I have wanted a puppy for years but with my university course and both of us
working, my partner and I agreed that we wanted a puppy, but later rather than
sooner due to our busy lives.
And then Lockdown happened, and it just seemed like the perfect opportunity.
With words of warning ringing in my ears about unscrupulous breeders I was thrilled
to hear that a close friend’s dog was pregnant. However, she didn’t know if she
would sell any as she was intending to keep them. Fast forward a week and we got
the call to say that we had first choice from two boy pups.
We visited Ollie, or Thor as he was then known, when he was five weeks old. He
was a ball of black and white fur curled up amongst his siblings in their bed. Kneeling
down we both sat on the floor to watch them all. Suddenly, Ollie opened his eyes,
stretched and walked over to us – it was absolute love at first sight.
Home is a mess – well, not in a ‘we are untidy types, rather that we are having
substantial work done to the house – think walls coming down and lots of dust!
I immediately started to panic. We had six weeks in which to get the house puppy-
proofed before Ollie arrived.
I am a planning type of person to my core and as soon as we got home, I set about
making lists. Although we have had dogs before neither of us had had a puppy, so
research began on all the things I would need to do to help Ollie become a dog that I
would enjoy taking out.
Telling myself to wait, I soon found that I was browsing the internet in the evening,
while sipping my wine. Now that was never going to end well and within days, I had
purchased little collars and leads, a crate, bowls and toys. I also bought two soft
beds – one as spare for when the other being washed and gathered together old
towels. Bear in mind that my office and bedrooms were jam packed full of furniture,
ornaments and stuff from downstairs, so as packages arrived it soon became even
more of a crush.
Lockdown kept me busy with work and planning and the weeks soon sped by.
Collecting Ollie was amazing and as we drove home, I could not stop looking at him.
The weather was kind, so we had the back door open and a child gate across the
kitchen door so that he initially got used to that area. He quickly realised that the
garden was far more fun to be in so accidents were rare.
I’d decided to take two weeks off to get him settled and spent the first week running
around the garden, calling his name and rolling around as he climbed all over me. It
was like being a child again. He reacted well to his name and I always had some
little treats in a poo bag in my pocket – this idea had come from a friend who had
previously had Guide dog puppies – and it has worked brilliantly because Ollie
always associates a pat on my right pocket and a rustle as ‘come here’ time.
In the evenings I caught up on work emails and was in bed before ten. I was
exhausted. Ollie had only had a few nights of being unsettled and soon associated
his crate as his bed and would be in there as soon as he came in from the garden.
Ollie is growing fast and a wonderful handful in the day. He loves helping me work
and is always trying to squeeze himself between me and the desk. I often get
distracted and find myself playing tug of war on the carpet on my hands and knees.
Bringing Ollie home was a fabulous idea and we are both loving being puppy
Photo by: Fiona Millington Photography