Ask me five years ago if I would ever get a dog and my answer would have been ‘hells no!’ Too much work, not enough time, I work full-time, and it would be neglected etc etc. The list would have gone on and on. I also lived in a big busy city and I did not think it fair to have a dog locked up in a house all day only to go for walks on a lead and never have anytime to be free and run around and do doggy things. I would have been a terrible dog mummy.
And then I moved to New Zealand and my life did a 180. I was no longer surrounded by buildings and concrete, rather lived miles from the city and had the wide open air around me. My perspectives changed a little and having a dog only seemed to make sense. Now three years later, we have two dogs and I cannot imagine my life without them.
We got Macy two years ago – before moving to the farm. She’s one very active, excited and lovable Springer Spaniel. To say she is part of the family is an understatement. She has nestled her way into our hearts, home and sometimes even our bed. And my now five month old baby girl is absolutely in love with her already – can’t wait to watch them grow up together.
Then we moved to a small farm in Chatto Creek, and needed a working dog. Macy was just not going to cut it shifting lambs for us – way too fast and way to excited to just chase, not move stock. So we got Ra, a Huntaway mix. He is shy and timid, but can work stock and is very lovable. Loves to get scratches and snuggles and lie on the porch and soak up the sunshine. But he works when he needs to and most of the time he is pretty good at it.
I used to scoff at people who talked about their dogs as being a family member and found it just a bit odd. I admit it. So what made me become a dog person. I’m not quite sure, but I think of at least five reasons.
1) Their unconditional love. No matter what happens or how long you have been gone for or how little time you have been gone for, my dogs are so excited to see me. I mean wag the tail, jump up and down excited to see me. They get happy seeing my car come down the road. And when you’re not feeling the best, they are right there with you trying to cheer you up, snuggling in and wanting cuddles.
2) They understand. I don’t know how they know what’s going on but they do. They can sense emotions and know how to act accordingly. I remember bringing my baby girl home in January and I was unsure about how the dogs would react. I was not in the best way after having her and I got out of the car and let Macy off her kennel. She didn’t jump, bark or try to barrel me over (I had not seen her in almost a week), rather she quietly walked beside me as I hobbled my way over to the car where my partner and bubs were. She sniffed the blanket I had our baby girl wrapped in and that was it. She accepted her into our family immediately. Always wanting to give kisses which we stop, but she loved her right away and knew she had to be gentle.
3) A sense of security. Dogs hear everything – they know when things are off – and they want nothing to happen to you. I just feel a bit safer with my dogs around. Especially on nights when it’s just me and bubs at home. I know if someone is around or coming up the drive because the dogs will let me know.
4) They want to make you happy. Yup their whole goal is to please their owners. They see you as the leader of their pack and they want to make you happy. Always looking for you when out for a walk and listen to your commands in order to please you. Everything they do is for you and possibly for a few treats and cuddles.
5) They work harder than me. I mean this in a good way. They make working life on the farm a lot easier. Macy catches rabbits, Ra rounds up stock and Macy helps their as well. Saves me a whole bunch of running and walking myself. Work smarter not harder, and a good dog will allow you to do that.
So I’ll say it now – ‘I’m a dog person” -yup that’s right – love these little monsters heaps, and cannot imagine my life without a dog now. Sure sometimes its tough when you want to getaway but we have great neighbours who feed and walk them when we are away and my father-in-law loves Macy and would watch her in a heart beat for us. We are lucky that way. And I guess I’m lucky that they found their way into our lives. My little girl is growing up with her best friend already.
Macy come, sit with us and play.