Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Confessions Of A Dog Owner...

Internet, meet my best friend Barney

Barney is an English Springer Spaniel, he is 12 years and 6 months old. We have had him since he was about 9 weeks old and he has been my lifelong best friend ever since.

I feel like dogs are getting too much bad press over the past few months. It is too often that there are reports on dog attacks across the country and today the UK government announced a proposed change in jail sentence as justice for owners whose dogs have killed. It breaks my heart to see such horrible events on the news and too often have I heard that all dogs are being stereotyped as dangerous. I therefore wanted to do a general dog loving post about the fun that comes with owning a dog.

Everyone that knows me well knows that 50% of my conversation topics are about dogs and my best friend Barney. In fact, now that I am working with dogs all summer, that 50% has probably gone up to about 80%. Anyone that has ever met Barney has always said how much of a personality he has or how full of character he is. I was even stopped by an old lady who lives up the street today whilst walking Barney who told me it was amazing how fit Barney was looking for such an old dog. Hearing that makes me so happy.

If you are ever contemplating getting a dog there are important things you need to consider before you do. Not to sound like an RSPCA Christmas advert but dogs really are for life, not just for Christmas. The kennels I work at also takes in rescue dogs and it makes me so sad to see lovely friendly dogs abandoned at the kennels because the owners have neglected them into bad behavior habits and poor health and just simply can't be bothered to take on the responsibility anymore. You wouldn't return a child if you couldn't handle it so why do it to a pet? If I could I'd take them all home with me! Remember folks, it is ALWAYS the owners fault for a dogs behavior and never the dog itself. When a dog behaves badly it is because it hasn't been treated properly, it hasn't been trained and it has never been appropriately disciplined. Now I'm not saying my Barney is perfect. Oh no, he is like having a little naughty child in the house sometimes. You turn your back for 30 seconds and he is off with your slipper or trying to steal some bread. However he knows that 'bad dog' means he's in trouble and he always understands he has done something wrong. If you don't house train a dog it will disobey you forever and always. Attending dog training classes is a huge help to this situation if you have a particularly naughty dog.

All dogs are bursting with energy and need lots of walks and entertainment. Now I'm not saying you have to do 10 mile hikes everyday but simple 2 walks a day around the block depending on the size and breed of the dog will mean he or she will be less likely to run a mutiny within your home. Making sure they have plenty of toys to play with around the house is good as well as it will mean they will stop chewing up your furniture and your favourite pair of shoes.

It is 100% true that dogs are a mans best friend. My dog follows me everywhere I go, always has a cheeky grin on his face and can detect when I am in a sad mood as he has lots of hugs and kisses to go around. The most rewarding thing about owning a dog is that the love you give to them is the love you get back. Evenings on the sofa cuddled up with Barney are much better then an evening out.

So if you are ever contemplating getting a dog, consider what you can handle and whether your lifestyle is fit to take on a friendly four legged canine. I absolutely adore dogs and always will. Even when they're trying to chew my hand or my work uniform, I'd still take them all home without batting an eyelid.

We dedicate this post to all you dog lovers and owners out there!

L.Bel and Barney dog xoxo


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