You & Lou luxury designer woven straw dog basket beds / review first published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog (C)

We Love | You & Lou

As if my list of dog-related obsessions wasn’t long enough (Santa Claus, when you visit, please gift me a credit card!) I found yet another one. The perfect woven dog bed that would fit into our house like a missing piece of jigsaw.

These are made by a South African company called You & Lou who, beside making gorgeous beds, are clearly in love with cocker spaniels. Which makes them utterly perfect in every way.

Hope I can spoil my boys in a few months. Thankfully, no teething puppies in this house, so the princes will be enjoying the basket – and I will be basking in the glorious view from the comfort of my pathetic little chair.

Again, it’s not a sponsored post… The feeling of love for the bed and its look was too strong. I had to put it in writing…

Photo source: The Tuli bed by You & Lou

Children and dogs / how to introduce children to your puppy / how to teach children play with dogs / how to avoid dog biting children / first puppy advice cocker spaniel puppies / first published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog (C)

Dogs & children: avoiding problems & building the bond

Most kids love dogs. And I must admit, often they love them almost too much and it’s easy to see why. Dogs are wonderful. They love humans. They kiss. They smile. They come to you to get stroked. And when it comes to cocker spaniels… Well, that’s the top level of “irresistible” isn’t it?

Unfortunately, according to research by The Ohio State University, “nearly five million people” get bitten by dogs and kids are at higher risk than adults.

And I don’t believe that in most cases it’s the dog’s fault. In fact, I think the problem comes from parents who do not teach children how to communicate with dogs (and some parents who simply push their kids towards a dog in a park and say “oh, go stroke that nice doggy!…” without asking the owner if that’s ok and, worse, not even watching the kid during the process) This can be very traumatic for the dog and both traumatic and dangerous for the kid, isn’t it?

I think it’s a very delicate subject to touch, but if you plant to introduce a dog to your family with little children, or have a dog who isn’t particularly “into your kids”, show your child how to treat a dog.

Here are a few simple ideas:

Ask your children to treat the dog with respect and remind them that a doggy is not a fluffy toy, but a living creature.

Explain to children that they must not disturb (or touch) the dog when he is asleep, eating his meal or chewing treats.

Teach children not to take away dog’s toys or treats while the dog is enjoying them.

Show the kids how to pet the dog correctly.

Do not leave your child and the dog in a room without supervision. Dogs can react VERY fast and if you are not there, the child can get insured.

Remember that children are constantly watching you and learning from your actions, so treat the dog with love and care at all times.

Last but not least, if you are introducing a new puppy, remember to show your children how to hold and lift him correctly, explain that the puppy is like a baby and needs his sleep and rest, show your kids how to play with the puppy without injuring him, do not let your kids walk the pup unless they are grown-up enough to do it safely and responsibly.

Photo source: image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Fred, chocolate and tan English cocker spaniel, hand-stripped, posing near lavender @ Perfect cocker spaniel, Natalia Ashton / book & blog

Never ever

“You need to choose another puppy, this one isn’t going to make it…” That hurt so much. “But he is still here, so I am going to stick with my Fred…” The boy turned out to be a survivor.

“They aren’t going to live together peacefully…” was another thought said out loud when talking about Fred and Coop during their first week together. The two now sleep next to each, walk together and discuss how to develop tricks to get more treats out of me…

“I’ve never thought he’d be handsome…” These words, even though I didn’t care at all about their meaning, still pinch the “love string” inside my heart. “Well, he’s my boy, he’d be handsome, always, at least, for me…” I replied, still feeling a little numb. He turned into the picture-perfect dog…

“Oh, is he a real cocker spaniel?…” was another question back when Fred, my little miracle pup, was barely a kilo at almost 8 weeks of age… “Of course, he is!” I responded with pride, brimming of joy of having this little guy in our lives. Now he looks so unmistakably cocker that one would have to be completely oblivious not to notice the ears and the walk and the beautiful head…

“Uhm, he looks so wild… Won’t be easy to train…” someone else kindly told me. “F$ck it,” – barked Fred back and grew to be the smartest little devil I’ve ever had.

I admit, our journey together has been emotional and bumpy, at times. But that’s life. We are getting through it with an occasional “F” word (who am I kidding, those are frequent!… Sorry if it hurts your eyes and ears…), a ton of cuddles and the most wonderful “sleepy times” when Fred pushes his entire little body into me making sure that he is hugged, and falls into the state of sweet serenity…

And I cry even thinking of all these moments because he is my baby. And this is why I will stick by him no matter what the rest of the world says, thinks or does. There have been so few people who loved him to the point of bursting and even fewer who believed that this little puppy is a good egg. We didn’t want to prove anyone wrong. Because I didn’t not care what they thought – I didn’t think of them at all! But I’ve always believed in my boy – and that’s what made all the difference.

So if you find yourself in a situation when somebody is judging your dog or have no faith in both of you – walk away and keep on living your life. Train your pup, love your pup and just be…

Believe in Dog. And eventually everything will fall into place in the most harmonious way…

 

Photo credit: by me, from personal archive