Ben's residency finally did come though so, as promised, we went to the SPCA shelter and got ourselves a dog. We got what we were told is a black Labrador cross puppy, but he definitely has more than a little bit of staffie in him! Mum and Dad were still here when we got him and they decided that he is, in fact, a wonder dog and we would have to agree :0) It was hilarious seeing them with him being like proud grandparents and giving us a blow by blow account as to what he had been up to in our absence. Both Ben and I have totally turned into dog bores and very rarely talk to anyone about anything else! I've been reading loads of books about dog training and being the "pack leader" and we've been taking him to obedience classes too, so it really has completely taken over our lives. Our social lives now even revolve around going for "doggy dates" with friends who have dogs too!
He was about ten weeks old when we got him which makes him four months old now. We've called him Twpsyn, which for those of you who don't know, actually means "stupid" in Welsh. But I keep trying to explain to people that it's not quite as mean as it sounds because it's kind of a term of endearment. Anyway, no-one over here knows what it means so I've started just telling people it's a Welsh name! As I said we think he's the best dog in the world, but then we are a bit biased. It only took him a few days to get the house training thing sorted and he's always come when he's called and all that. We've taught him all the usual sit, lie down, stay stuff and we've even got him doing a few tricks like rolling over and "crawling". He's a bit too boisterous at times though and presumes that everyone is his best friend so goes bowling over to them. He's really strong already so we're working on getting him walking properly on a lead. It's amazing what you can achieve with the assistance of a few sausages! As you'll see from the little video he hasn't quite mastered fetch yet though :0)
We're pretty strict with him and I think it's needed really as otherwise he would think he's the king of the world. He's mostly pretty good but had a mini rebellion the other day when he decided to sit on the sofa which he isn't allowed on. He kept defiantly getting back on it despite being shouted at and sent to his bed! At least he's over the weeing-on-everyone's-feet stage now! Apparently he's at the equivalent of the "terrible twos" in human terms so I'm really not looking forward to the teenage years :0/
He's a very lucky dog as he hardly ever gets left home alone. We have a yard that we can shut him in when we need to but most days he goes to work with Ben and hangs out with him in his gallery. On the whole it works really well but Ben has been a bit grumpy about having to put up with Twpsyn's farts. I think it's just karma! I take him for a walk after work and because weather has been awful lately I've often been seen heading off down the road in a big rain coat and my purple flowery wellies!
Because we live in "the hood" (i.e a fairly rough, by New Zealand standards, part of town) Twpsyn has gone down a storm with all the local pit bull owners! I don't like to tell them we were after a big soppy lab and weren't expecting the muscly little monster we ended up with! It's really funny, I now love rotties and staffies and dobermans and stuff whereas I would never have wanted one of those before. Our favourite TV programme is now "The Dog Whisperer" and I have a new dream to work in a dog rehabilitation centre and run around with a pack of savage-looking dogs!!