Before Christmas, around October I think, I decided to get a new puppy I thought it may be a good therapy dog whilst I’m off poorly for so long. Also I thought it might help me to get to get out of the house more and go for long walks. I was going to go for a black long hair chihuahua I’m so glad I didn’t as I recently heard one of these yapping in a hall, talk about loud!!
I decided on a Cocker spaniel (crossed with a poodle but you can’t tell at all and I never met the breeders so it’s still questionable). His name is Harley and when I picked him up he nuzzled his nose into my neck for the car ride home, how sweet.
My family loved him but over the weeks there was a lot of nibbling going on and my son started to look scared of him. He would bite all the time and everything in site. I couldn’t walk him as I was shattered from treatment and I had no motivation luckily my step dad walked him every morning for a good hour for me. As adorable as he is I started to feel I had made the wrong decision for my family. I was constantly shouting no and taking things out of his mouth.
I started to wonder if my sons character slippers could be worn in the house again without getting ripped to shreds or if me and my son could play fight on the floor anymore ad we would definately get bitten.
I talked to my mam, I was getting stressed as I was becoming more tired and he was being more naughty. My mam would take him for a few days to give me a break and once took him for 3 weeks. I started to miss him when my mam sent me pics.
My mam convinced me not to give him away but to try try training classes she said ‘If he hasnt improved we can look towards giving him a better home’ (she knew he would improve) crafty!
She was right Harley soon improved so much, we learned how to talk to him properly and get him not to pull anymore, we worked on our recall and soon had him doing tricks for us including sit, stand, down, roll, paw, hi five and kiss! The roll over seems to be the hardest. My son started to trust him more.
I have to say my cat was less than impressed with the new addition to the family and I found that she took more to staying in the bedroom, she started to come down and there was a few slaps for poor Harley to establish a boundary. They soon started to get along better though.
I found out from the vet his birthday was the same day as my diagnosis! There was no way I could ever give him away it was a sign. I have to admit in dark times Harley has gave me some amazing cuddles it’s like he just knows what I’m going through. Here’s a pic of a bad day..
Even just the comfort from him sleeping on my lap was a great feeling.
Now I’m starting to feel like walking and the sun’s coming out I can finally go for long walks in the sun. Good job we live near the beach as he loves it but won’t go too far into the water yet. I met up with an old colleague who has a very similar dog. He was happy to see him and enjoyed his first trip to the blue lagoon.
If you had asked me in 2016 if you should get a dog I would have said no! But now I would encourage it as long as you can be patient and put in the hard work it’s worth the wait 🙂