Reflections on being a dog-owning writer: The first four weeks

It’s been a rough ride over the last few weeks; some reasons are personal others less so. Over the last week we’ve been reeling from the shock announcement that the school my kids attend is to close at the end of the academic year in July. It’s at moments like these when having a pet makes all the difference.

Asha has been hugged and cried over more this week than in all the previous three weeks put together. It was good advice someone gave us to get a pet to help us all psychologically as we settled back into UK life. No one could have guessed what a roller-coaster ride this would be for the four of us nor how long it would continue on for.

But I digress. Enough to say, Asha has made us all feel a little happier, a little more loved and a little more secure this week when we really needed it.

Last week Asha was taken for her final vaccinations and so we were able to extend the boundaries of where she could go. Whereas before we took her out to the courtyard on a lead so she could wee but not go eating something that might make her ill, now she goes out off the lead and chews, licks or eats whatever she wants. “It’s what dogs do,” the vet told us, “they’re scavengers in the end and she’ll be exploring with her mouth like any youngster does.”

And so she has, indeed, been exploring with her mouth as she has found the delights of our back garden complete with grass, sticks, mud, dead leaves and two frightening and menacing chickens in the chicken shed. Scary stuff for the little pup!

We’ve also began taking Asha out for walks in the village. Puppies, I’ve found, are like babies in prams: babe magnets. Well, maybe not babes but certainly every woman we came across made baby eyes and cried out “oh she’s adorable!” and we instantly struck up conversation. It took me back to the days of when Things I & II were babies. Same thing happened then. Alas these have been the only times in my life where I’ve briefly received attention from the opposite sex. Just as well I guess – I wouldn’t know what to do with it if I had more. Run away probably…

Asha, while loving every single bit of attention from she received from humans, was not so keen on the dogs which often accompanied them. She coped with three nice, friendly but respectful collies we met until one of them started barking at a car in the distance. This scared Asha. By the time we met the third set of dogs within a handful of minutes – all lovely and friendly – she was screeching like someone had stood on her foot and cowering behind my leg. I had to pick her up in the end so the lady (of course it was a lady walking the dogs) could say hello and talk in baby speech to her as they do. We are going to have to work on the socialisation side of this puppy…

Obedience training is coming on well. I’ve almost got her to go down on all fours, flat to the ground, on command. She sits (mostly) and ‘stays’ (again, mostly) on command and is beginning to get the idea of heeling. Outside, of course, it’s all a total dead loss. Too many exciting things to focus on silly things like commands…

Oh and the writing? Yes, we continue to work out a compromise between my need to do my work and Asha’s need to be given attention every single waking minute of the day. Taking her for walks is a help though – she sleeps a looong time after those! The book is on standby because I simply can’t find time to get it finished (a couple of stories I wanted to include need finishing and editing) when I have quite a few paying gigs coming in at the moment. There are other reasons too why things aren’t going so fast but, for now, they are too personal to talk about. Maybe one day…

I had many requests for videos to be posted so here’s a couple. One of Asha coming out of the bath and the other showing her in training.  When I did a dry run with her before taking the video she went down straight away and perfectly for the first time! She was a bit weirded out by the camera in my hand so wasn’t quite as responsive as normal here but nevertheless I’m very proud of how she’s coming on! Enjoy.

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2 Responses to Reflections on being a dog-owning writer: The first four weeks

  1. iluvtoday says:

    aw welcome back to the uk .. currently have a new puppy and need some advice wells loads lol


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