Second Chances

June 16, 2013

Hello ♥

I know Sundays are meant to be my proper lifestyle blogs where I catch you up on the exciting (I hope they're exciting) things that I've been up to but today is going to be a little different. I hope you don't mind. This might be a long post so you might want to grab yourself a cuppa and a biscuit or two and get comfy. I promise to keep it interesting with lots of cute little pictures!

A year ago this week, the eighteenth to be exact, my other half and I made the nearly two hour long trip to pick up our little furry bundle of joy. I decided I wanted to mark the anniversary of growing our little family by posting a blog and letting you know the process we went through to get her.

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The other half and I always wanted a dog. This was one of the first things we discussed as sixteen year olds after we had just fallen in love.  Call it cliched but when I pictured my grown up life I thought about the house with the white picket fence, four children and a little  dog that would always greet us at the door when we came home. Although we only live in a two bedroom flat with no children in sight, I'm still hoping that this will be our life one day.  Anyway, I digress.

We spoke about getting a dog "in the future" and decided that we both really loved little Jack Russell Terriers.  My other half had never had a dog before and I, being a little afraid of larger breeds, thought this would be just the right size for us to handle. Anyway, when we moved into our own home almost seven years after these first doggy discussions, I couldn't help but let my mind wander to getting the dog we'd always dreamed of.  Soon I was online looking for puppies and begging the other half to get one.

We both agreed that getting a puppy was too expensive for us if we wanted a dog as soon as possible.  A Jack Russell puppy can set you back £300 and that's before you consider monthly pet insurance, vaccinations, neutering and daily living costs.  It just wasn't feasible. I won't lie; I was pretty disappointed. To this day, I am the only one in my family not to own a puppy (my family got new puppies April). I wanted a dog to keep me company though and so we started to investigate rescue centres.

This is the real reason for writing this blog. I want to highlight the fact that rescue centres are a really great place to look should you be wanting a dog.  In my experience, there seems to be a genuine misconception that dogs in rescue centres are damage goods, that they were mistreated in there previous homes but that just isn't always the case. Of course, there are the few exceptions where poor dogs haven't been given the love or care they should have and, therefore, are worse for wear.  Many of the dogs that were at the centre we got out cuddly pooch from were there because of a change in the home such as their owner's ill health or moving into new accommodation that didn't allow pets. Whilst you can't always be sure on the background of a dog there are so many perfectly lovely little pooches just looking for a home.

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The rescue centre we got our angel from has each dog vet checked physically (wormed and flea treated too) and they are also seen by a trained dog behaviourist to determine if they have an aggressive nature or other behavioural issues.  We paid an £80 donation to the charity for her that covered all these costs plus a few days food, a collar and a months pet insurance. They even neuter your dog if it already hasn't been. They also do a house check to essentially ensure the dog will be safe and well cared for in their new home.

If the huge price difference isn't enough to sell you on re-homing a dog rather than buying a puppy then maybe the satisfaction of knowing you helped a poor, confused little dog find a new loving home.  For months after we got our pooch I would still get a warm fuzzy feeling about the fact she was mine and that we had adopted her.

I wouldn't suggest jumping in to getting a dog without thinking it through. In the run up to looking for dogs I did so much research it was insane. I looked at training tips and diet suggestions. I found a whole list of foods and plants that are potentially fatal to dogs (chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, irises, lilies). I thought about if we would have enough time for her and enough space. We thought about who would walk her and when during the course of a day. We even had the lovely discussion about cleaning up after her. It's illegal to leave dog mess in Scotland and is a necessary thing you must consider doing before getting a dog.

 Here are a few things to think about if you or your family are thinking about getting a dog.

1. Would the dog be left alone for long periods of time or often? If the answer is yes a dog isn't for you. Dogs are very sociable creatures that need to be around people or else they feel abandoned. If no one is home for hours on end several times a week it isn't fair on the dog.
2. If you go abroad on holiday who will take care of it? Obviously you can't leave a dog home alone for a week to fend for itself when you go on holiday. If you don't know someone who can take your dog are you willing to pay the cost of putting them in kennels and getting the kennel cough vaccination? Remember, putting them in kennels may also make the dog feel abandoned.
3. Get pet insurance. Vet bills can be astronomical if your dog ends up sick or injured. Getting good pet insurance will keep you covered and help you pay these bills should you need to. I know that paying for pet insurance may feel like a waste when your dog is perfectly healthy but it is much better not to take the risk.
4. Think about what breed suits you and your family best. A large dog that needs lots of exercise isn't going to fit in with a family who likes a lot of down time in the house. Similarly think about the amount of time you are willing to put in walking a dog every day.
5. Think about the costs. Make a budget for all the different costs of owning a dog, not just the initial outlay of bedding and such.

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If this post has enticed you into thinking about getting a rescue dog, here are a few sites you can check out.

Until next time!

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  1. Really nice blog! :)

  2. Such a nice post :) My family's dog is one of my favorite animals in the world, and I too have the daydream of a picket fence and my own little puppy some day.

  3. Very cute dog. I adopted a Yorkshire Terrier about 3/4 years ago - best thing I ever did. When I move out though, my parents want to keep him, so me and my partner are looking into getting a dauschund or King Charles Cavalier Spaniel when we are settled.


    1. It feels good to adopt a dog, doesn't it? My parents and my sister have yorkies and when I was growing up we had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel! They're lovely little dogs.


  4. What a cutie! At the moment I'm doing a childhood tag on my blog, I'd love if you could have a look and maybe if you wanted you could do it too! x Erin

    1. Thanks. Sounds great. I'll be sure to have a look. I'm always looking for other ideas for posts and a tag might just be perfect.



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