From The Archive: 2014

A year full time and city guides a-plenty, my first venture into YouTube and a baby puppy addition- 2014 was an exciting one!

Lifestyle

So you’re thinking of getting a puppy…

Maggie Westie Puppy What Olivia Did

(Photos taken by the gorgeous Amber Rose)

Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted a puppy. ‘Hey doesn’t every child want one?!’ I hear you cry. Well, probably yes (and I definitely know how lucky I am to finally have one). But this yearning for a little fluffy best friend continued way through my teens and into my earlier twenties, and living at home- it took a lot to crack my parents- until this summer. I’d spoken of logistics, breeds and everything in between, browsed Battersea’s site for a pup small enough to fit in to our home (we would have loved to rescue a puppy, but living in a small property- it was important for us to find a dog that would live happily in the space, which we didn’t), watched more Paul O’Grady than I care to mention (which, understandably doesn’t make me any more a natural dog owner than the next person)- but in July this year the deal was set, and come September, Maggie would be the latest Purvis (you can read about the little bundle of cute over here).

In the few months we’ve had Maggie I have learnt a lot about having a puppy, and if there’s one thing I don’t think people prepare you for, it’s the challenge that having a new little one is, hence why I thought putting a post together could be helpful to any potential new puppy parents out there! Undeniably I’m still learning and I am certainly not a dog expert, but these are some of the things I’ve learnt in the last few weeks. I fully appreciate everyone does things differently and has their own ways of doing things, which is absolutely ok and if you have your own,or have learnt anything worth knowing/funny/any of the above please comment below too- I’d love to pick up some new tips too!

Maggie Westie Puppy What Olivia Did

It is like having a baby…
Although it’s not something you necessarily hear before getting a dog, it really is like having a little baby (from what I’ve heard from Mama P, anyway). They need consistency, company, lots of care and walks (once they’ve had their injections) and essentially just want to love and be loved. The first few weeks were indefinitely the trickiest (think 5am starts and lots of naughty accidents), but once we began a routine and Mags was allowed out following her injections, things became a lot easier.

Be committed and have the time…
It’s impossible to be there for your dog every minute of every day, and it’s a given (for the first few days I felt guilty even nipping to the loo) everyone has errands to run- be it washing their hair, popping to a meeting or nipping to the supermarket, but it’s important to factor in your schedule. Working from home, I’m able to try and keep meetings to certain days or times where I know Maggie either won’t be alone for long, or at all- but making sure you have enough time to spend with them, and to form a bond is so important, especially as no-one likes a neglected pup.

Maggie Westie Puppy What Olivia Did

The dynamics of your home will change, and that’s alright…
There have been tears, laughs and lots of cleaning up (I’ve read more newspapers these past few weeks than I ever have), but it’s been so, so rewarding and the love we have for little Maggie is growing each day (which is probably expressed by the weird nicknames I call her out of love, ahem). There are times I certainly wish I’d been better prepared- be it thinking more about her diet, sleeping arrangements (and the ‘crate or no crate’ debate) and toilet stops, but I don’t think any amount of reading up can prepare you for the real deal- it’s a lot of trial and error, but preparation doesn’t hurt and the more reading you can do before, the better.

Maggie Westie Puppy What Olivia Did

They don’t train themselves (duh)…
Obvious one right? With a little dog (or big one at that) patience is a virtue and the puppy comes first- and you get out what you put in. It’s easy to get cross at a messy pup, or one that nips at your slippers (no pom pons allowed here), but after all- they are very small and don’t speak human, so training them and letting them know who’s boss is a big thing, hence why your time in the first few months is so very crucial.

Maggie Westie Puppy What Olivia Did
You’ll probably learn all of the adverts on T.V…
Spending 3/4 weeks with a puppy who can’t go outside properly and have a run around is hard. The four walls of our living room became mine and Maggie’s best and worst friend, so daytime television will undoubtedly play soundtrack to the first few weeks. I have heard the Argos (whoa oh oh oh ohhh oh oh) and Toffeefee advert more times than I’ve had hot meals and it’s just a good thing there are Christmas adverts out there at the moment hey? Luckily Maggie’s barking has prevented me learning too many though, and now she’s queen of the park we can switch off and head outside too!

Maggie Westie Puppy What Olivia Did

You get to know each other more and appreciate the outdoors…
It sounds silly and perhaps a little selfish, but before we had Maggie, I never got to really celebrate the great outdoors or appreciate how beautiful it can be to just spend time outside with your loved ones appreciating the little things in day to day life, and in a way that’s what a puppy does. They teach you that really, all you need is love and even the smallest things- such as stumbling across a cricket ball in the park (treasure to four legged friends) and cuddling up after a cold walk can be some of life’s more special moments, and sometimes it’s ok to switch off and just enjoy them.

After all, a puppy really is for life and not just after browsing Pinterest for hours (I’ve found myself even searching the #westie hashtag on Instagram), or for Christmas, so be wise and think properly- I’ve added a couple of links below to some amazing dog charities which have some amazing links for either rescuing, sponsoring or advice you may need too here, here and here. A puppy is one of the most special little additions you can have to a family, so although it can be tricky at times it’s so, so wonderful (I already miss when Maggie was teeny teeny)- so enjoy every minute of it (even if it’s messy)!

x

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