Monday, 8 August 2011

We have bought a puppy

First published in Norwegian on 3 April 2011
Finally, after many months of consideration and planning, we have decided to become dog owners. To buy a dog is not something you should do on impulse, and we've been weighing the pros and cons for a good while. There is so much to decide on: Should we get a large or small dog? Male or female? Should it be a super fit runner or a lazy couch potato? What sort of disposition would we prefer: a tough guard dog or a shy wallflower? Short or long fur? Sleek and elegant or chubby and charming? The list of questions is endless.
At long last, we decided on a standard poodle, a breed that is supposedly intelligent and easy to train, social and friendly, loves a long walk but is quiet and easygoing. It will require a lot of grooming, but hopefully, we’ll take that in our stride.
For us, one of the most important qualities of a poodle is the fact that its fur is hypoallergenic. We have had several attempts to keep cats of different breeds, but because of Hubby’s allergies, we’ve ended up giving them all back.
Just to check his reaction to dogs, we have tried looking after several dogs for friends, and that has gone well. However, since we know that allergies can easily develop at high exposure, we found it best to choose a dog that is known to be allergy friendly.

As you can appreciate, this process has been a long one, but once the breed was decided, the whole thing went incredibly fast. Last week we started to look at what was on the market, and wouldn’t you know, a breeder who is also a vet, living fairly close to us, had puppies that were almost ready to find new homes.
Well, we thought, we can at least drive over and take a look at them.
That was it. After being greeted by a very nice and well-behaved poodle mum with a litter of adorable puppies, we were charmed beyond help. A little black bundle of joy settled himself so calmly and comfortably in Hubby’s arms, and was so cute that he just had to be ours.

In the week that has passed since then, we have done everything we can to prepare the puppy's arrival at Hilltop House, which is where we live. We have visited all the pet shops in the vicinity at least twice and pestered them with questions about everything between heaven and earth. We have gathered feed samples and bought wildly overpriced treats and expensive chewing toys. Then we found out that a discount shop had cheap treats and chewing toys, so we bought some there as well. At a farmer’s outlet we got free treats and food bowls, which we really appreciated, because it dawned on us that having a dog is not a cheap affair. We have bought collars and leashes, and of course poop bags - one of the more mundane but necessary aspects of keeping a dog. Hubby even found out that there are puppy pads available - absorbent mats for small accidents. They smell of grass so that the puppy will learn to associate that smell with doing his business on the grass outside. We wonder if they will work.

We also needed a rather large crate, and found that this was something we could just as easily buy used. A quick search on the internet revealed that there are hundreds of people selling used dog supplies, and we were lucky enough to find an almost new crate locally, at half price.

Of course, the puppy will need a comfortable place to sleep, and the selection here is almost endless. Husfruen saw the opportunity of getting something new and stylish for the house, and insisted on the world’s loveliest wicker basket from Udesen Denmark’s home collection. We certainly hope the dog will appreciate such an exclusive bed.

Tomorrow we’ll be picking up our new family member. His name will be Edward.
We're very excited!

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