Posts Tagged ‘children’

If you have children, there will come a time when they will want a puppy. Choosing to add a dog to your family is a fantastic idea, particularly for children, because it teaches them a lot about caring for others and loyalty, and it allows them to build lasting friendships. However, you shouldn’t just pick any dog you come across, particularly if your children are still very young or otherwise not used to dogs. There are a number of steps you should take into consideration before you pick your new four-legged friend.

family-friendly-dogsYour Family Dynamics

First of all, you need to do some soul searching. What sort of house do you live? How does your family operate? Will your children help to look after the dog? What kind of behaviour does the breed that you are considering generally exhibit and is that appropriate for your family? How much energy is in your own lifestyle and can you exercise your dog? How much living space is available for the new addition to the family? These are all very important considerations to make.

Pedigree or Not?

Next, you need to start considering the breed in earnest. Do you want a full pedigree, a mixed breed or a mongrel? There are pros and cons to each of these options. For instance, with a full pedigree, you know the dog’s complete history. However, they are more expensive and often have complicated health problems. Mixed breed dogs, on the other hand, are each completely unique, although that also means that it may be more difficult to determine its personality. Different dogs have different temperaments and you need to consider this.

The Breeds and Temperaments

It is now time to really start looking into the different breeds. Take the time to look at the characteristics and temperament of different dogs, but also at what sort of grooming and exercise they need. Don’t simply look at pictures and pick the dog that you think looks the cutest. Dalmatians, for instance, look adorable and are everybody’s favourite dog since The 101 Dalmatians, but they are largely unsuitable for families with small children. You need to find a dog that is friendly for families, which means you need a dog that can be trained, that is affectionate and that, above all, wants to please its owners. Sporting breeds such as gun dogs and hunting dogs are generally the best for this. Do remember, however, the owner of the dog plays a big part in how the dog behaves, and that means even the sweetest dog can become vicious if mal-treated.

Getting Your Puppy

Finally, you are ready to actually go and find your puppy. There is something to be said for going to an animal shelter, as this means you will rescue a dog that would otherwise not get a home, and possibly would get put down. However, the problem with shelter dogs is that you don’t know how they have been treated in the past and how they will respond to your family, even if their breed would class them as “friendly”. Additionally, it is likely that your child will much prefer a puppy.

You must, at all times, make sure you only work with recommended and properly registered kennels if you are to purchase a puppy. This will guarantee that you will purchase a puppy that is healthy and that has been raised properly, meaning it immediately had lots of exposure to other people. Do also make sure you visit your puppy more than once and that the whole family gets to know him or her a little bit before you bring the puppy home. Above all, remember that you have just added someone to your family, and this is an addition for life.

I struggled for a long time in deciding whether or not I was going to write this particular blog.  See, the following story isn’t controversial.  It isn’t political.  It doesn’t attack the system or open your eyes to injustices in the world.  However, it is a story about positive energy, and that is also a recurring theme in this blog.  What I struggle with, however, is that this is my own story.  This is what happened to me.  I wasn’t sure whether I was ready or not to share it.  I wasn’t sure whether or not I was ready to have people know exactly what has been going on inside me for the past few years.  But then I thought, I have learned from the two seriously horrible experiences that I have gone through.  It has given me a positive outlook on life.  It has changed the way I am profoundly and for that, I thank these horrible experiences.  So, I think I am ready to tell what has happened, not in the least because it will make me feel better – I hope.

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago, I fell pregnant for the first time.  I was over the moon.  It was planned, it was the next logical step in our relationship, it was right.  Everything went well, until, at 22 weeks pregnancy, I went for a scan and something seemed wrong.  I had what is known as Intra Uterine Growth Retardation, which meant my baby wasn’t growing.  I spent four weeks on bed rest and had to deliver at 26 weeks.  My baby had only grown a little bit since that 22 week scan, meaning she was just 1lb and half an ounce in weight.  I ruined my body in delivering her, forfeiting my chance of ever delivering naturally again.  Small price to pay, to be honest.  Piper was born and she fought like mad.  She fought for six weeks, until she finally had to give up.  See, I am hugely pro-choice.  I don’t care what your reasons are for abortion, if you need one, it is your decision.  However, I beg of people, please don’t leave the abortion limit at 24 weeks.  That is a living, viable child that doctors will deliver and leave to die.  24 weeks is too late.  This was one of the positive lessons I learned from this horrible experience.  Abortion is ok, but only to a point.  What I mainly learned, however, is what it means to be a parent, to be willing to give your life up for someone else without having to think about it.  What I learned is what true love means and that is the lasting legacy of the very short life of my gorgeous little girl and for that, I thank her every day.  Losing her was the worst day of my life, but at least I had the pleasure and honour of knowing her for six weeks.

