“Having a dog was supposed to cure my depression – instead it made it worse”

The idea gained traction when, at a local pub, I befriended a toy poodle who rested his chin on my thigh while I supped on a Sipsmith and a slimline. I felt an ocean of love for such a simple affection. Eventually, we pulled out antennae for a dog of our own.

Our first hope was to adopt a dog whose elderly owner, unfortunately, had passed away. As an adult, fully trained, he was a maltipoo (a breed I had never heard of) and exerted a magnetic pull.

I wrote a sincere email. I held my breath. Heard nothing. It turned out later that my message had gone straight to spam, like Tess (she from the D’Urbervilles) posting a letter to Angel under the door but accidentally slipping it under the rug. Our luck had passed.

When we saw a mirror dog while shopping, we questioned the owner and one thing led to another, culminating on that memorable January morning with little Eadie swaddled, Paul waiting fatherly by the car and I stopping on the steps of the house like an elderly Duchess of Cambridge, wearing neither the postnatal blow-dry nor the designer blouse in a nod to the late Princess Di.

Our kitchen was ready for the dogs. Balls. Brushes. Bed. Baby carrier. But instead of the often-suggested metal case, we had gone chic with upholstered cabinetry – think G Plan with the weight of a grand piano. Eadie ignored him. As for the door, it was so surprisingly mini that we had to stretch mesh through the rungs to keep it from slipping.

That evening as Paul flew back to Northern Ireland our strategy was to have Eadie sleep in the kitchen so after setting her up I locked the door and retired to clean 24 hour flight of my face.

Everything was calm. Not a word. Until I understand why. She was sitting by my dressing table, watching the ablutions. It turned out that a commando-style operation had taken place. She had lowered the fence, formed a ladder and climbed the steps while whistling the theme of The Great Escape.

Faced with this technical breakdown, and in order to save the carpet in the bedroom, I slept with her on the sofa. Unfortunately, I let this become a habit.

If I ever left her alone she was moaning and moaning until I gave in and was back on the couch Eadie camped on my head like a Davy Crockett hat me watching Father Brown at 2am all cleaning up endless pee and poo all night long. Be blessed, my child. Home training has become crucial. But my efforts went to shit.

The basic idea is that you take your puppy out regularly, wait as long as necessary, praise him and reward him. However, our timing couldn’t have been worse. Not only was it one of the wettest winters on record, neighbors began digging an extension. The fences had fallen. Trenches were dug.

While I was shaking, Eadie just investigated the leaves while I Googled their potential toxicity. It wasn’t until she was back in the house that she relieved herself. Rinse (literally) and repeat.

I continued to fight, still dazed but now severely sleep deprived and refusing work. I’m sure you’re thinking, “He’s just a puppy, for god’s sake,” but I remember describing her as a diaperless baby on roller skates. From time to time, she stopped to chew things. Like Paul Thom Browne’s specs. We won’t talk about it anymore.

Simple things have become complicated. Putting on socks turned into an arm wrestle. I ended up balancing on the bed getting dressed, pulling on leggings, wobbling as an eight-inch-tall pup patrolled around the perimeter of the comforter.

Comments are closed.