Recently, I almost got a dog.
It was winter and I’d had a stretch of long and lonely nights alone at home, as well as an unplanned yet entirely beneficial six month period of abstinence, and I was bored. I was sick and tired of having nobody to converse with other than Twitter and Netflix, and resented my solo evenings working and reading. I pined for someone – anyone, anything – to chat to during these times on my own, and so decided a puppy was the obvious answer.
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I’d been on some OK-ish dates around February but suddenly, after a couple of years on the singles market I wanted to give it a rest for a while. I’d met some nice people… but that was it. Nice. Nobody who’d blow your socks off. And all they wanted to do was spend their evenings either at my house or on the phone and, while I admittedly spend ’nuff time on Netflix, the relationship I have with Apple TV has been the longest most satisfying in years, so don’t go creeping on my boxset time, yeh?
And so I decided a puppy was the easiest most hassle-free way to go. I thought of it this way: with a dog I’d get cuddles, company and nobody disagreeing with my X Factor opinions. Does it get better than that?
(Sidenote: does anyone else worry that it takes only 6 weeks to house train a dog, yet it takes like 2 years for a human child? Only me?).
I Googled, I researched, I melted. I decided that a CockerPoo was most definitely the way to go – they seemed low-maintenance enough for me to keep them happy, cute enough to stop me worrying about Tinder, fluffy enough to be cuddled all the live-long day. I contacted a breeder, I was golden.
Until I actually thought about getting a dog. I may manage to keep those kids of mine ticking along quite happily, but house plants never fare as well. I just this week chucked in the green bin a succulent that died on my watch, and it only needed watering once a week. Did I really want a puppy to suffer the same fate?
Factoring in kennel fees and the amount I travel at the moment and I decided that now is probably not the time for us to commit to a dog. As gorgeous as they are, and as lovely as it would be for the children to grow up around one as I did, it’s just not the right time. No doubt we’ll have our very own Cockerpoo one of these days but right now I’m happy in the knowledge that my new woollen rug will remain un-Christened with doggy pee. Which is why, when pet insurance company Petplan Insurance got in touch recently asking us to design our perfect pretend pet, I thought this would be the perfect alternative. Design a pet that won’t chew my Kurt Geigers or require walking daily? You got it!!
I set Elfie to work because, let’s face it, she’s the boss around here.
And she came up with a brilliant pet alternative! OK, so it’s no Cockerpoo, but who needs one when you can have a pretend red puppy/pig hybrid complete with slightly wonky ears and a tail that wags?
We sent our drawing of our perfect pet to Petplan, and the geniuses that they are, recreated it in soft toy form. And LOOK HOW COOL THIS IS! It is her exact drawing, even with ‘tung’ ;)
I have to say, it really is the perfect pet. Ever since it arrived a couple of weeks ago there’s been no accidents on the carpet, no late night yapping, no hair on my sofa. All my shoes are still intact and there’s no ‘wet dog smell’ lingering after the rain. Granted, I didn’t have a living thing to hide behind when it came to terrifying myself over Stranger Things, but I think I can deal with that.
So there you have it: made-up soft toy pet 100% less hassle than a real one (or a boyfriend, for that matter). Thanks, Petplan!
Thank-you PetPlan for working with MTT!