I’ve been meaning to get a puppy for a while. I am not alone in feeling immense joy in the presence of a dog’s simple adoring love.
While I never had a dog growing up, I lived with a gracious Labrador called Hunter when I lived in a house-share as I started Skimlinks. I would come home at midnight, night after night, exhausted and lonely and scared, and Hunter would greet me at the door so excited to see me he was shaking with glee. For a long time, Hunter was what kept me sane. On Saturday mornings, when I allowed myself the pleasure of a sleep-in, Hunter would push my bedroom door open with his nose, come to my bedside, nuzzle me gently as I lay in bed, then happily plonk down on the sunny patch that coated the floor that time of morning. It was beautiful.
Then at Skimlinks, one of our team had an adorable Pomeranian called Dolly, who used to waddle up to you and shake her puffy tail as she greeted you each morning at your desk, then she’d happily waddle back to lie contentedly under her mamma’s desk.
And then there was the reassuring presence of a friend’s French bulldog, who demonstrated how safe a dog could make me feel. And finally there was the lovable Miniature Schnauzer Herman, who I’d dog sit with Ed sometimes. Herman would climb on the sofa and fall asleep with his head on my lap. My heart would swell with maternal love.
Unfortunately, my work commitments at Skimlinks precluded me getting a dog. It just wouldn’t be fair on the dog, nor easy on me. I was away too often, and even when I was in London, I spent almost every evening at various networking engagements.
But once I left Skimlinks, and I adopted a more self-employed lifestyle once again, the opportunity to finally welcome a bundle of love into my life arose again. It even featured on my post-Skimlinks Trello board of life goals. I spent weeks looking at various dog rescue and dog adoption sites, researching the right type of dog for me, learning about what it would take to take on this 10-15 year responsibility…
And then one day… I saw her. It truly was love at first site. I saw a photo of a Miniature Schnauzer and Maltese Terrier cross, and just *knew*. I had been searching for a schnauzer cross, and this was the first time I’d seen this type of cross… it doesn’t even have a portmanteau. Do I call it a Schnautese?
It was a week before my most recent birthday, so I decided she’d be my gift to myself. I was having a tough time personally, and I yearned for the companionship of a pup. I also felt that after almost two decades of global wanderings and hedonism, it perhaps would not be a bad thing to have something else to be responsible for, that would add a constraint to my life whereby more creativity and inspiration may come.
So I jumped in a cab and went to the address on the online ad for this pup. I was distressed to discover it was a pet shop, not a breeder, at the address. All my online research strenuously insisted one should not buy from a pet shop or without seeing the mother… and here I was, at a pet shop where there was no puppy mother. But the owner of the pet shop was very reassuring, and encouraged me to look at all the online reviews. I also called up the vet that the pet shop used to get a personal reference. It all passed positively.
And the truth is, it would have taken a lot for me to *not* progress, because as soon as I walked in the shop, two things happened. First: I recognised my pup immediately amongst about 12 tumbling yapping puppies in the enclosure. Second: as soon as I walked in, that pup instantly stopped tumbling and yapping, and started walking towards me. It was a surreal moment. All around her, a dozen puppies continued their frolicking. But her and I just gazed at each other in awe, in silence, in love.
I put a deposit down, and then spent a manic 2 days buying all the supplies I might need to welcome a new puppy to my home. And 2 days later, I once again returned to the shop, shaking with nervous excitement.
To read about adopting Lumi, read on.