Echo Part III: The battle of the Dog, the Baby and Us

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Dog for sale!! Or Dog or sale??Β 
Did I mention that we used to have a cat? Well we did. He was called Buca (as in Sambuca) and he was Jacks best bud. However the poor little thing was shipped off back to his mums shortly after we got Echo after Jack got fed up of finding his newly preggoed girlfriend (me) in tears after spending the morning trying to stop the dog who was chasing the cat who was fighting the dog while fighting through a particularly bad bout of morning sickness.

Just another thing that we’ve lost to Echo. Now when I left off I’d just found out I was pregnant. Morning sickness was horrendous, I couldn’t keep anything down for the first 4 months and I’d lost half a stone in weight. On top of this I spent most days screaming at the puppy for destroying something new and crying. I swear I actually threatened to throw up on the little sod if he didn’t behave, punishment by puke, it certainly has a ring to it!

Everyone told us Echo would calm down after a year and I remember thinking ‘excellent, just in time for baby Violets arrival’ THEY WERE WRONG, or they lied to make us feel better, one or the other. Lots of people have asked is since if we’d consider getting rid of him, a few people have flat out states that ‘he’ll have to go’…and well it’s just not that simple.

When it began to occur to us that we were actually struggling we did begin to think about how much easier life would be without Him.
We can’t leave him for more than a few hours, we can’t leave the house without setting up a little pen for him, a hot water bottle, the radio and various treats to distract him while we leg it out the house faster than Usain bolt before he realises we’ve gone.
We can’t take him in the car without him destroying it (he chewed through his dog seat belt and ripped both our boot linings to shreds), we can’t take him out to eat because rather than sit like every other dog, he spends the entire time trying to run in every direction all at once and get tangled up in his own lead. We can no longer let him off his lead because one of the downsides to being a nose with legs is that when he picks up a scent, he runs in a straight line away from you and he’s bloody fast and refuses to comeback. We can’t take him to people’s houses because despite the fact he’s actually toilet trained, he might pee against something to mark his territory. All in all, he comes with a long list of ‘Can’ts’
I can’t even go to the toilet in peace without him barrelling into the bathroom door and coming to say hello while I’m on the throne, this coupled with the fact that I usually have to the take the baby with me now also means I get less privacy than a prison inmate. Seriously, he even stands with his head resting on the bath while I shower, trying to lick my legs. Weird enough as it is but also rather unnerving when I’m washing my hair/face and unable to open my eyes, I just have to hope that it is in fact Echo and not some strange creature that’s emerged from my bathroom cupboard while I had my eyes closed, that’s come to steal my soul.
It didn’t fully dawn on me how much hard work he actually is until my parents took him out for the day and left Jack, the baby and me to spend some time together. I spent the morning not having to worry where he was or what he was chewing and whether I’d left anything within his reach and we were able to go out for the day without worrying what destruction we would be greeted with upon our return. It was bliss.
So we had a serious conversion about whether we should keep him. We decided we had two options; to get rid of him or to buy another dog. Now I know that sounds crazy but a lot of his issues stem from him being bored or lonely. So if he had a playmate to keep him company I do believe he would stop his attention seeking in the form of chewing and we could leave him alone during the day knowing he had company.
After reading ‘Buster’ to Violet, a story of a dog left by the side of the road by his owners, it suddenly dawned on me that we really need to be a bit nicer to him. To quote the book ‘a dog is for life, not just for christmas’ and I know he does the things he does because he either misses us or he’s bored and that makes me a little sad.
I guess for the next 12/15 years (yes I’m ashamed to say we googled how long beagles live for) we’ll just have to accept him as he is and hope he calms down. We’ve made our bed and now we shall stare at it from across the room while I nurse the baby and Jack tries to wrestle another pair of socks from Echos mouth, dreaming of the day we final get to sleep.
Despite our complaints, he’s our Echo. He has a personality, a character and he loves us so damn much that I couldn’t bare to break his heart and send him away. So if anyone knows of a dog that likes lots of walks, wants a Beagle Bestie and would be good with a baby sister, that needs a good home, please feel free to get in touch.
That’s all for now, Violet, Echo, Jack and me.

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