Everything First Time Dog Owners Wish They’d Known *sponsored post*

Owning a dog is no easy task. Even though these cute little fluff balls look like they’ll be a whole load of fun, they also take a great deal of looking after. You will need to give them all the attention and care that they need Otherwise, you will find that your new dog quickly starts to misbehave. Not only that, though, but good dog care also includes plenty of walk, exercise, and trips to the vet.

Sound like a lot to take in? It can be, but owning a dog is certainly rewarding enough and these pets will bring heaps of happiness into your home. To ensure that you take to caring for your dog like a duck takes to water, it’s a good idea to find out what other dog owners wish they’d known before they got their pup. Here are some great pointers from dog owners with plenty of experience.

Spend Time Researching Dog Breeds

Before you get a dog, you need to figure out which kind of breed will be best for you. If you love going on long walks and don’t have to work full-time, then you will be able to get a very full-on breed like a Border Collie or a Beagle. These active breeds require a lot of attention and exercise. If they don’t get all the walks they need, then they will have a lot of energy that could quickly translate into naughty behaviour. So, if you don’t fancy going for hour-long walks every day and spend most of your days in the office, you should think again before you do commit to getting a job. However, there are some smaller breeds that don’t need much exercise and will be perfectly fine left on their own for long stretches. These include the likes of pugs and chihuahuas.

It’s Really Worth Getting Pet Insurance

You will have no doubt seen lots of TV and newspaper adverts for pet insurance companies out there. It’s true that this kind of insurance isn’t a legal obligation for pet owners, but it really is thinking about taking some out to protect your dog. If you do plenty of research into the different policies out there, you should be able to find one that costs just a few dollars a month. Even if that seems like a lot more money than you are really willing to pay, just think of it like this – it would really suck if your dog was ill or injured and you had to pay hundreds of dollars for the vet to make them all better. Not only will that suck more, but it will be a whole lot more expensive too! So, it’s always a better idea to plan for the worst and take out a pet insurance policy.

You Should Puppy-Proof Your Home

Thinking of getting a cute puppy? When you bring your new pup home, it will look like sugar wouldn’t melt… but, trust me, it will definitely get up to a lot of mischief! So much so, that it’s a good idea to puppy-proof your home. If your new dog isn’t yet housetrained, then it’s a good idea to put down some old newspaper over any carpeted floors so that any accidents don’t stain the carpets. You should also remove anything that your puppy could chew and damage. For example, any exposed cables and leads could prove to be a danger to your puppy. If they chew through them, not only will they damage the cable, but they could put themselves at risk of electrocution. So, cover them up or simply put them on a higher surface which the puppy can’t get to. As your puppy grows up, they will become less inquisitive and won’t be so interested in everything that they see. However, it’s still a good idea to move any breakables onto higher surfaces so that your dog doesn’t end up bumping into them and pushing them over.

Your Dog Might Be A Really Picky Eater

Do you imagine that your dog will eat everything and anything? Think again! In fact, some dogs can be very picky eaters. You just have to think of them as young children – they aren’t going to enjoy every type of dog food that you put down in front of them. Your dog might love eating VetIQ dog dental treats while your friend’s pooch might turn their nose up at them. It really does depend on the dog! So, don’t be shocked or worried if your new dog doesn’t eat its food. It might just be because it doesn’t really like it. Quite a few dog owners try a few different foods before they find one that their pet absolutely loves.

Take Your Dog Straight To The Vet

Once you do get a dog, one of the first things you will need to do is take them to see the vet. This is for a number of reasons, but the main one is that the vet will need to spay or castrate your pet. You should do this to your dog as it will prevent them from being able to get pregnant or impregnate another dog. And you don’t want a litter of puppies on your hands – that will be very expensive indeed! Not only that, though, but a new puppy will need vaccinations. These injections can help it fight off some very common diseases and health conditions that dogs are susceptible to when they are growing up. It’s also a good idea to take an older dog to the vets as well. That way, the vet can examine it and ensure that it isn’t suffering from any underlying health conditions that you might not be aware of. Some health insurance policies might even request you to get your dog checked out to ensure it is in full health before you take out some premiums.

Hopefully, all of the above pointers will help you adjust to your new life as a dog owner! Have you got any top tips?

So 2018 sucks…

Well, we are one week into 2018, and I think it has broken me. Honestly, this has to be some sort of record…  I started off this year so well. Well, at least I started this year of preparing to become a better version of me. I was going to put myself first and find time to focus on what I love to do, and I was getting back into shape. I’d downloaded a weight-loss app, in preparation to start watching what I ate on the 2nd Jan. I had talked S into cooking me a lovely three course meal on the 1st so there was no way I was counting calories for that meal! I’d finished a book, ‘I will Marry George Clooney by Christmas‘ – fab read, I thoroughly recommend it. I’d call it bubble gum literature, totally light and fluffy and you know what’s going to happen from about the third page. But it had me laughing out load and it was a feel good break from the real world, which is something I REALLY needed. I had a new book all lined up to read “Year One, by Nora Roberts” and made it a new year resolution to read more, and start reviewing them on here, as a way to hold my accountable. I had decided to remind myself why I love yoga so much and so signed up to True by Yoga with Adriene, and I had been accepted to become on of the bloggers taking part in ‘Party Hard, Train Harder‘ for Teenage Cancer Trust, in memory of my dad. I thought walking 10,000 steps a day would be a fantastic way to start getting back into exercise and I would have to find time for me, using the charity and fundraising as an excuse for being that little bit selfish (Sponsorship details coming soon!). I had S, and I’m about to return to Uni… for the first time in I don’t know how long I was truly excited for the year ahead.

