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It’s A Dog’s Life

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Falling in love with a new dog feels so natural, it’s like they’re designed to make you love them.

Anyone who’s had a puppy knows what a challenge it can be at first, but there’s a point in which you’re suddenly aware that you belong to each other… an unbreakable pact that will only strengthen over the years.

Wolfie joined our family at No 19 like an explosion. One day he was just with us and everyone knew about it. I’d love to say he instantly fitted in, but he didn’t and I didn’t really expect him to.

Lu disliked him. The cats were disgusted. Everything he did involved, and still involves teeth and as I’m typing this on my phone, I’m looking down at the backs of my hands which are covered in tooth-shaped scabs and scars!

The decision to get another dog was one I’d been milling over for quite a few years. The simple truth is that Lu’s getting old and one day will no longer be here, but this is something I didn’t want to think about.. so it was easier to put the whole thing off until another time… and that time is now.

Lu was a revelation to me. I’d never had a dog before and I just wasn’t ready for how much I’d love him. I’d been living at No 19 for about six months and my neighbour, Jiřina, suggested I get a dog.

Her boyfriend had a litter of black German Shepherds and was happy to give me one. I thought it through carefully and I felt I was living a life that could happily accommodate a dog, and so why not?

When he arrived I believed I’d been given a bear cub. His eyes were blue, he smelt like nothing I’d ever smelt before, he was beautiful… he destroyed everything… and whether I knew it or not, I was falling in love.

Twelve years later and I can’t imagine life without him, but that day will come however much I don’t want it to.

I decided on an outdoor dog when I got Lu. He was to be a member of the family, but was to eat, sleep and live outdoors as a guard dog.

It’s funny how things change. Within six weeks he was sharing my bed with my cat, Mario, and was anything but an outdoor only dog.

I can’t say I trained Lu particularly well. He pulled when we went for walks, he often pulled me over, but when I call him, he always comes… but only if he feels like it. However, he’s been a good natured dog from day one and loves people.

We have so many visitors at No 19 and he just got used to them. A couple of times he was snappy with the cats and I surprised myself by how quickly I reacted. Lu quickly learnt that aggression was not the way.

More recently he’s jumped in front of Wolfie when he’s tried chasing one of the cats, and breaks up fights in the house earning him the name Policeman Lu.

As I’d never had a dog before and I was a little cautious of them, I didn’t really feel comfortable letting Lu off his leash when out of the garden.

We have a field on the other side of the village where I let Lu roam free and run around, but otherwise I keep him very close by especially as he seems to be a little over protective of me and I don’t want any confrontations with strangers if we're on a walk.

Nowadays Lu is pretty slow and walks our short morning trek to the woods at a steady and even pace.

I know he finds it difficult and probably a little painful, but he also looks forward to going out more than anything else in the world… maybe food is also up there with his walks.

Wolfie on the other hand seems to be happy close to home. He certainly needs to burn off his energy, so after a walk with him and Lu I take Wolfie for a longer trip alone to the field and beyond. This way he gets home and is relatively calm and relaxed for the day if I’m lucky.

It’s amazing how quickly they grow, how they are suddenly adult dogs with such power and energy, and beauty.

Although he’s only five months old, Wolfie is such a sweet and beautiful dog, and when he gets over his teenage months, I think he’s going to be perfect!

Lu and the cats are warming towards him now and, although he’s a little snappy, I think Lu likes him.

I never thought there’d be enough room for me to love two dogs… but I have a feeling there is. Lu is a part of me and always will be, but I know I’m falling for Wolfie too. I think they’re just designed that way: whether you want to or not, they make you fall in love with them 🖤

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