A Dog is for Life Not Just Christmas

You know the phrase, A dog is for life not just Christmas; It never made sense to me. I had grown up with a dog and figured that owning a dog was easy.

But having a dog that lives outside is completely different from having a dog that lives in the house with you.

before he was groomed

Meet Charlie.

Someone at the OH’s work found him wondering along a road, she said that he ran with determination and a destination in mind. He was heading out the Tipp road form Limerick. Richie sent me an email asking if I wanted to adopt the dog if no owner came forwards.

Ah yeah, I’ve grown up with dogs. This little fella looked harmless.

He marched in the door, took one look at the blanket on the floor and leapt for the empty seat on the couch. No, he didn’t want to sit beside me or near me or even on my lap. He wanted all the space to himself.

after he was skinned (his fur was in such bad condition it all had to go)

He slept in the den. Barked all night and peed and pooed everywhere.

‘Is it too late to give him back?’

Richie didn’t appreciate my comment.

I won’t bore you with the details. I’ll boil it down to this:

  • It took two pissy week to get him to pee outside.
  • It took me THREE months to train him not to poo in the house. By learning about when he pooed and peed, if he was alone, scared, if I had scolded him, if he was happy.
  • He suffers from separation anxiety and this has been the toughest hurdle to overcome.
  • It took him 2 baths to get use to water.
  • It took 2 months for his fur to grow back. He had to be seared to his skin as his previous owner never groomed him.
  • It took 7 weeks for him to play with dog toys, and to play in general. It was obvious no one had play with him before.
  • It took many dog treats for him to get use to being hugged and picked up for a cuddle.

It helps that I am a sub so on the days I am not working, I’m at home or Charlie Brown Bear King is with me.

I have to train him daily, read about positive dog training, dog psychology, being the alpha, gaining trust, pick up poo, soak up pee and worry about him.

It has been rotten, tough work and there were times that I wished he would run away again. Then I come too and see his little face.

I have his trust. Now. And that helps with the training. He sleeps in a little bed – in our room(!) like a baby but at least that means he doesn’t have accidents in the night.

And as for the – now I’m ready for a baby part? Well, I have one, cause Charlie will be a baby for his life! He will never go to school, college and move away. He is for life. The phrase, A dog is for life, not just Christmas, should be amended to include, a dog is a baby for life not just Christmas!

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