Day 1. I certainly got the party harder bit sorted, only I didn’t half a bottle over many hours and a glass of fizz at the stroke of 12 do not normally turn Lauranne into a hungover wreck the next morning, but yet I was sooo ill. I just about managed the three courses, but I spent the entire day on the settee wishing I was dead… not the start the the new year I had planned. Steps taken: 250.

Day 2. Spun my car on some black ice. Luckily I walked away unharmed and the car is fine, in fact the only person injured was the lovely lady who tried to come to my rescue. She got out of her car to see if I was ok and promptly fell over on the ice. I was a totally wreck for most of the rest of the day. However, I did manage to fit in some yoga, but I only managed a pathetic 6500 steps.

Day 3. Decided to do a dummy run in preparation for my interview at a uni next week; took mum with me. The plan was a lovely girlie day shopping in a big city I had never visited before. The reality was the least disabled friendly car park I have ever seen in my life… it took us half an hour, and the help of a member of staff before we were able to get my mums wheelchair out of the carpark, as every exit had steps. Turns out once you can get out of the car park the building I needed was about a 2 minute walk away. It was cold and wet and we just decided we had had enough and so rather than a girlie shopping trip we gave up and came home. It was the day the UK was experiencing really strong winds and driving ran, so it wasn’t a quick drive. Driving all day for a half an hour walk around a car park is not my idea of fun and felt like another wasted day. On the positive I did manage 9800 steps and I did another yoga session.

Day 4. Mum had a doctors appointment, which she had asked me to attend with her. After years of dealing with crappy doctors we have learnt it’s better to go in twos so there is a witness of what has been said.  We waited for 2 hours to see the doctor… by the end of that wait I was feeling like I needed a doctor myself. And of course the appointment was smack bang in the middle of the day. Another wasted day, and only 4700 steps managed. Although I did manage another late night yoga session.

Day 5. I took a little time for myself and drove to my college. There is a deadline looming and I needed some books. Arrived at college, popped to the loo, and ten I got kicked out as there was a fire. Stood in the cold forever, wondering  at what point I should give up and go home. Steps managed:  6000 and I did manage another late night yoga.

Day 6. Yesterday. I woke up to a broken boiler. A broken boiler that was only fixed, and a new boiler fitted three weeks ago. I had no heating, no hot water. I was not happy. Luckily, my boiler man is amazing and it was soon fixed but still… then things got so much worse. I lost my phone while I was out walking. The phone I have had for two years and so is rammed full of many fantastic pictures and memories. The phone which I ridiculously keep adding contacts too while telling myself “you really need to back this up, if you loose it you will be screwed”. The phone which I had only recently linked to my bank account as I am struggling to manage my finances and thought having the app on my phone would.. The phone which I have on a SIM only deal… as the handset originally belonged to my dad. It fell out my pocket, and some b*stard picked it up and turned it off. I know that someone picked it up, as the first few times we rang it it rang for a while before going to voicemail, the third time, and at the most this was 20 minutes after I had lost it, it went straight to voicemail, no ringing. The fourth time I tried it, from the O2 shop were I reported the loss/at that point suspected theft they tried ringing it and I got a strange, similar to “this number has not been recognised’, but not message which left no doubt in mine, nor the sales peoples mind that someone, somewhere had found it and taken it.
on the positive I did rack up and impressive 15000 while desperately walking, in the driving rain and sleet, trying to find my phone. I didn’t do yoga that night. I didn’t do anything.

Day 7. I broke a wine glass while trying to clean my kitchen, and whilst hoovering it up the bottom fell off my hoover and dust covered my only moments before clean lounge.

Day 7 was the day that broke me. It has been the day that has seen me curl up into a little ball and sob uncontrollably, while I wished someone somewhere would offer me a way out. Had someone said “here’s £1000 you leave now, leave everyone and go and set up a new life, alone” I would have bitten their hand off.

Over the last 10 years I have overcome so much. I have been bullied out of a well paid job. I have had my heart broken twice. I have watched my father die, and yet is appears 2018 will be the year that finally breaks me.

Goodbye 2017, it’s been life changing!

I currently feel like all my posts start with a promise of “doing better” something I haven’t achieved in 2017, but who knows 2018 is a whole new start sole’s approach the new year with our positivity hats on. Although, in true wisdom comes with age style, I have to admit as I am becoming older I am also becoming more cynical. As much as I like to think I will wake up a completely new, significantly better person on the 1st January 2018, 30 plus years of experience tells me this will not be the case.

