So what is it I have become? Quite simply, I seem to have become an animal-lover. I know, you were expecting something a little more profound that that weren't you?!
|Bugsy with OH in 1999!|
When OH and I first got married, he bought me a cat for my birthday. Bugsy was an odd creature and I never really got on with him....in fact when DD1 was born, he ran away. I have to admit to feeling more relieved than sad - the germs were not good around a small baby (you can see why he legged it at the first opportunity!).
Based on these rather callous attempts at owning a pet, I never ever dreamt that one day I would become a dog-owner. My parents have never liked dogs and as I said earlier, I believe that our up-bringing has a huge effect on what we become in later life. Ultimately the decision was mine as we all knew the buck would stop with me when it came to caring for the dog. The kids knew this. For months we would have coercion tactics that went something like this: "We could all go out for long walks together as a family", "I have always wanted a dog", "I promise I will play with him and look after him", "EVERYONE else has got a pet". That final one was the clincher and I think they began to see me waver, just a little bit (the 'guilt' card always works on me!)
|Virginia Water pre-Paddy!|
A few months later, Paddy ('it') came into our lives. Paddy is a Cairn Terrier - if you are not familiar with this breed, think West Highland Terrier but more beige than white. We chose a Cairn after hours of pouring over books and researching on the internet. Our reasons were as follows: Cairns don't shed hairs (great for the house-proud!), don't require excessive amounts of walking and are good with children. There was also the small matter that he blended in nicely with the neutral colour scheme in our house!
Ordinarily, I would say that decisions motivated by guilt would not be good ones ('a dog is for life not just for christmas' after all) but this one seems to have paid off. Don't get me wrong, we have our off days with Paddy - when he has dug massive holes in the lawn, when we get a phone call from a neighbour who has found him running down the middle of the main road, when he polishes off DD1's birthday cake or the shame he sometimes causes on a walk when jumping up at perfect strangers in the hope that they may have treats! But on the whole it has been one of the best decisions we have ever made - the kids adore him, they have taught him tricks, dressed him up (!) and generally showered him with unconditional love. Even I, the non-animal lover, have become quite attached to the fluffy mutt.
I am someone who likes to play it safe in life. I don't naturally step out to try new things, usually through fear of making a mistake. Sometimes it is worth taking a risk and doing something we didn't plan for in life. Buying a pet is perhaps a rather shallow example (I did say I'm not one for big risks!) but I can honestly say that our lives have been enriched because of it.
What have you become that you didn't set out to be? Do you feel your life has been enriched or ruined because of it?
|Paddy the Superdog!|
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