The day was nearly upon us and in my enthusiasm I had already spent a small fortune – not just for the actual puppy, which Mark joked was the most expensive mongrel he’d ever come across – but also on the paraphernalia I’d convinced myself she would need.
We’d rounded off our holiday by staying a few days with my younger daughter Sophie and her husband Rick. We spent an enjoyable couple of hours over a pub lunch deciding on a name for their new ‘sister’ – oh yes I’d already seen this new addition to our family akin to another child (empty nest syndrome has to be a consideration here). I didn’t want a traditional dog’s name, so after we’d finished our meal we sifted through baby names on our phones each selecting a few we all liked. I instantly loved Freya and after looking up the Scandinavian meaning of the name:
Lady. Derived from the name of Freyja, the Norse goddess of love and fertility.
I knew this was perfect.
After listening to advice from other dog owners and experts, we had already decided that crate training was the way forward for us, and I wanted to buy this and other necessities while with Sophie so off we went to pay a visit to her local pet shop.
It was reminiscent of having my first baby. I was convinced that all on offer was essential and with an enthusiastic assistant naturally helping us along the way, a very large pile was beginning to accumulate at the till. I’d still not finished thirty minutes later when husband (and father to be) Mark came in to find out what we were doing. Thank goodness for his common sense – or is it just the fact he’s a true Yorkshireman – but either way he gently suggested we reconsider some bits and put them back on the shelves. Still nearly £200 lighter we left the store, with my excitement palpable.
Tip from a Novice
You really don’t need to buy the shop for your puppy. Write down the absolute essentials you need to begin with and stick to them. Once you’ve established what else you need then you can add as you go along as no two puppies have exactly the same requirements.
As Freya came with enough food for a few weeks, her blanket and toy tiger, for me this should just have been:
- A crate;
- Two bowls for food and water;
- Comb and slicker;
- Puppy shampoo;
- Puppy collar and lead – I bought a harness initially, but my trainer later advised a collar was a better option for lead training if I wanted to avoid a straining dog.
From the myriad of other items I bought, I also found a medium Kong useful and she loved her small squeaky toys. I bought puppy pads, but these went un-used which is covered in a future toilet training article.