We were first introduced to Charlie on Christmas Day when she was only 3 weeks old. We were having Christmas Dinner at my husband’s Aunty and Uncle’s house. We had no idea that his cousin’s dog had just had a litter of puppies, or that these gorgeous little pups would be joining us for Christmas Day!
After spending the whole day nursing these adorable beanie baby puppies (I actually have no recollection of Christmas Dinner at all I was so distracted by the pups!), it was understandably impossible to refuse the offer of ‘Free to a good home’. So, a few months later on Valentine’s Day, we brought Charlie home and she became the third member of our tiny family.
After watching many of the Dog training programmes on TV such as Cesar Milan’s ‘Dog Whisperer’ and ‘Dog Borstal’, we were certain that we knew exactly how to train our new puppy and ensure we became the ‘Pack Leader’. How wrong were we?!? Training our new adorable puppy was MUCH harder than we expected. She didn’t do as she was told! What was that about?!
So we started taking her along to puppy training classes. Now that was an experience I won’t forget in a hurry! (This is the part of the post where I wish I knew how to write comedy. Each dog with it’s own crazy personality, completely unaware that it’s supposed to do as it’s told, some bolting out the door during ‘recall’ or collapsing on the floor wanting it’s tummy tickled when learning the ‘sit’ command – hilarious!) But with a lot of help and support from an experienced dog trainer, we started making progress with Charlie’s training. She was most definitely Top of the Class (in our opinion!) and each week and month she improved my heart swelled with pride as she developed into a warm, friendly, loving and obedient dog.
For the first two years of Charlie’s life, she really was our ‘little girl’. She came on holiday with us, we enjoyed long walks in the Lake District and we even started setting up an agility course in the garden for her. We didn’t have children at the time and all our attention was on her.
Then, on Thursday 9th December 2010 (Charlie’s 2nd birthday) our REAL ‘little girl’ arrived. It certainly took a little while for Charlie to adjust to the change. She had no idea what to make of this tiny human being that made these high pitched noises at all hours of the day and night! Not only that, where had all her regular walks gone? Suddenly her 2 hour runs down by the river had been replaced by a 15 minute jaunt to the supermarket to pick up more nappies and SMA. Poor Charlie!
The arrival of our daughter really was something we all had to adjust to very quickly, but Charlie’s warm and friendly nature meant we didn’t need to worry about her bonding with our new baby. The older our daughter has become, the more fun Charlie has had with her (even if the fun is slightly more one-sided in our daughter’s favour!). They are now best of friends and can often be seen nose to nose under the dining room table, working out what mischief they can get up to next!