The Puppy Diaries – The Journey Begins

Today we have some exciting news… *drum roll please* we’re getting a puppy!

Although you may have seen our family dog Ted the Labradoodle pop up on many a photoshoot and Instagram post, my partner Emily and I share Ted with Emily’s mum and her partner. Meaning this will be our first puppy together in our new home. We sadly lost Holly, Emily’s childhood cat of 21 years in the latter part of 2020.

When getting a puppy there is so much to think about. So much to consider, and so many sources of information flooding the internet. As we embark on this journey together as a couple, I thought it may be helpful to share what we learn along the way from a personal perspective.

Everyone’s journey to making that big decision and committing to a puppy has differing factors. Emily and I have grown up with very different childhoods from a pet perspective. I personally had never had a cat or dog until I ‘adopted’ Mr Ted when Emily and I got together in 2017. Emily however has grown up with Holly from the age of 5, and at one point had 5 cats! After loosing Holly and only having Ted living with us occasionally, it’s true what people say when they refer to a house not being a home without a pet. So where do you go next?

Things to consider…

What three things should I consider when thinking about purchasing a puppy?

  • Can we commit the time? We can all say ‘we don’t have the time’. However as Emily keeps reminding me, we can all make time for something like a pet which enriches our lives. For us, we feel when we have Ted we make more of an effort to get out of the house. Move away from the laptop, and off on a long walk. Exercising and taking in the beautiful countryside on our doorstep. We are also lucky to have our own rural offices, as well as being well supported by family and friends to take care of the dog when the business demands our attention. This is however an extremely important decision to make. Although at the time of writing this we are currently in lockdown 3.0, with many of us working from home, you do need to keep in mind that this new puppy (dependent on breed) could be with you for 12 years or more. As the saying goes “a puppy is not just for Christmas” or COVID in this case.
  • Can we commit financially? In an earlier post on our blog. I documented that in a PDSA report, out of the 10,000 people surveyed, 75% of pet owners estimated a lower amount than the minimum monthly cost for their type of pet. Statistics show on average the minimum cost to keep a cat or a dog are both around £70 per month. So it’s important to make sure this financial commitment is carefully considered before taking on pet ownership.
  • Are you ready? You see all the adorable Instagram pictures of puppies curled up on the sofa, running around like little bundles of joy, and blissfully sleeping. However as we all know, Instagram does not mirror reality. As Emily knows from Ted, there are many sleepless nights and hours of training ahead before you get the obedient, well trained dog you dream of.

Reading on…

If you’re reading on from here, you’ve made the decision to get a puppy (or maybe you’re just enjoying our story so far). Either way the next step is where to look for a puppy and most importantly what to look out for when buying.

One of the most popular sites for purchasing a new puppy is pets4homes.co.uk. On here you can search by Pet Type, Pet Breed and of course your postcode to see who’s breeding locally to you.

At this stage I could go on about the puppy being KC (Kennel Club) registered, hip scores, the price of various different breeds, etc. However what we have found most important is that you connect with the breeder. As soon as you talk to that breeder for the first time, you’ll know whether it’s a match for you or not.

When we first started looking, Emily scoured pet4homes for months. She sent me countless links and adorable puppy pictures, then one day, one advert just stood out. The lady’s name was Heidi and she only lived around 40-minutes from our base here in Preston. A quick call to enquire about the reservation list ended in over an hours phone call. I know I can talk, but Heidi was just as bad! Heidi talked about her home situation, the two adorable Labradors they have as family pets, and the history behind both the mum and dad.

As if by chance, that first call to Heidi was made the day before Piper (the mum to be) was to have a scan to check she was pregnant. Within 48-hours the news came back that she was! There were at least 5 pups and we were fourth on the list. From this point forward Heidi set up a WhatsApp group so we can follow Piper and the pups journey. From pregnancy to birth, and today the pups finding their feet for the very first time, the journey continues.

Along with everything that’s happening now, we have also seen the history of both the parents. Piper and Arthur’s family tree can be traced back 5 generations. It’s an interesting read and gives you a good understanding of the breeding lines and the dogs backgrounds.

For Heidi, breeding Piper was an experience rather than a job and this has shone through. She has enabled us to experience the journey with her every step of the way. For us, this is allowing us to connect with not only the pups, but Piper and Heidi too. We are developing a bond and friendship I hope will continue on for many years as the pups grow.

It’s important to point out at this stage that this is only our personal experience and choice. There are many highly experienced and talented dog breeders who will provide you with excellent service and a pedigree pup. But we personally could not wish to do anything differently. All that’s left to do now is show you some puppy pictures!

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