A little over 8 years ago today, I was begging.
I was pleading and I was nagging.
“If I could please please please have a dog”.
I was 14,
and I had wanted a dog my entire life.
Not so long before this pleading occurred, my hopes had sparked.
We came into contact with a breeder, who had a 7month old golden retriever still looking for a forever home.
As a puppy, Hanne (our dog) fell and broke her hip. Therefore the breeder didn’t want to sell her until she was fully recovered. She had been living with him and his dogs and had been completely trained.
A fact I used to my advantage to convince my mom.
And it worked!
Hanne would be living with us for a test period of 2 months, and as expected, we all fell in love!
The first months
Like I mentioned, Hanne was fully trained when she came to us. She was housebroken, able to stay home alone, could walk on leash and knew the important commands like come, sit, lay down, …
She was the perfect dog for us, being first time dog owners without any experience.
And a good thing too because after a few months with us, she had also learned to take these commands and turn them into suggestions. Only to be followed when you felt like it.
For example, her leash walking skills.
At first she almost pushed you over, with as close she walked to your leg. She didn’t leave your side for anything.
let’s put it this way, after a few months you didn’t have to worry about her pushing you over during a walk.
So we made the right decision of going to obedience class. Not because she needed it, but because we did!
Looking back on those first years, I have to frown upon myself quite often. I was young, inexperienced and made a lot of training mistakes!
Another reason why Hanne has been the perfect dog for us!
She didn’t care. She didn’t act out. And she waited patiently for me to learn.
And so I did. I absorbed all the information I could get in obedience class. I searched the internet, subscribed to lots of groups and internet forums and read all the books I could afford.
And here I am now. Still learning new things every day.
During this learning curve, I did not only find knowledge, I also discovered myself in a way.
I discovered this passion I had inside me. I realized that being outside made me feel so much happier and more alive.
I discovered my love for dogs. How much energy it gives me to see her happy, to do things with her and to experience all these adventures.
It made me rediscover my self confidence. I could do this. I knew thing about this and I was good at it.
And it translated to every other aspect of my life.
Getting a golden retriever made my life better in more ways than I could ever describe.
She is my ray of sunshine, telling me every day to enjoy life, to love myself and to trust. Exactly like she does.