To celebrate National Puppy Day, we asked staff member Wendy all about her brand new puppy Hugo, a beautiful Husky and Pointer cross. He was collected from Dogs Trust just over a week ago, and has been settling into his new home with Wendy and her family very well by amusing them with his mischievous antics, and demonstrating how loving he is.
Adorable Hugo has the characteristic blue eyes and black and white markings often seen with Huskies, but his short fur is a nod to his Pointer ancestry. Wendy and her family were eager to rehome a puppy instead of buying from a breeder; ‘We were searching for a young dog that could grow with the family, and we’ve found that in Hugo.’
Wendy’s favourite things about her puppy are his ‘dopey’ demeanour immediately after waking up, and how he ‘just loves to snuggle’. He’s also provided plenty of laughs; ‘He will pick up literally anything he’s not supposed to have and run around the house with whatever it is in his mouth, looking so proud with his head held high. It’s really funny to watch him.’ Every new puppy brings challenges, and Wendy revealed that toilet training has been one of them. She has also been surprised to discover the rate at which different breeds learn new skills; ‘I used to have a Welsh Border Collie and she picked things up a lot quicker, whereas I do have to repeat myself a bit more with Hugo.’ However, she was ecstatic that he learned how to give her his paw after only a few days; ‘I felt like a proud mum!’
The decision to get Hugo was not made lightly. She would advise anyone looking to get a puppy to thoroughly research everything they need to know before making a decision, including speaking to others who have been through the process. ‘Puppies require constant, round-the-clock care and are hard work. Someone should always be available at home to look after them.’
The adoption process is long and thorough to ensure the right dog goes to the right home. Wendy and her family visited Dogs Trust to introduce themselves and outline what they were looking for. ‘Although we knew we wanted a puppy, we didn’t necessarily have a Husky in mind. We were prepared to wait for a dog that would fit in perfectly with our family and lifestyle.’ They visited Dogs Trust a few times to view different dogs until they knew Hugo was the right choice.
After they had made their decision, a representative from Dogs Trust visited Wendy’s home to look around and check its suitability, and offer some advice in preparation of Hugo’s arrival. They then attended a puppy class held by Dogs Trust, which taught them the basics of puppy ownership and showed them the level of commitment they were making. ‘Some people in the class actually unreserved their puppies afterwards because they didn’t realise how much was involved in caring for them.’
Wendy and her family then puppy-proofed the home by tucking wires behind the television so Hugo couldn’t chew them, and hiding the children’s toys. They also bought essentials such as puppy food, toilet training items and toys, as well as a harness for car transportation. Hugo was supplied with a collar before he was taken home.
It is clear that Wendy and her family have made the right decision and they love their new addition. However, not every dog is as lucky. You need to bear in mind that the tiny puppy you want now will grow into an adult sooner than you think, and you need to be sure you will still love them many years after the novelty has worn off. Consider long and hard whether your lifestyle and personality will really enable you to care for them in the way they need. For the right person a dog can bring a lot of happiness, whether they are a two month old puppy or an eleven year old senior, but remember that you are committing to spending the next eight to twenty years caring for them.
If you decide getting a puppy is definitely what you want, why not visit a shelter like Wendy and her family? Providing a home to a dog that doesn’t have one is not only satisfying, it helps to stop unethical breeding through puppy farming. You may also find a dog you didn’t expect to get, as Wendy did. The right companion for you could be a pet you would never have imagined.