Three weeks ago, we welcomed an eight week old Cavoodle (cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a toy Poodle) puppy into the Love household. We have named him Buddy, and he is a bit cute, I’m sure you’ll agree. As I type, he’s napping at my feet.
Welcoming Buddy into our lives was a long time in the making. We really wanted our family to be very ready to have a new dog in the house, rather than just adding to the chaos, so we had decided to wait until the boys were a bit older and ready for the responsibility of a pet. As kids, Ben and I both grew up with family dogs, so we were looking forward to having a pet again. Sam was a little fearful of dogs when he was younger, but had warmed to them over time; Charlie has never really been an animal lover; and Nicholas had always loved dogs (as long as they weren’t jumping on or kissing him). Whenever we holidayed at Caloundra, Nicholas would introduce himself to all the dogs near the creek and give them a pat.
After lots of research and conversations, we decided we would like to get a Cavoodle and I initially made contact late last year with a breeder who’d been personally recommended. We considered getting a puppy around Nicholas’ 4th birthday, but in March we were still mid-renovations and didn’t really have a suitable fence so dog ownership was put off a bit longer. And then Nicholas got sick and life got tumultuous.
A few months after Nicholas died, we felt like we needed some extra love in our house and so we made contact with the Cavoodle breeder again. There was a litter due around August/September, so we put our name down for a puppy and began working towards that date in the hope that our house and yard would be ready by then. As the date approached, the breeder posted photos of our new puppy every few weeks and confirmed we could pick up our new family member around 1 October. It nearly killed me not to tell the boys in the leadup, but I didn’t want to disappoint them if things changed and I was also looking forward to seeing their faces when we finally shared the surprise with them.
As a family, we’d discussed the concept of getting a dog, as well as ideas for names, over the past year. Charlie was never particularly keen on the idea. Sometimes Sam would discuss it a lot and other times less so. In the few weeks preceding picking up our new pet, the discussions intensified and Sam was SO desperate to have a puppy. I assured him I was talking to the breeder and we’d definitely have one before Christmas. Little did he know how soon it would actually be happening. I started shopping for the things we would need and stashing them away. Ben and I wondered if we were more excited than the boys would be 😉
On the morning of 30 September, we got the boys to come into our bed and we broke the news that today was the day we’d be bringing home our new dog! Much excitement ensued and we went for a drive to pick him up.
Before we’d met the dog, the forerunners for names were ’Squidgy’ and ‘Dash’. But we found ourselves calling him Buddy so often in that first hour we spent together that Sam said, “Why don’t we just call him Buddy?” And so Buddy he became. We then realised he was Buddy Love, just for all the Nutty Professor fans out there 😉 We were amazed how quickly Buddy seemed to settle in to his new home and his new family, and we all were besotted with him.
I feel like we walked into this new-puppy-ownership gig with our eyes wide open and with excess capacity, but it definitely has its challenging moments, I cannot lie. We have had nights when Buddy has wanted to play at 1am, and is then getting us all out of bed again by 5am. We have plenty of holes in our clothes, I’ve thrown out at least one chewed-up shoe, and Ben and I have cleaned up more wee and poo off the floor lately than is probably polite to talk about. Buddy is going through a nippy phase and likes to bite our leg, pants or shoelaces as we walk, usually when we’re in a hurry to get ready to go somewhere, which can make things tricky. At times, it is somewhat similar to having a new baby in the house and I have been surprised how tired I’ve been with the restless nights and early mornings. But we all love him.
Charlie wasn’t interested in holding Buddy at first and spent most of the time running away from him, squealing. But now, three weeks in, Charlie and Buddy have found their groove. The first thing Charlie usually says as he opens his eyes in the morning is, “Where’s Buddy?” They love playing chase together, Charlie now feels comfortable enough to pick him up and cuddle him, and he will always say goodnight to Buddy before he goes to bed. He has barricaded his door so that Buddy can’t eat his Lego though 😉 Sam is loving our new family member. He gets annoyed with the biting at times, but I love when he looks at me and says, “It’s just so hard to believe we have our own dog now, Mum.” Buddy has been a lovely companion on days when Sam isn’t feeling well. Both the boys love coming home to Buddy after school and giving him cuddles, and Buddy is just as overjoyed to see them.
It is with a touch of sadness that I think about just how much Nicholas would have loved to know Buddy, but we’ve also decided that Buddy will probably have a much quieter existence without our littlest Love giving him a hard time 😉 No doubt they would have been great mates.
We still have much to learn on this pet ownership journey, but Buddy is a very welcome addition to the Love family.