I have always wanted a dog. Every birthday and every Christmas, I would sneak ‘puppy’ onto my list in the vain hope that my parents would have magically changed their mind about their strict no dogs rule. We had a couple of cats for a little while, rodents were a common pet for a bit and I was permitted to have a snake and a lizard, but dogs were always out of the question.
When I moved to Liverpool for university, I promised myself that I would get a dog, but it never materialised due to being so busy. And then, I met my current partner. He had adopted a Staffordshire Bull Terrier about a year after I met him (we weren’t together at the time) and whenever I visited, I loved that this beefy dog was so loving and so gentle. IT definitely enforced my philosophy of ‘adopt, don’t shop’ and I knew that when the time came, I too would be adopting and not buying a puppy.
Fast forward to last year, I was living with my partner and his rescue dog and we decided that the time was right to bring another four-legged friend into our home. This dog was to be mine, my responsibility and my baby. I was so ready.
Choosing The Kennel
It’s a tricky thing, deciding which rescue centre to get a dog from. You have to do research and make sure there is nothing untoward going on behind the scenes. There are always rumours of mistreatment and lack of care towards the dogs but you just have to go and visit and make the decision for yourself.
I decided to visit the same shelter that my partner had adopted his dog from, three years earlier. I had seen some pictures on Facebook of an American Bulldog and thought I’d drop in for a look. I fell in love with ‘Lucy’ immediately as she was so friendly and bouncy and happy – despite looking really depressed in her metal and concrete prison.
Bringing Her Home
As we already had a dog in the home, we had to be careful about introducing the new pup. Both are bully breeds and it had the potential to get nasty. We kept them both on the best leads for the initial introduction and things went well.
We made sure we purchased a high quality dog bed for her – and yet she still ended up commandeering the couch in the office!
Buying the Right Dog Food
We soon renamed Lucy to Pepper, she had a skin condition which means she is on a special raw food diet. This means a lot of meat, no wheat, eggs, grain free meals all the time.
We had to experiment a little bit with portion sizes as she’s a big dog but she gets walked a lot and goes on regular 5k runs with me. She was fine with 1kg of meat a day for a few months but she started bloating massively after a while.
We cut her down to 500g and found a wheat free mixer which was suitable for her medical condition and she seems to be working well with that.
We buy all her meat in bulk from Wirral Dog Food over the water, it is ridiculously cheap and comes in 500g bags that we just stock up in the freezer and defrost as necessary.