Well, those of you who have, or have had, dogs, or more specifically, puppies, will know what fun and chaos such arrivals bring to the family. I grew up with Alsatians, but my memory has clearly failed me, or a child's view is significantly different from a parent's reality. Ten days in...and our two gorgeous thirteen week old border collies are truly ensconced in family life. But no amount of planning could have prepared us for such an upheaval. It is Bloody. Hard. Work.
They are weeing, pooing, stand-in-their-poo-ing, scitterish, lawless, playful, cute, lovable, fluffy balls of chaos-making joy! We do love them! But after leaving nappies and sleepless nights behind, I am, again, reduced to obsessing about excrement, sleep and obedience. The purchasing of cleaning products has rocketed, and I have discovered the 'mothercare' aisle for puppies...dog toys, dog chews, dog treats, dog leads, dog coats, dog bags, dog beds, dog brushes, dog iphones...I am overwhelmed (I made the last one up!).
I have read hundreds of websites, forums and blogs for advice and ideas. I have scared myself silly in the process and wonder how anybody ever copes bringing up a puppy without doggie mid-wives or health visitors. I have freshly acquired all the doggy-know-how I need to raise an impeccably behaved, well adjusted, socialised, happy, non-aggressive, un-nipping, un-pooing dog or two. But that's the theory...and we all know the practice is quite another. Encouraging Bailey to poo outside and not when he gets back in his box after being outside, is Quite Another! Why would you?!? But apart from the poo-ing thing, there is no doubt Border Collies are extremely intelligent. They require lots of mental and physical stimulation I am told. I can see that...woe betide the bored collie (hmmm, the clue is in its name!). So it is only a matter of time before I introduce them to the Times crossword, and I can resign all intellectual responsibility, and the kids, over to them.
So let me introduce Red and Bailey...one of the only photos I have with them motionless (a ball was held above my head to achieve such stillness, probably not recommended come to think of it!). I share the news of our new arrivals for two reasons. Firstly it is very exciting for us, in an eyes dilated, what-have-we-done, kind of way. And secondly, it renders me frazzled and unable to embark on any intellectual activity, of any kind, for the foreseeable future. I'm sounding melodramatic. But I need Red and Bailey pretty much trained up over the next couple of months, so they can come off the lead safely. (Caveat: I have already had to revise my expectations with regards dog behaviour, (and kids for that matter), so will undoubtedly amend this too).
I will continue to catch up on the forums and make more of an effort to contribute. I really have got out of the habit and have become a distant lurker, rather than engager. Not sure why. And then, hopefully by March, I will have a Captain Von Trapp style military run operation, with two dogs running the household and paying the bills! Now that would be a result!