For example, what I should be doing right now is any of the three assignments I have due in come January, however as I find I am unsure where to start, I have decided to procrastinate and I am instead writing a blog post,  day dreaming on holidaygems.co.uk as I am determined S and I will get away next year… maybe… and watching the lion, the witch and the wardrobe: the voyage of the dawn treader. (Although I feel that should be trader?!)

Although I have to admit I am not convinced about the holiday. I desperately need one, but with the return to Uni next year, which I am having to fully fund myself, it’s looking as if it’ll be a good few years until I can afford a holiday again. It’s not just the holiday I worry about funding, occasionally S will allude to a future with me, but it’s a future I am not yet in a position to financially contribute to in any way, shape or form for the foreseeable future. it’s going to be at least three years until I am once again earning a wage, and I am worried that I have an awful lot of like to live in the next three years.

I want to go somewhere hot. I want to lie in the sun and feel myself fully relax. I don’t think I have recently, in fact I am struggling to remember the last time I relaxed. Christmas was lovely, but the weight of three assignments hung over it, and now in this no mans land between Christmas and New Year, my to-do list is about 4 sides long and I am failing to cross anything off of it. Even this attempt at getting back into blog writing feels like more of a task than a joy. There are boxes everywhere from my attempt at decluttering, which haven’t yet made it to the local charity shop and I am very much in a position whereby if someone gave me the option of walking out of my front door, away from my life, never to return again, I would.

I don’t know what is wrong with me. My life is unrecognisable from what it was a year ago. S has moved closer to me, I have found a purpose in my life and I am embarking on a career that still feels like a dream… and yet all I can do is dream about escaping it all. I long for a break and weirdly, I have recently been longing for my life as it was. I miss the job that didn’t fulfil me, but paid well. I miss the holidays I have had and I am even missing the life I had with the ex. Even though I know my life is a million times better now and my ex can’t hold a candle to the man S is, the way he treats me, the relationship we have… what’s wrong with me?

I know that I don’t want to go back. I know that my future is full of potential and my past is my past for a reason. But still.



Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Although, between you and me I am worried they will be after their money back having read this…. You’ve heard the phrase blood from a stone, this feels like blog post from a talentless writer!

No regrets

*Another from my should have published this two months ago series. I will get better, I promise.*

Well, I’m a week into college and I have to admit the change I feel in myself is unbelievable. I’m getting up in the morning, I’m more motivated and focused than I have been in years and I feel fantastic. I’m even setting an alarm on my weekend mornings and I’m getting up and getting things done. This weekend I managed a load of laundry, some research and I baked a cake all before 10 am… I was so proud of myself! Im also going to be much earlier, this evening I stayed up “late”. A few weeks back this would have meant I’d binged watched to until two in the morning however now I’m staying up late and it’s 11.30pm.

I’m only a week in and the work load is unbelievable and it’s brought up a few concerns (mainly can I afford to not earn a decent wage for the next four or more years) and it’s lead to a few conversations with S that we shouldn’t be having although that being said we are 18 months in so maybe we should, but there is currently an awful lot of unanswered questions about what my future will look like. But one thing I can say certainly is that returning to college was the best decision I ever made.

A life changing moment

*This was written a few months ago, but because I am crazy busy I have only just gotten round to sharing it now! I know I should write a more up to date post, but I have just hit submit on a college assignment – got it in a day early, go me! – and my boiler is broken and it is getting so painfully cold in my house that typing is becoming difficult. So. please forgive me and enjoy*

Tomorrow I go to college and the fact I don’t get to talk to my dad about it sucks. He was always the go to person I told everything to and tonight I find myself in a weird situation where the one person I most want to talk to I can’t, yet if I could talk to him there would be nothing to tell him as it’s only because he died I am now in the position. Since dad died my life has changed in a way I could have never imagined and I know had he not died I wouldn’t have left my last job and be retraining and attending college but the price was awfully high.

I can’t believe what I’ve done, what I’m about to do. If everything goes to plan then I am going to start 4 years of training. That’s 4 years with no guaranteed income whilst racking up a worryingly amount of debt. Yes, an interesting fact that I learnt the other day, as his will be my second degree there is no limit on what the university can charge me and at this moment I have no idea what that figure may be. I’m excited and terrified and weirdly not as nervous about tomorrow as I thought I would be, how I feel I should be. I am a little concerned about not knowing my way around and I wonder what the other people on my course will be like, but in a way that has never happened before I know it will all be ok. I know in a months time I will know my way around, and I know that I have great friends and a fab boyfriend so it doesn’t matter whether or not I make any friends on this course. It’s a really odd feeling. I don’t know if this is what happens as you get older, or if I am very aware that having watched my dad die and then caring for my mum through a heart attack and replacement valve surgery this isn’t really a big deal. Who knows, but I do know that tomorrow my life goes in a whole other direction. Wish me luck!