I can’t believe I’m writing this already… Winnie is turning 1 this week! I couldn’t let her 1st birthday pass us by without putting a blog post together in her honour. She has brought so much joy to our lives over her first year of life that I wanted to recap all the way back to those exciting early days. I can’t believe it’s been a year already, time really does fly by so quickly these days! This time last year our stars started to align and Winnie was about to come into our lives. We both knew for sure that we wanted to bring a dog into our family once we had settled into our house, although it definitely happened quicker than planned- which was totally fine by me!
I can’t speak for Luke, as he has grown up with dogs in his family all of his life, but for me, Winnie is my first ever dog, after pining for one for years. I know everyone is biased but I really don’t think I could possibly have had a better puppy come into my life. Before we got her I had definitely been pining, like I said, because I felt like I had so much love inside me to give and I just wanted to have something to look after, and Winnie was the perfect little puppy that I could shower with love and cuddles. Turns out there was a Winnie shaped hole in my heart that she slotted into just perfectly. Beyond that she has brought so much to our lives that we didn’t even realise we needed, so here goes, here’s what having a dog has taught us and all of the benefits of having a dog!
Once Winnie arrived in the world we shotgunned her straight away from the first pictures we were sent of the litter. She was the smallest of the bunch and had been given a little yellow collar and we were drawn to her instantly. It was love. From then on we were on tenter hooks patiently waiting for the daily photos and video updates. Waiting and watching out for all of those momentous moments, unfortunately due to lockdowns in the UK we weren’t able to actually go and visit her until it was time to bring her home, so thank the lord for WhatsApp! Let me tell you I cried into my phone on many occasions with how much love I had for her before we even met!
I read so many blogs, watched countless YouTube videos and read a guide book from cover to cover all in the name of preparing for Winnie’s arrival. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally glad I did, and I learnt so much in terms of allowing her to settle in. to our home and building a good routine for her, as well as command training, it was all really useful info. But my word, no amount fo reading will prepare you for those first few weeks. I have written a more detailed post on what you can expect in those early stages here. It was an emotional rollercoaster for me but such a rewarding one at that. Every dog is so very different, that I think you just have to go with your own flow and stick with what works for you and your pup. But the one thing I can say for sure is that routine will be your very best friend if you have a puppy!
For me, as much as I loved Winnie with all of my heart from day one, the true joy came after the first few weeks once we’d really gotten to know each other, so to speak. Once she had settled in at home, and really forged that bond with us both, is when it felt like something just clicked and our dynamic just seemed to go from strength to strength. The best part for us was seeing her personality start to come out after the first couple of months, and really learning all of her little quirks that still make us laugh every single day. Her fluffy ‘grinch paws’, her over the top squeaky yawns, her crazy silly fits and obsession with getting under the quilt.
Another thing we learnt is that it takes twice as long to get anywhere when you have a dog. From the walks where you’re stopping every five minutes to chat to another dog owner, to people coming over to say hello to Winnie and cooing over her, to the bags you have to prep for every day trip out in the car where we would have previously started out the door without a second thought. Bringing a dog into your life is obviously a huge life-altering responsibility, so we definitely had to crank up our adulting levels so to speak, having a dog definitely goes way beyond the cuddles and cute pictures.
It’s safe to say I am well and truly a dog mum and totally get the obsession that people have with their dogs now. In honesty, I found it a bit annoying before getting a dog myself, but hey, if you can’t beat them…? Our furry friends truly are little bundles of pure innocence and joy. The benefits of having a dog are endless, they brighten every single day without fail, and it’s near impossible to feel sad when Winnie is around, and for that, I thank her from the bottom of my heart.
Happy Birthday Winnie- We love you! xxx