Thursday, 9 January 2014

What makes a dog enthusiast?

Today someone asked me a question that I wasn't expecting.  "So, is your boyfriend a dog enthusiast too?"  I paused.  Mainly because the question hit me out of the blue and partly because I wasn't exactly sure.  'Am I a dog enthusiast?' I found myself thinking.

Name: Sian
Charge:  'Dog enthusiast'
Plea:  Not sure!

Why I might be
So I gave myself a quick get out; "he mostly feeds them and cleans up the garden, I walk them and do the training.'  It wasn't exactly an answer but it seemed to surfice and gave me a perfect way of sneaking off to ponder the accusation that I could in-fact be a 'dog enthusiast'.

When I went to the rescue centre to get Caesar, I was far from knowing much about dogs.  In fact, I knew very little.  I still consider myself to know very little about dogs but I suppose that having Caesar and having to find ways to cope with his seemingly endless list of bad-habits and social faux-pas has forced me to know possibly more than I would have, had I come back with Lassie.  It's not untrue that I have at least a shelf's worth of books about dog training, behaviour and psychology.  I even received the same book about dogs twice for Christmas.  In fact, this year, more of my Christmas presents than ever before were dog related.  And, I can't deny that I didn't mind.  And, perhaps a little embarrassingly, I spent more on the dogs than on some members of the family.
It is only 'dog enthusiasts' who own this many pairs of dog walking wellies?

I've found a group of people whom, up until recently I wasn't aware of.  Other dog owners; mostly friendly and helpful people.  Through owning Caesar, I have met some really good friends and many people whom I have more in common with than most of my other friends.  But, of course, when you have something in common with someone, what do you talk about?  Well, usually, the thing that you have in common. And if that thing is dogs?  Can you see how I might have slipped into this label unconsciously?

Suddenly, I realised that I have a blog about my dog and also, that I'm more than half-way through writing a book about him.  I pinned the picture of Caesar's training certificate to my Facebook wall.  Actually, it gets worse; I framed and hung his training certificate on my real wall!  This is beyond cyberspace.

Why I'm probably not
When we got Caesar, I never expected to go through the difficulties that we have.  Only last night was I almost in tears thinking about just how far we've had to come to get to this stage and Caesar is still so far from perfect.  If truth be told, I didn't have much choice than to fill my head with training tips and psychological theories.  Nor did I have choice to attend training sessions and get counselling from other dog owners.  Without any one of these factors, I'd have gone mad.

He might look like butter wouldn't melt but as a first time owner, he's taken me on an emotional rollercoaster!

Perhaps I didn't intend to become so involved as I have in owning and training a dog, but I can't deny that the whole process has been rewarding despite the odd huge downfall.  And, I think writing about it, however late in the day I decided to do it, has helped me through it a little more.

Perhaps I'm not a dog enthusiast after all.  Just a Caesar enthusiast!

It's still not too late to make a donation to SARA.  Donation page shuts on 29/1/14.  Every little helps.  We're getting very close to our £100 target! 

A huge huge wet nosed kiss from Caesar to everyone who has donated already.