Hurray! You’ve found your soulmate; THE person that you wish to spend the rest of your life with. He/she ticks all the boxes and you’re ready to start sharing a life together but perhaps you’re not ready to start a family just yet. What would be the next logical step to take?

You’re most probably thinking about acquiring a fur child.

We certainly did and many moons ago this is exactly how we started our ‘family.’ Newly engaged and with our first home purchased, we assessed our relationship and felt we were ready. Checked out our fences, researched the best diet, vaccines, worming requirement, registration payments, checked that our bank account supported it, discussed time needed for walking and training, researched breeders or shelters, purchased all the required items; and finally we then welcomed our Border Collie Missy into our lives.

Your first lifelong commitment as a couple.

Missy has been an absolute blessing. We adored her… and still do! Raising her together has strengthened our relationship and helped us learn to work as a team. It was a fantastic stepping-stone before the human children arrived. We started by seeking expert help. Puppy school was an absolute Godsend for us, making sure we used the same language and cues so that everything was simplified for Missy to understand. There was no arguing about how training should be done as we were taught together about the correct ways to teach Missy. It resulted in a well-adjusted pup and saved us many arguments.

Learning to make decisions together.

When it came to caring for Missy decisions were made together. It was a great introduction to learning to collectively care for our two gorgeous ‘human’ children when they came along some years later.

Preparing for a change in family dynamics

So, what happens when you start a human family? Suddenly the number one focus in your life needs to share that attention. My two girls love watching that classic Walt Disney film, Lady and the Tramp. The scenes where Lady (the dog) is confused by the sudden change from constant to minimal attention and yet still shows so much love to the new baby are so reminiscent of our own experiences.

Thankfully, Missy loves our girls as much as we do and is their constant companion out in the paddocks and around the house. But the reality is that it is hard to maintain that same level of care when you have brand new responsibilities and it is worth doing a bit of forward planning.

Maintain consistency

It is so important to maintain consistency with your best mate right from the beginning, so they are not confused or resentful when suddenly there is a new focus in your life. When it gets difficult to maintain the exercise and care routine during a pregnancy or with a new baby in the household, extra help may need to be organised and paid for if necessary. And when your children get older, the good news is that they can start to share in the caring and learn responsibility as part of their growing up.

Adapting to changing needs.

As Missy grows older, we are finding that her needs are changing. Her body can no longer cope with joining us on a horse ride, walks are shorter and supplements are required to help with her arthritis. Naturally we make sure that she is kept snug and dry with a Fair Dinkum Dog Coat when out and about during the Winter months. We understand that the coming years will present more difficulties in her old age but as a family we are committed to meeting her needs.

A lifelong commitment.

Although Missy was a wonderful addition to our new life as a couple and continues to be a joy as a valued member of our family, it has backfired for many other couples who did not put enough thought into making this important decision.

We here at Fair Dinkum Dogs believe that dogs are the best mate your will ever have. They give back far much more than they take. The least we can do is provide them with the very best love and care for the duration of their life.

Wishing you and your partner all the best with your future and decision. We are always happy to answer any other questions you may have.