How getting a dog changed my life

Getting a dog changed my life

It’s safe to say that getting a dog was very high on the agenda after buying a house. (A refresher: NZ is heinously pet unfriendly when it comes to renting – “No pets and no smokers” reads basically every rental listing ever.)

I had no idea how to choose a dog, really. I wanted to adopt pretty much every single dog listed for adoption on TradeMe, and once at the SPCA, it was just as tough. Heartbreaking, really (I may have gotten a bit teary.) Especially the older ones.

This little lass was just over a year old and had been awaiting adoption for many months. Her previous family lived in government housing and couldn’t keep her.

She’s super affectionate, very alert and aware. She has to sniff ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING and find out what you’re up to.

She’s also a bit of a chewer, although hopefully that will fade with age.

She settled in quite quickly, I thought, but a coworker said it would probably take time. And indeed, a couple months in she’s suddenly started to REALLY play with her toys properly – in particular the first two I ever got her – and it warms my heart.

Also, turns out that talking out loud to something that doesn’t talk back isn’t as unnatural as I thought it would be.

Owning a dog has forced/taught me to be:


I’ve always struggled with neatness. I have some Type A tendencies that I tap into in order to combat my core messiness and keep on top of life, but organised chaos tends to be how I roll. Now I’m learning to shut doors, put things away, and this dovetails nicely with home ownership as I can now finally store stuff away and know that’s how it’s going to be as long as I want it that way. I’m not much for decor, but practical solutions I can get behind … and home storage is my new addiction. Basket, shelves, hooks, racks … I want them all!

More active

It’s always a struggle, especially in winter. We live near some great parks and tracks, luckily, and often run into other friendly dogs along the way.


I’m not a naturally patient person. But I know I need to lead calmly by example and focus on positive reinforcement. While she’s quite well behaved there’s room to improve (and I have lots to learn too) and we’re just about to start obedience classes!

She brings me so much joy. I look forward to seeing her at the end of every day, and it makes me want to rush home. Sometimes she’s a pain in the ass; for a couple of dark days early on I was afraid we’d bitten off more than we could chew, that she’d never calm down and be manageable. But I wouldn’t give her up for the world.

5 thoughts on “How getting a dog changed my life

  • Reply Sense May 25, 2016 at 21:42

    She’s adorable!! Congrats!

    SO. JEALOUS. I want to get a dog more than anything else in the world! 🙂

    • Reply eemusings May 26, 2016 at 19:32

      More than welcome for play dates etc 🙂

  • Reply Anya May 26, 2016 at 06:07

    Love this post and 100% agree with everything you mentioned, especially patience. Empathy is another big one for me. I have a hard time with it when it comes to humans but the sight of a homeless or injured dog just breaks my heart in pieces. I never thought I could love an animal as much as I love my pups. Congrats again and I’m glad you’re able to give the little gal a place to call home.

  • Reply Anna Sakila August 31, 2017 at 03:09

    Dogs are wonderful creatures. If we take the time to make sure we choose a dog that is right for us and our lifestyle (and train them properly), they will change our life for the better. Thank for sharing the post.

  • Reply Pete Sullivan October 31, 2018 at 08:15

    My dogs are the best gifts of my life. I really love them a lot.

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