It’ll be good for the children. We resisted, despite the children begging and pleading periodically. We already had other pets; 3 cats, 2 crested geckos, a bearded dragon, a corn snake and a rabbit. We didn’t have space in the house. We couldn’t afford the huge initial outlay. It wasn’t practical.
But then we found her. It was fate really. I had a conversation with someone online about my 14 year old and his struggles. We are awaiting assessment for him, but are pretty certain he has ADHD. He has so much pent up energy, so many emotions he isn’t sure how to process and express. This person suggested that a dog would be good for him. Give him an outlet for his energy by taking it for walks, teaching it tricks etc. Give him a companion who would never judge him or say the wrong thing. It wasn’t the first time this had been suggested to me.
So I had been browsing online, just around the local area, rescue centres etc. Registered our details and requirements with some, but to no avail. On this day, on a whim, I decided to extend my search further afield, to the East Sussex area. My husband’s family is there, so it doesn’t feel like a long way away. So I searched, and there she was. A little girl, less than two years old, uncertain breeding. She was an ex-breeding bitch, from a puppy farm. She had already had a litter. Thankfully she had been rescued, and had found a lovely home for almost two months. But then the lovely lady who took her in found her health failing, and made the heartbreaking decision that it would be the best thing for her to find her a new home, with a family who could give her the active life she deserved. The fee was nominal, and happened to be the exact amount of cash we had at home on that day. It also happened to be my husband’s day off. She had only appeared on the site 20 minutes previously. And, even better, she was advertised as good with cats and children.
I showed my husband her picture, and he instantly fell in love. We agreed that I would send a message and express our interest.
To cut a long story short, that day we completed our family. We didn’t expect to bring her home that same day, with the children not even knowing about her let alone meeting her. But we couldn’t leave without her. I sent my son a photo of her in the back of the car on the way home, and the excitement in his voice when he phoned me in disbelief to ask who’s dog is was made my heart sing.
Picking the other children up from school, them coming out one by one to find our new addition in the car and their shocked and delighted reactions is a memory I will never forget.
And she fitted right in! It was as if she had always been with us. Right from the start she was gentle and tolerant with the children. And it was as if she sensed where she was needed most; she made herself at home under my son’s chair in his bedroom, where he sits to play on his xbox or do his homework. The bond between them was instant.
She has been with us for 3 months now, our little Primrose (Rosie), and I have never had a worry about her. We honestly couldn’t ask for a better dog. She loves our long walks in the woods or the countryside, but she is equally happy to curl up on the sofa with us. She is loving and gentle with the children, and they adore her in return. She loves me, I’m definitely “her” human, but she is good for the rest of her “pack” too. She rarely barks, has shown no sign at all of any aggression or reactiveness. She loves cuddles, and will lay back and put her head on your shoulder if you pick her up, or come and sit on your lap and lay her paws around your neck and her head on your shoulder. Best still, the change in my son has been noticeable. He is calmer, better behaved. Before the holidays he started doing better at school. She is like therapy for him. And that makes me adore her even more.
So if anyone says to you “Get a dog! You won’t regret it.”
Do it. It may be hard to start with, but it’s so worth it.