Two months after meeting my new best friend, has taking ownership of a puppy affected my sewing output? Of course, it has!
I sometimes used to get up at – ahem – 5am to sew before work. That ain’t gonna be happening any more! Ella would wake up too, she’d want her breakfast, need the toilet, we’d get distracted… I’d stare at my watch and realise that it was time to shower for work. I have zero interest in waking a puppy up at 5am so that she can paw at me whilst I sit at the sewing machine. That chunk of sewing time has gone up in smoke.
In the evenings, she needs feeding and a walk and, most importantly, attention and training. It would be really selfish to plant myself at a sewing machine, when a puppy craves reminders that I love her. And, GOD, do I love her!
At weekends, there’s puppy training, longer walks, cuddles, chats with total strangers and the HUGE spike in socialising because everyone wants to spend time with … me. Me, right? It’s me you want to see? Stop looking at the puppy! Hello?! Um, yeah. I am a mere conduit between my mates and a very cute dog. That’s okay. I don’t blame them. She is cute.
Do I mind? Actually, you know what? Probably some small part of me does. Will I ever again have a five-hour-straight window for sewing in my underwear, with my hair unwashed and furry teeth?
A few people have asked me for my honest – honest! – take on bringing a dog into my life. Here are my thoughts, for what they’re worth:
- You have to be 110% certain that you’re ready for this commitment, because it will take over your (sewing) life.
- You’ll have days when you wonder what the heck you’ve done.
- Forget going out in the evenings – for now, at least.
- Expect to spend money – and then some. The initial outlay is really significant and so are the monthly costs, what with a full-time job and need for a dog walker. I had to get all my back garden re-fenced, and I nearly fainted at my first vet’s bill.
- Surrender yourself to losing control. Most adults at my time of life have manipulated their lifestyle into a finely-tuned machine of UTTER CONTROL. It might not feel it at times, but we sharply manage most of our own lives. A puppy is the ultimate challenge to that. Control freaks, beware!
- Prepare yourself for a ground swell of love. My relationship with my immediate family has been nothing short of galvanised, my best friends are more loving than ever before, distant friends want to come and stay, neighbours give me presents, strangers in the street stop and talk, travellers on the tube bend down to Ella for kisses.
And then there’s Ella herself… She’s no angel, but she’s not far off. I decided to look for a puppy because I’d hit a crossroads and I needed to follow a tugging lead down the right path. Ella has changed my life, and all she wants in return is a cuddle. I guess I can sacrifice a few sewing hours for that…