Three Months Ago

Since Piper was born and died, I’ve had two miscarriages before finally giving birth to a gorgeous little boy, who is my absolute life.  However, a few months ago, we felt the time was right to try one more time.  I was about to give up when the magical second blue line appeared.  I was pregnant.  Once again over the moon, I went to a festival with some friends and was dancing to some beautiful music when I felt a pang.  Worried that I was miscarriaging, I checked for blood but there was none.  Suddenly feeling very faint, I grabbed on to the nearest first aider, who took me to the Red Cross post that was at the festival.  My blood pressure kept dropping and eventually they decided to rush me to hospital.  From here on end, things went from bad to worse.  The pain I have experienced is still fresh in my mind and I don’t think it will ever go away.  I was delirious, decided to get up and fainted.  At 6 foot tall, that is quite a drop, and I suffered a significant concussion from my fall.  Eventually, a scan revealed what the surgeon feared: I was having an ectopic pregnancy and it had ruptured.  I was, basically, bleeding to death.

Rushed to the surgery room, in my delirious state, I thought the surgeon was trying to murder me when they were putting a mask on me to put me under anaesthetic.  I fought like made, getting the mask off some three or four times before finally going under.

When I woke up, I had once again been sliced open.  The doctor rushed to my side and explained it had been a really close call.  I had lost almost four litres of blood and ended up having seven bags of blood, which still left me anaemic.

My world was shattered.  Strangely, not because of losing a child.  The baby was never a baby to me, since it wasn’t viable anyway.  What worried me was that I had come so close to losing my life.  Really dying.  Right after I was dancing in a field to some beautiful music.  What was that about?  I now have post-traumatic stress disorder as well.  That stupid anaesthetic cap won’t leave me alone and keeps coming back to me.  I struggled with the whole dying thing.  I was so bloody easy.  There was no white light, there was no outer body experience, no nothing.  I was just gone.  And worst of all, the world didn’t stop with me.  That was a really weird experience and it made me feel quite insignificant.  And to top it all of, I can’t have kids anymore now because of the three sections your out rule and because it’s too risk…

Now, I promised you something positive, but I had to get the horrible bits of my chest.  In fact, I wrote this quite a few days ago now, toying with whether or not to post it.  It’s such a personal story and still so raw.  But I need to get it off my chest.  I went to see my therapist yesterday who said there is nothing else he can do for me.  I guess I have reached a new level of crazy…  What he really meant was that I need more specialised treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, which I will be getting soon, but it still felt pretty weird being told that.

Now for the positive note, however.  I have learned something hugely important.  You know when people say you could cross the street and get hit by a bus?  They mean it.  You really can have the best day of your life and find yourself dead a few hours later.  I have learned that you don’t have a minute, not even a second, to waste in this lifetime.  It will, one day, be over.  Just like that.  Your day may be today, it may be tomorrow, or it may be in 100 years, but your day will come.  I have learned that I will therefore not spend a single moment of my day doing something I genuinely don’t want to do (I would love to give up my job, but there’s no chance of that lol).  I won’t spend another second of my life being bored.  I will seize the day, every day, all day long.  I will tell people how I feel, that I love them and that they matter to me.  I will make them know that they make life worth living.  I want to tell everybody that you shouldn’t be complacent.  Don’t live your life doing things because you have to, do them because you want to.  Wake up every morning with a smile on your face and remember it is another day in which you have a chance to be happy and change the world.  I’ve gone through hell and back and through absolute shit, but I am grateful for that, because it has made me who I am and I, personally, really like myself.