For years I struggled with the constant pleading from my kids to get a dog. The realisation that I had barely just stopped cleaning up my children’s excrement and would have to take on a life-long commitment to continue poo patrol helped me keep my resolve. I tried gold fish, a rabbit and a mouse as low maintenance pets but none brought about any companionship and love from my kids. The fish and the mouse died from natural causes and I had to give away the rabbit as I would spend an hour a day chasing it around the yard to put it back in it’s hutch.

My kids begging and affirmations that they would do everything for a puppy finally saw me give in and last Christmas we gave them a Cavoodle puppy – Tilly. The kids were vigilant about doing everything for her – for about a week! Luckily I fell in love with her and so I have adopted her as my fifth, slightly smelly, very hairy child.

When discussing how besotted I had become with her, someone once said to me that if she had known the love she would feel for her puppy before having children, she probably wouldn’t have bothered having kids. The dog is able to be left in the back yard with a bowl of water and nibbles and is excited to see her every time she gets home. It doesn’t have bath time every night nor different meals cooked everyday, it could swim without swimming lessons, is always enthusiastic to go for a walk and best of all it doesn’t talk back!

Tilly has become an integral member of our family; even my husband (who was not keen on getting her) will go out of his way to give her a cuddle. The kids are united in their love of their furry companion and she adores them too.

I expected Tilly to chew up toys and make a mess. Subconsciously I even thought it may provide an incentive for my kids to not leave things lying around, but she has never destroyed anything and so my kids know any possessions left strewn around are safe!

The point of this post is twofold: 1. Just know that if you get a puppy you will have to do all the work, 2. It is as rewarding as having kids.

Tilly turns one next week and I’m relieved that she doesn’t need a party, multiple cakes and presents. Instead I think a bone and a new collar might hit the mark – if only kid’s birthdays were that easy!



My daughter Amy with Tilly


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