Trevor Nelson: I’ve nicknamed my exhausting, life-ruining puppy Satan but he’s the best decision I ever made
I’ve become more frustrated looking after this puppy than with anything else I’ve done in my life yet he just makes me feel something wonderful I can’t explain.
Our very cute new puppy is called Ollie, but I’ve given him the nickname Satan.
I knew it was going to be hard work getting a puppy but my word, I didn’t realise quite what we were letting ourselves in for. I’ve had a lot of demanding things happen in my life: I’ve had to work really hard to get where I am on the radio, I’ve had to be sleep deprived many times, doing gigs and flying from A to B, but I’ve become more exhausted and frustrated looking after this puppy than with anything else I’ve done in my life.
My partner does the early morning puppy routine because she’s good at getting up at the crack of dawn. I’m a night owl and I get home late in the evening, so I do night-time stuff and dog-sit a few days a week when she’s at work. It’s an interesting challenge preparing for my radio show while also keeping an eye on the puppy.
There are times when my partner and I sleep in separate bedrooms so I don’t wake her up, and she doesn’t interrupt the little sleep I get now. It’s unbelievable.
I mean, it’s actually totally believable, because people with pets know exactly what I’m talking about. But I’m still reeling from the dedication you need to have to bring up a puppy properly. Bags under our eyes, sleep deprivation, a baby monitor by where the puppy sleeps… or doesn’t sleep. It’s made my partner and I a bit touchy with each other, too.
We don’t have a child together, but I’ve had children, and having this puppy is worse than having a new-born human because a baby stays in the cot and falls asleep, but a puppy whines and wants to play all the time.
Also, you can put a nappy on a new-born. I’ve moved out to the North London suburbs in the past five years so thankfully we have a big garden where the dog can run around, but I’ve spent money doing my house up and the puppy thinks it’s funny to just make a mess all over it – almost as if he’s trying to upset me. I’ll be on the phone and Ollie will sit there staring at me with his big, lovely eyes, do his business and then just walk away.
This dog life of mine began because my partner has been on at me for the past two years about getting a puppy. We’ve got a British blue cat, which is beautiful but not the most sociable animal. I never thought I’d actually have a dog. It’s changed my social life. I now have to cancel things with my friends because I’m dog-sitting.
We started planning a holiday the other day and realised we have to factor in where the puppy will go, where it will be safe to leave him, and whether the person we leave him with will understand him well enough. The really bad thing is that my clothes style has plummeted. Now I wear some old parka, and jumpers I wouldn’t have been seen dead in before I got a dog.
I have to admit that I used to wonder why people with dogs often wear “dog clothes”, and now I get it completely. I have a whole rail of stuff I don’t mind my dog jumping all over, ripping at, biting at. I’m one of those people now. But then again, Ollie is the best decision I’ve ever made.
It’s like my friend said the other day: he comes home to a household of kids and his wife, and everyone’s having a pop at him every two minutes – but the only person who’s 100 per cent happy to see him every time is his dog. And I totally understand that, because with the way Ollie’s tail starts wagging when I get back, he just makes me feel something I can’t really explain. He’s just wonderful. Every day you can see him getting more in tune with what you want to do; he’s making a bit more of a compromise, although of course it’s still all about him.
It is all about Ollie. Maybe I’m getting old – I’m 57 – but when I’m watching a bit of telly and the dog comes up to me, it’s just so nice. I can’t wait until the summer when I can take him out to lots of new green spaces. All the same, I’ve really seen first-hand why people shouldn’t get a puppy unless they’re fully invested and are prepared to have their life turned upside down. Definitely don’t buy a puppy for your children, however much it might appeal to see their joyful faces on Christmas morning.
Puppy owners will also know that, even if you are completely ready for it, there will be moments in every puppy household where you’re going to have arguments, you’re going to have fallouts, and you’re going to wonder how this puppy managed to take over your world.
To help us, we got a dog whisperer, who is very zen. We decided not to stick the dog in a crate to sleep; we decided to let him sleep on the sofa or in one of the chairs because he’s much more peaceful that way.
We’ve also struck gold because we introduced Ollie to our neighbour’s one-year-old dog Bowie. The two get on so well; they chase each other around and wear each other out. We’re even thinking of building a tunnel between the gardens. Things are getting better; he’s getting into a nice routine. We’ve suffered, but it’s already been worth the pain.
I can see we’ve got a joyful future ahead with Ollie – and I’m thinking of turning him into a guard dog to get my money’s worth.
Needless to say, that’s a joke – as if he’d be any good at being aggressive… At the end of the day, he’s a tiny cavapoo guard dog with those doe-eyes that are just impossible to resist.
(Story source: Inews)