“Get a puppy” They said. “It’ll be fun!” They said.
As most parents prepared for their kids to start at school, I prepared to send my fur baby to a puppy creche. It was only when I went home, without him, that it hit me how much this little man meant to me.
Though my fur baby is an absolute joy, my introduction to ‘pawrenthood’ was like an unexpected slap in the face! I was so unprepared for what was about to go down. Believe me.
As if a pandemic wasn’t stressful enough, I pushed myself to finish my house renovation, moved in and decided the house needed a puppy.
Day one was shocking. Putting rugs down was a thing of the past. My skirting boards became fair game as chew-toys and we did not get one minute to ourselves.
No one tells you about the sleepless nights, that lead to arguments because you’re both just so tired! Or the incessant biting that leave scars on your arms and holes in your best clothes!
Well, maybe they do tell you. But the gorgeousness of a baby bundle of fur overpowers all logic in your brain!
After many sleepless nights, lots of crying and despair we decided to take control of the situation. With the help of a great colleague, I got him a puppy trainer. And slowly the experience got better. We’re still not there yet. But it’s a definite work in progress.
He still makes regular cameo appearances on my Zoom calls. To call him anything less than a HFEH Mind employee would be a travesty! It was only last week a colleague alerted me to the fact that she could see him on the video, climbing on my front door and helping himself to my post. We no longer have use for our paper shredder and I’m not sure I’ll ever know what that bill was.
He’s also super clever but his intellect is used in the most sneaky ways! He can steal food off the countertops without us even noticing! Or nick socks from the laundry rack outside. When there is silence, there is trouble.
It was an absolute learning curve for us and a steep one at that! Though we had our tough times…. and believe me they were tough! To see him grow, learn and thrive- makes it all worth it!
He’s also taught me a thing or two about my own wellbeing:
- To have work-life balance. I’ve struggled to achieve for the last ten years. But now I know he needs my time, so I prioritise clocking off at 5. I’m still not perfect at this but it’s better than before.
- To understand that cleaning is not the most important thing in life. I spent 18 months renovating my home waiting for it to be perfect and clinically clean! I quickly learned it wasn’t going to stay like that with my bubba. Now I accept that he loves to play, which inevitably makes the house untidy. So ‘clean’, is good enough.
- To take regular breaks. Normally he jumps onscreen during phone calls or meetings that have gone on for way too long. And though we’re working on the ‘don’t jump on me’ thing, it highlights that I need a break and he needs attention.
So, were they right when they said it would be fun? Yes. Definitely. It is fun. It’s a joy and a privilege to be a puppy mum to my little man! But it is hard. It requires commitment, being open minded and just letting things go with the flow.
By Arti Modhwadia
Head of Adult Services and Safeguarding Adult’s Lead
Posted on: 9th October 2020