Another great post from one of our Fresh Voice BiB contenders, this time it’s Margot and she’s talking about a new member in the family, she gives her top 10 handy hints on how to prepare your family and home for a puppy. Find more of her writing at Margot tries the good life
It is no secret, dear Reader that I have been desperate to get a dog almost as long as I have wanted to move to the countryside. Our rural adventure just could not be without one! Well….2 weeks in and I am realising that having a puppy is much like being given a teething toddler with razor sharp gnashers in need of potty training. My whole house needs drastic puppy-proofing! Rather like many a Blue Peter presenter has learned to their cost on live telly, dealing with small children and animals is no easy task! Reading the right Gina Ford puppy books and years of teaching experience, I thought would be enough to see me through. However, I had neglected to remember one small thing…. always expect the unexpected!
So to help you out dear Reader should you decide to follow in my doggy footsteps, here are my TOP TEN handy hints to guide you through the new furry toddler in your life:
- Reacquaint yourself with lack of SLEEP – coffee and Jerry’s dressing gown are my new best friends. No sooner did Poppy start sleeping through, my nightly toddler escapades have now been replaced with standing in the garden in pyjamas, praying the neighbours can’t see me.
- Explain to both toddler and dog that sharing is lovely but perhaps not when it comes to teething toys.
- Do not buy any new shoes – dog will chew ONLY the new ones.
- Buy a dog guard for the car – emergency stops on the A4 due to dog jumping from boot to back seats are best avoided!
- Do not let husband to allow dog to sit on sofa. (My days of wearing black are over……..)
- Try not to attempt to house train pup and potty train toddler at the same time. Poppy now thinks a piddle outside (a la pooch) is an acceptable practice.
- Hone your Mummy sixth sense in order to catch sneaky 4 year old feeding the dog at mealtimes. Otherwise, you may find that dog enjoys mushrooms from Coq au Vin as well as puppy kibbles.
- Remember children and dogs often suffer from temporary deafness……although that may just be in our household! You may find the investment of a whistle worthwhile…worked for Mary Poppins.
- Do NOT leave your gin unattended at any point. Following that thought, definitely don’t forget to wash out a glass that puppy has found and licked, before serving your guest another drink from said glass! (Luckily my dear Papa has a very good sense of humour!)
- And lastly….have your camera ready and drop everything to capture children and dog enjoying the simpler things in life together. Running through the long grass, chasing butterflies and setting up tea parties NEVER seemed as much fun before Monty came into our lives! After all, as Gerald Durrell, author of My Family and Other Animals, knew so well “A house is not a home until it has a dog.”
Margot Tries the Good Life would probably be best described as the musings of a rather batty townie attempting the good life. Trying desperately to keep up with the rural Joneses, her capers chart her transformation as she moves from the Big Smoke to countryside idyll and often include her absurdly patient husband, teenage 4 year old, fearless toddler as well as two rather bonkers cats and a working cocker spaniel puppy named Monty. Margot’s main aim each day is to somehow weather the chaos and reach gin o’clock with some sanity intact! You can find her at tweet her @Margotgoodlife or like her on Facebook