Me, my dog and I

One of my favourite things about dogs, particularly puppies, is how they can break down a fully grown man.

Admittedly I have never wanted to fully test the theory, just in case I happened upon a legit psychopath. Only a pyschopath could hurt a dog. Pictured up top is myself and Daisy, the day I brought her home at eight weeks. As she is a doberman, and now two, she is triple the size. I like to believe, what with Sunday roast leftovers and sofa privileges, that she has a good quality of life. Why wouldn’t you love your dog, and spoil them a little? If Daisy were a human, I reckon she’d be equivalent to a lower middle class child. She gets treats and rewards, but on the whole she’s had a pretty humble upbringing. So it is weird when people accuse me of coddling, because ultimately the bitch knows her place. With a certain amount of training, old dogs can learn new tricks. There are even puppy schools where dogs can actually graduate as ‘Superstars’, like at Janet’s Puppy Skool in Swindon. Janet’s Bouvier des Flandres, Mack, actually fetches the phone when it rings along with a unique routine which involves a wheel barrow and fake cat. With Daisy, the extent of my expertise and patience has pretty much got the whole down, sit, stay thing smashed. But tricks like twirling and roll over? Not so much. But hey, I just wanted a canine companion. I also have a full-time job. What I do like about Janet’s approach to dog training is that she focuses on important life skills such as taking your dog to the pub, a quintessential part of Brit culture. But there are times when, like all healthy relationships, my dog and I need some alone time. When I do get the opportunity to holiday, granted rarely and for a short amount of time, Daisy hits the kennels. As a child, and now as a 25 year old, kennels really doesn’t have a great ring to it. But essentially she’s fed, makes a few friends and is looked after by dog nuts. She can hardly complain. Then I heard about WaggingTails. Essentially this is a company which provides a sort of bed and breakfast service for dogs whilst said owner goes away, meanwhile your dog stays in a designated carer’s home. Such dog boarding programmes include central heating, a bed, frequent walks and cuddles. I can only imagine where Paris Hilton’s pooches spend their vacations. Don’t get me wrong dogs should be well looked after, but I can’t wrap the idea around my head that my dog can go on an all inclusive vacation and I have only ever read about them. What if after a two week holiday at a carer’s house, who’s job it is to look after them 24/7, your dog doesn’t want to come home? Or they get never-ending holiday blues? I’m of the belief that your lifestyle and your dog’s should not be too dissimilar (with the exception of homelessness). For me, I think kennels is the most aligned destination to my holiday budgeting. The accomadation is modest, food is as it comes and sights are as good as you make them.