Dog Ownership: Expectation vs Reality

When I homed Custard, I was just 22 years old and that's quite young to even contemplate getting a serious pet like a dog let alone take the plunge. I was single, lived alone and spent all day every day at work with dogs only to come home to a completely empty house. I have also grown up with dogs my entire life so moving out and being away from it all really hit me hard, so along came Custard. Three years down the line, I'm happily married, living in our own house and we now have Vespa too - it's been a whirlwind of crazy experiences that even with five years of dog handler training under my belt, didn't make everything 100% foreseeable and obvious.

Sharing Everything - Expectation
Every meal you have, every ice cream on your trips to the seaside together...they'll automatically be entitled to a bit. You think it's cute that they're even more a part of your family now because what's yours is theirs and what's theirs is yours.
Sharing Everything - Reality
You've done the above far too often and are now exceedingly annoyed when your dog comes and sits right in front of you the minute they smell food cooking. They'll follow you around, literally asking you for a piece of that carrot and you know it's your fault they're doing this but you don't have the heart to tell them to sling their hook. What's worse, is when we have company round and Custard actually 'speaks' when she wants food. She does this sort of purring noise and it's that cute everyone just laughs at her, then I have to awkwardly make her sit somewhere else whilst hanging my head in shame and embarrassment.

Mess - Expectation
The dog may steal the occasional piece of mail from the postman but they'll faithfully place it into your lap and that'll be the end of it. They're never poorly or sick so they're definitely a better option to a baby and they'll only poo once a day, a nice easy one to pick up and pop into the bin.
Mess - Reality
Vespa will try to sabotage our postman in any way he can. He just loves shredding paper...wrapping paper, toilet paper, kitchen roll, letters, cardboard - he's on it. We have to have a special device which catches all of the mail so he can't get to it, but the amount of 'missed parcel' slips I had from Royal Mail which I had to take in pieces, begging for my parcels to be handed over was insane. Dogs get ill, sad but true. Even if they've eaten too much grass, oh look they've just been sick on your carpet. Sometimes a runnier poo will pop out too and leave a smear on your garden and thank your lucky stars if they actually manage to do it outside. Truth is, when your dog is sick, you're going to be treating them exactly as if they were a human. Extra blankets, extra cuddles, checking them every half hour, even scrambling up some egg for poorly tummies. 

Bath Time - Expectation
Oh bath time. A time for bubbles and fun, it'll be clean and over in a jiffy. Your dog will absolutely love the water and will patiently wait for you give him a good scrubbing over and he'll be smelling as fresh as a daisy in no time. The bathroom will remain as you found it and you'll be able to proceed with your day straight afterwards.
Bath Time - Reality
HA. Your dog might love throwing itself head first into a pond or trawling through the muddiest of puddles but put them in the bath tub and it's your funeral. If you're lucky, they'll just stand there shivering and giving you the stink eye at the very least. They'll hate you for the rest of the day minimum and god help you if you have to give them a bit of a blow dry afterwards. It's not like you're trying to stop them from getting too cold and uncomfortable, don't be silly, you may as well be trying to kill them. As for the bathroom, I wouldn't even go back in there. Water all up the walls, bathmat thrown to the side, paw prints everywhere. Just don't.

Despite the hard work and responsibility that goes into owning a pet like a dog, it's so totally worth it and I wouldn't change anything about my two for anyone. We've had down days and come home to our fair share of poo, piss and sick but the unconditional loving bond between you and your dog is something very special.
So these are just three of the things that are a definite struggle for dog owners...I'm just glad I'll never have to bath a cat! Can't even begin to imagine what a ridiculously crazy saga that must be!

Thanks for reading,


  1. Oh my god shredding paper!!! Our Jack Russell Terrier named Bee absolutely loves shredding loo roll, you can't leave any bathroom door open around her! Bath time is also a complete joke for our dogs - Buster (another Jack Russell who has now sadly passed away) hated bath time but LOVED the hair dryer, he would sit and be pampered for hours if we'd let him! Dog ownership is definitely a huge commitment - it breaks my heart to think of so many doggos being abandoned just because their owners didn't do their research! This post is so important, thank you for sharing!

    Abbey 💓

    1. Must definitely be a terrier thing because Custard isn't interested in paper...just soft toys! And she adores the hairdryer like yours do, it's so funny seeing them enjoy themselves during a blow dry! Also thankyou for the feedback - I hope this posts helps some people out before going ahead and getting a dog :) x x

  2. This post made me smile SO much! I know what you mean, I had such an idealised dream of what having our dog would be like! It's such a good post though, I imagine a lot of people don't think about the reality of owning an adorable pup beforehand!
    Hels xx

    1. Thankyou :) very true, I think people see dogs in films and stuff and think it'll be an absolute breeze :| they're such hard work but their love is so worth it :') x x

  3. Haha this is so on point. My pups are SO much more effort than I expected they'd be.. Not to mention finding a sitter if you fancy popping out for the evening is pretty much impossible. That noise they make before being sick... I have nightmares about that after the number of times I've heard it in the night!

    But the snuggles, the kisses.. they make it all worth it!

    I didn't have pets growing up but I got my pup around 22 and the second about 6 months later - I was not prepared!!

    Thanks for sharing, this is a great wee post!

    Gemma |

    1. Oh my god I get that dreaded feeling too! Like any noise in the night like a cough from them or a sneeze I just think 'please don't vom now...'
      x x


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