why the hesitation at dog ownership???

So I am not a complete rookie dog owner. I have been in some part responsible for a hound twice before. My first attempt was as a 13 year old, the puppy was the runt of my cousin’s litter. She was so cute, as are small baby type things such as- puppies. My Dad was all for it, my Mum well, not so much. My mother’s reservations were founded, we had no front fence, dogs are a lot of work, and we had limited success with pets. This did not deter my wanting a puppy.

2 against 1- we got a puppy.

The name of this cute little fox terrier cross was most certainly original. The originality was with good reason (the name was a shocker). The moment we brought her home I let her into the house (illegally) and she promptly emptied her bladder, on the new carpet (better than her bowels I guess).

Whoopsie was christened.

My second involvement in dog responsibilities was in in 1994. I had a ‘host dog’ called Paco, he was a four legged member of the Schmidt Family whom I lived with during my student exchange year in Germany.

It was my job to walk Paco. This really was not that much of a chore for me, despite some very cold temperatures. It never ceased to amaze me that I could be out walking a dog in another country while my family and friends were at home in Australia. Somehow I thought my life in Australia was on hold, that this year in Germany was not my real life- it was in some way make believe.

These two dogs were vastly different. Whoopsie was the runt of a cross breed litter. Paco was a purebred Beagle with an actual family tree, that was more detailed then my own. Whoopsie had no training she never even had the chance to be a drop out, there was no training for this dog. I didn’t have a clue how to train a dog (nor did my parents). Paco however, had several years of training plus, he was surrounded by people who knew what they were doing.

The whole Whoopsie episode was as her name suggested a big mistake. I did my best but really to own a pet you have to step up, you can’t just wing it. Whoopsie died on the 30th June 1989.

Her “passing” was like most of my pet experiences- tragic.

This 8 month old non trained, non-compliant dog became yet another statistic. Whenever Whoopsie heard the Green Sleeves music of the Mr Whippy van she would run out onto the street, to play with the small children who would be lining up to get their ice-creams.

Mr Whippy who, quite rightly was on high alert for small children , unfortunately he did not notice the small dog as he put the van into gear and drove off to his next stop. There would be a small delay in the sale of ice-creams on this Friday afternoon.

Mr Whippy was very distressed, his van had created yet another road kill statistic. I don’t blame the driver, Whoopsie was excitable and we had no fence. I remember Mr Whippy offering me something from the van as some sort of token of his remorse-

“You can have anything you like, a soft cone, a chocolate top, a slush puppy…..”

How does the saying go? ‘Awkward…’

Life has come full circle, now I am the mother. My boys are asking me for a dog. I don’t want to be the person who rains on the parade but, dogs take up a lot of time. Dog ownership is just another element to add to our already too busy lives. There is a very big plus however, our little house on the hill, is not on Mr Whippy’s route.


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