I have to admit, I have fallen uninspired when it comes to blogging so far this year. I haven’t been spending money on beauty products to write about those and it feels like my blogging is starting to turn more into lifestyle (like it was originally) rather than beauty related. I don’t mind; it’s an organic change and it’s gone full cycle. I started my blog to get my feelings out about my Dad’s passing, to help order my thoughts and feelings, stumbled into the world of beauty blogging and weight loss blogging, but couldn’t quite keep up as I couldn’t afford newer products and then bigger events happened in my life, such as The Break Up of 2013, my newer (and happier) relationship and the sadness of my redundancy. That’s all fine, but I’ve still found myself really uninspired when it comes to writing about stuff.
And then, last night, I watched Marley & Me. For those who haven’t watched it, I won’t spoil it but it’s about a columnist who writes about his super mischievous dog. And last night, I felt inspired.
In this world, you’re either a dog person or a cat person. You can like both, but never in equal quantity. You choose a side and you stick with it. I have always been a dog person, but that could also be the fact that cat’s hair gives me itchy eyes – alongside their evil looking eyes… No? Just me?
When I was a baby, my parents bought our first dog. I won’t name her because she’s still most of my passwords – dead pets always make good passwords. My parents got her because my Mum was pregnant with me, bored, was (and still is) quite shy and so won’t go up and necessarily speak to people. At the time, they’d just moved into a small village, where going up to people and chatting is quite essential or you won’t make it and just spend your time at home, staring at the walls. My Dad decided that my Mum would have to walk to the dog and people would come up and ask about the dog, so my Mum would make friends that way. My parents adopted her and we had her until the ripe old age of 14 years, which is HUGE in dog years. I don’t remember much about her – my memory is terrible – but we bred with her when I was about two, kept two of her puppies, and in later years, she fell sick with a brain tumour. We weren’t allowed to touch her head at all in case she had fits and I remember, the day she died, my school had taken us on a school trip to this really old manor house that had a story about a ghost dog that used to walk around the gardens. Then I came home and Mum had to break it to us that she’d died.
As for the two puppies, we had them until again really old ages. One of the puppies stayed at my grandparents’ and we had the other one, until their mother died and our puppy moved to our grandparents so they could be together more. When my grandparents’ dog died, she had a heart attack right in front of my brother. I was at school, so I wasn’t there. Our puppy, who was the laziest of all three – seriously, she couldn’t be bothered to bark because the other two would always do it for her! – outlived all of them (probably due to not having to do much in her life!) and we had to call a vet out to put her to sleep at home. I remember that day so clearly because it was half term and my brother, my cousins and my grandparents were all around and the vet had to crawl under our trampoline to put her down as she wouldn’t come out. It was traumatic.
I don’t remember much about the dog after that, because I was mostly at uni, so I don’t have much to say about him. It was some time after the last three and we adopted him because his original owners were moving to Australia, he was an older dog and wouldn’t have survived the journey. Saying that, he still stayed around with us for about five years. Mum was really upset about losing him – maybe because I had gone to uni, my brother had got more of a social life and my Dad was working, so he was company with her a lot of the time.
And that brings me to my little bundle of fur, my tub of goo, my furry dependent, Ozzy. Before I decided to buy a dog, I checked with work to see if I could go home on my lunch breaks to sort the dog out and they kindly said that I could bring him into work with me, so it was a right result! I chose Oz from a private breeder in October 2011. He was two weeks old and the size of a coke can. All of the puppies in the litter couldn’t even walk yet and were army-crawling around a bed of hay. I had decided that I wanted a pug cross beagle after really researching all of the different breeds and mixes of breeds out there. Because I drive a small car and he was only ever going to be a small to medium dog, what I had read about this new cross breed was what I wanted – with a few surprises thrown in because there wasn’t much reading on the dog’s temperament. I really just want to stress that I didn’t buy Ozzy because he was a designer breed, because I had no idea there was such a thing until an online forum had told me. And my next dog (which I’m considering) will probably be a rescue dog, because now I have more of an idea what I’m doing with the dog I raised from birth.
We brought Ozzy home on 12th December 2011 and he was the last of his litter to be picked up. I had taken the month off of work (including the Christmas break) to make sure that he was toilet trained for when he came into work in the New Year. It took ten days to fully toilet train Ozzy and I have videos on YouTube of when I was training him how to sit. I fell in love with him and the month that I had with him on my own. I remember freaking out when my Mum, Uncle and cousin had popped over to see him, because I had read somewhere not to overcrowd the puppy when you bring him home. But Ozzy was so confident, he was just running around like crazy as we all sat on the floor and just watched him for half an hour.
At Christmas, we introduced Ozzy to my Mum’s bouncy boxer puppies. I was so nervous – Ozzy was the size of an ankle boot and these boxers were huge in comparison! Not to mention, one of the boxers is a male and I had read about males being really territorial when they first meet each other. I needn’t have worried because they’re actually best friends now and, if you say to Ozzy, “Where’s Cooper??”, he goes absolutely nuts for about ten minutes until you can calm him down to put on his lead.
Ozzy came into the office in the New Year, but being a new place, he was anxious, had lots of toilet accidents and chewed through cables *shakes fist*. So then, I had to look at alternatives. Luckily, I’m not the only full timer who’s had this problem and I found a doggy day care to look after him when I was at work all day. It did Ozzy a lot of good in terms of socialising and now he’s really good with other dogs – super friendly!
After being made redundant, it has been awesome to spend a lot more time with Ozzy as my hours are really part time. It’s been good to save some money too! I would say it’s difficult to look for another job now that I have Ozzy has a tie, but I wouldn’t change him for the world. I’m so happy he was my company during The Break Up of 2013, because sometimes you just want to cuddle your pet and cry your eyes out, which I did on a regular basis.
Anyway. I’m hoping to post more often about ‘The Adventures of Ozzy’, little snippets of what happens in our life together (and I’ll post pictures in my next post – Ozzy’s passed out on the sofa next to me in an unflattering angle so I don’t think he’d appreciate that on the Internet). Because you’ve only got your pet for a limited amount of time and you should definitely celebrate every moment together. I think the best quote from Marley & Me is
Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.
It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them
I must make sure I read the Marley & Me book. Check me out on Instagram @frannooooo as I put LOADS of Ozzy photos on there. He really inspires me and makes me feel like a good person because he loves me and doesn’t care if I’ve put on weight, gone to the pub or paid a bill late. As long as he’s got food in his belly, goes for a walk and plays tug with me everyday, he’s a really happy dog.