My dog is awesome

It’s a pretty bold statement, but my dog is really awesome. When I was thinking about getting a puppy, we had many talks about what kind of dog we wanted and how we would raise him. We knew that there was a chance that owning a dog, with all the responsibilities that come with it, would be more work or harder or just not as fun as we thought. But after nearly two years I can only say: my dog – our dog – is just awesome. How did we get so lucky to have him? Continue Reading

How our dog and cats live together

Of course cats and dogs can get along! True, strange dogs don’t trust cats they don’t know. Cats are inclined to run away from loud dogs when they meet them outside. Our cats don’t trust strange dogs, but will happily let our dog snuggle up to them. They are also happy with visiting dogs, as long as they are well-behaved in their eyes. How did we manage to make the cats accept our dog?

Both our cats are rescue cats from a local shelter. We picked them up separately. First we got our girl, who was supposed to be a loner cat: could not play nice with other cats. It took us 2 years to realise that she actually was feeling lonely, so we chose a ginger tomcat from a large rescued cat family. He knew how to be social and he needed to quiet time after the house full of cats he grew up in. Somehow he understood that the girl wanted him to be there, but not too close. And he slowly got closer to her, whenever she allowed it. Now they eat together, their heads almost bumping.

But I always wanted a dog. It took us a while to settle on the idea of a chihuahua and then it took us a further while to find the right one. Meanwhile, we let the cats get to know a friendly dog who was calm, even if she wasn’t used to being around cats. The ginger tomcat fell in love with her. So when we eventually brought home a tiny chihuahua puppy, the cats knew what it was. Then all we had to do was train the puppy and teach him how to act around the cats. The cats helped with that part of the training. They taught him exactly what they allowed and what was not allowed.

Now they all get along fine. The ginger tomcat is the chihuahua’s best friend and wrestling partner; the tuxedocat girl tolerates him, but also challenges him to play. Of course as soon as the dog seems to be winning, she hisses at him and ends the games. And the dog listens.

Nothing makes me happier than sitting on the sofa with my guy, the cats and the dog. And just enjoying that moment, where everyone is just relaxed. It never lasts long. That’s what makes it extra special.

Thoughts on getting a puppy

Getting a puppy has been on my mind  since I moved out. But when you work fulltime and are living alone you know you can’t offer the puppy all it needs. Besides working long days, the apartment I lived in was too small. It was too small for the cat I eventually got, too. But somehow you fool yourself into thinking a cat won’t mind. It didn’t become a possibility to have pets until we moved in together and got a slightly larger house. For the puppy we wanted to get a house with a small garden. And we have one now.

We’ve both had dogs in the past, but never together. And we both have different favourite breeds. And though I know that breed is not that important, the one thing that it does offer is healthier pups. I know not many people think this is true, but in the Netherlands official breeders of a particular breed will have a long list of rules and regulations to pass before a healthy pup can be born. So we are most likely going to go for a breed. But which one?

I absolutely love poodles. They are bright, smart, can have a sense of humour and have this awesome curly coat. He liked sturdier looking dogs, like the Akita or Shiba Inu. Both breeds are quite independent and smart. But we also have to think of the cats. Our youngest girl has had a bit of a run in with a dog that was slightly bigger than her. So we think we’ll do better to choose something that remains smaller than her. Which is limiting. But combined with what we like in dogs (independend, smart, loving) we are probably going to fgo with a chihuaha. And the youngest cat seems to like chihuahuas! And that is important.

Yes, it seems we are getting a puppy for our cat. Or both of them. The Ginger Tom seems to get on really well with dogs in general. Well, he is a very loving and friendly cat. And even though it is my dream, my wish, I think when we are getting a puppy we need to make sure everyone in the house likes him. Or her.