This weekend marked two years since we lost our pup Thomas. He’s never far from our thoughts and we still miss him terribly. There are still moments where I expect him to be behind the door when I come home at night or letting himself back in the back door after he’d been out to the toilet. Ben, Chloe and Amy talk about him often, about how much the miss him and more recently about how much they’d like another dog.
Almost as soon as we lost Thomas, the children asked when would we get a new dog. Not in so much as they wanted to replace Thomas as that there was a clear gap in our home and one which they automatically assumed would just be filled with a new puppy. For a long time I didn’t want another dog, I just wanted Thomas – I wanted that gentle, patient, silly puppy of ours back – I didn’t want to just get a new dog.
Earlier this year we had Mum’s dog Tilly to stay for a week and it was almost like Thomas was home – and it reminded us all just how much we missed having a dog around the house. We were all sad when it was time for her to go home!
Dave and I have spoken a lot this year about if or when we’ll get another puppy – both to each other and to the kids as well as with family and friends. Our hearts scream yes but our heads are a firm no (for now . . . )
Five reasons why we’re not getting a puppy right now . . .
1. Long before we knew Thomas was ill, Dave and I had decided that when Thomas died, we wouldn’t get another dog for a while. Admittedly we lost him at least three years earlier than we had expected but the premise of the decision was that we knew we’d just be really busy with three kids and that training a puppy on top of that would be hard going! (Clearly this wasn’t something that bothered me when I had a puppy and a newborn . . . )
2. Over the years I’ve become increasingly allergic to dogs (amongst other things) – it started in my late teens but has always been fairly manageable. I knew if I made a big fuss of Thomas I needed to wash my hands fairly quickly afterwards to prevent hives breaking out wherever he had licked. Before Thomas died, my allergies had worsened and whilst I didn’t realise what an impact he was having on me, there was marked improvement once he was no longer here. I’m sure, if we were to get another puppy, that I would be able to manage my allergies just as I did before, but it seems a little foolish to put myself in that position.
3. The house is so much cleaner – without Thomas paddling in and out of our muddy back garden several times a day leaving dirty footprints everywhere, without him inadvertently slobbering on the sofa or your clean trousers and without dog hair getting into the most random of places, our house is definitely much easier to keep clean – and with a fairly significant dust allergy this is a huge bonus for me at the moment! A puppy would not only bring dog hair and footprints but puddles of wee to be cleaned up too!
4. We are away a lot and don’t have anyone local to look after a puppy – long days out and weekends away aren’t all that doable when you’ve got a four legged friend to consider, especially not when you haven’t got someone local on hand to take care of them! When Thomas was a pup my friend Ange would often look after him for us, an opportunity which she relished as she didn’t have a dog herself at the time. For longer breaks we would take Thomas to my Mum’s or Dave’s Mum’s but both live around an hour away so it’s not always practical (or indeed fair when Mum already has Tilly to look after!)
5. Although I work from home most of the week, the days were I am out at work can be quite long. So, whilst having a puppy would provide me with some company and structure to my days at home as well as forcing me out into the fresh air come rain or shine, it wouldn’t be fair on the puppy to be left for long days when I go to school.
But, knowing all this, doesn’t stop us wanting one. Being sensible sucks.