The first few days of owning Bodhi were pretty tough. At that time Tom worked shifts and stayed at his parents' for three days out of eight, and those three days fell the day after we picked him up. Bodhi cried and barked all through the night and then left a trail of poo and wee around the house all day. Needless to say, my attempts at working from home during those days were not very productive. It was pretty exhausting having an extremely demanding tiny puppy jumping all over me and I almost permanently carried around cleaning wipes, kitchen roll and antibacterial spray. I was very glad when Tom came home after those few days! I know I've made that sound very melodramatic, but I just want to make any potential puppy owners aware of the fact that the first few weeks are not all puppy snuggles and instagram opportunities, there are also a lot of sleepless nights and soggy puddles on your favourite rug!
Of course there were a lot of fun moments over those first few weeks as we adjusted to our new family member too. I made a little video of Bodhi chasing after a ball in the garden - I can't believe how white and fluffy he is! - By the way, we'd only just moved into our house at this point and the garden is awful, please excuse the mess!
For those of you that don't know, you can't take a puppy out for walks until a certain amount of time (advised by your vet - usually a couple of weeks) after their puppy injections to ensure that they are safe to mix with other dogs. As we picked Bodhi up at the end of September 2011 (8 weeks after he was born at the end of July), we had an Autumn full of exploring the forest with Bodhi and taking him for as many walks as his little puppy legs would allow.
We'd picked Bodhi up from a breeder in North Wales, so we thought it was very fitting that his first walks were back in Wales when we went there for a long weekend away at the beginning of October. I still can't believe he was ever that little!
And this is Bodhi in the forest a month later in November. He was very nervous of all of the horses walking around!
Fast forward three years and getting Bodhi is still one of the best decisions we've ever made. His little face never fails to make me smile, and he is the most fun, loving dog - he has so much personality and constantly has us crying with laughter at his little antics. I love the fact that everyone who meets him falls in love with him too (sometimes I think some of our friends and family are more excited to see Bodhi than they are to see us!) He is just as gorgeous now as he was as a tiny pup.
Just before I finish this gushy post full of Bodhi love, I thought I'd answer a few questions I often get asked about Bodhi and getting a dog...
Why did you name him Bodhi?
Tom and I couldn't decide on a name we both liked, and we both had a list and couldn't agree on one! In the end we chose a favourite character out of one of our favourite films (Bodhi in Point Break, played by Patrick Swayze). Bodhi also has a beautiful meaning in Sanskrit, meaning enlightenment and awakening (kind of ironic for a dog that likes to sleep for most of the day).
What type of dog is Bodhi?
He is a schnoodle - a cross between a schnauzer and a poodle. We chose to get a schnoodle because of each breed's attributes, but mainly because the poodle in him means he doesn't shed fur so is considered 'hypoallergenic', which was important as Tom suffers from asthma and hayfever as well as lots of allergies so we didn't want to risk that he'd be allergic to Bodhi!
How much does owning Bodhi cost? Is owning a dog expensive?
The initial outlay of buying a dog is expensive as dogs can range from anything from about £500 upwards depending on whether you want a cross-breed or pedigree. Then you need to think about buying items like a dog bed, crate, lead, toys etc, which all add up, as well as vet's bills for initial jabs and checkups. On a monthly basis we spend about £20 on food for Bodhi (a large dog will cost more in food). Two other monthly outgoings are pet insurance, which costs another £10 and a standard fee we pay to the vet which covers check-ups, and a couple of other treatments a year (also £10 a month). Dog insurance is absolutely non-negotiable and something you wouldn't want to be without - if your dog gets sick or is injured it can get very expensive in terms of vet's bills so it gives you peace of mind that you can get them better without worrying about the cost.
Is Bodhi the best dog there ever was?
Yes, yes he is.
Are you a dog lover? I think we should have a blogger and dog meetup one day so all the blogger's dogs (that's a mouthful) can hang out!