We are living the real life version of Marley and Me. I’m not joking, Chester, our chocolate labrador puppy, is like a carbon copy of that damn dog, the only difference is that he’s not scared of thunder! This dog is indestructible, there is nothing, I mean literally nothing, that he won’t eat. So far in his ten months of life he has eaten two SKY remote controls, a Playstation controller, the remote to the tv in the kids’ room, two rolls of tin foil, a bottle of ketchup (plastic, not glass), a pillow, several pairs of shoes (flip flops seem to be his favourite), my sunglasses and numerous socks, amongst other things. Not content with simply eating all of our belongings, he has also wrecked the cushions from the sofa by stealing them and dragging them out into the garden and under the trampoline – he particularly likes to do this when it’s pouring with rain. He put muddy marks up the freshly painted walls because he came bounding into the lounge with a tennis ball and proceeded to have his own version of a game of Squash, this wouldn’t have been quite so bad had he not just spent ten minutes digging yet another hole in the back lawn and he has pulled up all of the anti-weed matting that is under the trampoline.
He is hyper for roughly 95% of the day. All he wants to do is run around like a nutter and play games. Yet the minute we get his lead out of the cupboard to take him for a walk he runs off and hides. When we finally get the lead on he plants himself firmly on the floor and refuses to move, so we literally have to drag him out of the house. It’s like the dog equivalent of trying to get a toddler back into their buggy. Walking Chester is an experience, if he’s in a good mood and willing to behave then it’s lovely, he walks alongside us, plays fetch and is generally a pleasure to be out with. If he’s in ‘naughty mode’ then who knows what’s going to happen! He has been known to launch himself into the river and spend a good few minutes splashing around or his other favourite is to get his tennis ball, bugger off to the other side of the field and have a lie down. Yesterday he decided to roll in a muddy stream and then protested at being hosed down in the garden!
But I love him so much! Regardless of the fact that I spend most of my day complaining about his latest antics, I wouldn’t trade the big goof for anything. When I’m doing the washing up he comes and lies right behind me, so that I can feel his warm body on the backs of my legs – when he was tiny he used to lie on my feet while I did the washing up. He even sat on my feet while I stripped the wallpaper off one of the lounge walls, when I looked down you could barely see him under all the bits of paper! He’s always so pleased to see me, he follows me around the house and is never very far away. Right now he’s lying on my feet while I type this.
He fixed our family, he got us off our butts and out in the fresh air each day and when we’re out walking we’re not distracted by our phones or anything else. It means we talk to each other, we open up lines of communication that had been closed off to us for so long. We talk about our days, we make plans for the future and we just enjoy spending time together. Getting a puppy was the best decision we ever made!