By the time I’d had my eldest two settled into secondary school and my youngest started in Year Four, mums at school would ask me whether I ‘was finished, or ready for number four’. It was a question I’d been pondering myself. I was 42 then and still couldn’t say for definite that I didn’t want another baby, but I felt time might be running out.When I brought up the subject with Stressed Husband, he was certain that, for him, the days of nappies and sleepless nights were well and truly over. I understood what he meant; we were just beginning to experience a little bit of freedom with our oldest (then 15) being able to babysit the other two for a few hours here and there – hallelujah! Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing to make my happy little family complete. But what?
Roll on seven years and we know for sure that we made the right decision to fill that gap with our fluffy, squidgy, lovable, utterly delectable black Labrador, Troy – named by the then nine-year-old who was crazy about Troy Bolton (Zac Efron, aka PHWOAR) the lead hunk on High School Musical. We used to laugh when elderly gentlemen in the park would look at my daughter and say, “What a strong name you’ve chosen, young lady. You must know your history and all about the Trojans, then eh?” If you knew my daughter’s lack of interest in history, you would know how funny that was. I would smile at the oldies and nod, enjoying the kudos (even though it was pseudo) of being mum of an exceedingly clever child.
Tying Troy up outside the playground was akin to leaving Leonardo Dicaprio standing outside waiting for the home bell! When I returned to the dog, a crowd of fans would’ve gathered to gush over him and coo about how handsome he was. It wasn’t long before other mums at school had been harassed into buying puppies for their children and soon there was a whole group of us who’d gone for a dog over a baby.
Over the years, Troy has become our baby No.4, who we all dote on (though of course, I’m the one on constant Poo Duty). Daily dog walks have become a big part of my day – I love meeting with pals for a gossip as we stroll with our furry friends playing at our feet – it’s just like the toddler groups we used to go to, but less stressful – and less competitive…just as much poo though.
So, if you’re uhming and ahhing over having another baby or getting a dog, you know my answer. There’s loads of great info here from Dogs Trust on making sure you know all the important things to consider when buying a new puppy.
Now – what are you waiting for? Go find a furry friend 🙂