guys on the site introduced me to all of their friends they had off site. One example is our friend Charley. She runs a dive centre on the island (if you’re a keen diver and want to travel: Click the link!) and is a active conservationist, always planning beach/reef cleans, trying to inspire locals on the island to save the coral reefs and her main objective is to be as waste-free as possible. I really admire her, she is such a hard worker. On top of running her own business all on her own, she has 4 dogs, a horse and a goat to look after. I know! All of which had been abandoned on the island.

I first met Charley on my first Saturday in Montserrat as she was hosting a karaoke party and invited us all round to…well sing if you can call it that. But to be honest most of us tried our hardest to avoid it. At this time she had just obtained her newest addition to her 4 puppy pack- Pea. Pea was only about 4 months old at this point, so still pretty small and very excitable. I immediately loved her, she was so energetic and playful, just so cute! So anyway, time passed and suddenly we are nearly at the end off our 2 months working in Montserrat, all ready to explore the Caribbean, this is when Charley had decided that 4 dogs (on top of everything else) was wayyyy to much to handle so she was looking for a new home for sweet little Pea. I didn’t even think twice about asking my family, as I just knew what the answer was going to be.

Lets jump forward about 3 weeks (beginning of October), I slyly dropped Charley’s dilemma into conversation with my family back home, and they were totally up for adopting Pea!!! I couldn’t believe my luck!! I’ve managed to help a friend out as she was struggling so much in finding a home suitable for this pretty pup AND I get my own little doggo! I’m so so excited to get training her and have her as my own! I’m thinking about blogging the ‘Pup updates’, I’m imagining some funny stories will come out of me trying to keep her under control!

My little Pea pod

I am now in my last week off being in the Caribbean, it has been the most incredible trip and I’ve learnt so much, and now on top of that I have my very own Caribbean pooch to come home with me and remind me of it.

I know this has been a bit of a long winded explanation, but it’s just one of those things that I never thought would happen. And I’m so happy! I’m flying home from the Caribbean with a puppy- magical!

If you are ever in my situation: here are my main tips for transporting an animal (there is soooooooo much paperwork!!)

  • Do your research! There is so much you need to know and so many different variables depending on place, transport, type of animal.
  • Get ahead of the game! I started to get stuff ready over 2 months before I leave to go home and I’m on my last week now and I’m still getting stuff organised.
  • Be honest and take your time! Don’t try and hide anything under the rug, there could be massive charges when you reach the other side. I knew people that did the same thing I’m doing but missed out a bit of a particular form and it cost them £700.

Thanks for reading x

C L E A R your mind: How To Destress

Lifestyle

Super quick post for you today, I was at the beach today and it was so relaxing so I got thinking about the best ways to destress so I’ve put together my top tips of what I think really helps when you’re stressed.

1) RE-EVALUATE: With me, I always just like to think about the situation I’m stressed about first to check it’s even worth getting worked up about. I’m sometimes getting stressed over nothing and all it took to realise this was to just have a little think about it.

2) TALK TO A FRIEND: When you feel that you’ve got a stressful situation, it is always better to talk to someone about it, that way you get a second perspective from an outside observer and it gets it off your chest and out in the open.

3) DISTRACT YOURSELF: For me, one of the worst things you can do if you’ve got something stressful going on, is consistently worry and think about it again and again and again, it doesn’t help your mindset and perspective on the situation. So go out, get some fresh air and do something that you know will take your mind off it. Whether that’s a stroll through the park, grabbing a coffee, having a bath or even a bit of retail therapy!

4) GO TO THE SEA: This one only works if you live on the coast (obviously), the ocean is sooooo relaxing, the sound of the waves is so peaceful and to be honest even watching the waves can be so tranquil. If you live near the sea, make the most of it and destress by the ocean. I mean, who has ever been stressed while on a beach! Not me! Alternatively, there are so many apps now that have a lot of relaxing sounds and mini meditation guides, they can work just as well and that way you can destress on the move. Just taking a bit of time out of your day to clear your head. Check out: Headspace, Calm and Relax Melodies.

5) THINK POSITIVELY: This is the main one for me, everyone goes through stressful situations and you always come out the other side. You just have to try and remember that it’s not forever so not to worry to much (definitely easier said than done I’m a massive worrier!!).

I hope this was a little helpful. Thanks for reading and take it easy!