With the impending arrival of my second baby (the first of the non-furry variety) I have found myself reflecting on the past 12 months with our first bub, Albus. It has been a year filled with trials and tribulations, seeing the destruction and consumption of no less than four TV remotes, a pair of UGG boots, multiple hats, two irrigation systems, not to mention the holes dug to China in our brand new landscaped garden. However, despite these ‘hiccups’, and some calling it a permanent case of wearing rose tinted glasses, we couldn’t be happier with the addition to our family. So in honour of young Albus and his last days as an only child, I thought I would write a piece all about our little angel (rose tinted glasses firmly in place).
From the moment he arrived I was adamant about feeding him the best quality food as I think it is one of the most important factors in getting a good start in life. Obviously K9 Natural Puppy was on the menu and Albus appeared to love it! Thankfully I noticed we seemed to avoid the episodes of diarrhoea that I see all too commonly in puppies and often attribute to their diet disagreeing with them. I was thrilled at how well he responded to his food as it is not uncommon for owners to go through multiple brands to find a food that agrees with their pup. Albus also loved the Green Mussels and Lamb Healthy Bites which we used a lot for training and worked a treat! Interestingly, even now the difference in the speed of response to the command when I do and don’t use a treat is remarkable. This is perhaps not only a testament to his love for them, but also conceivably our skill (or lack there of) in training! As a one year old we have now transitioned him onto the adult freeze dried with the addition of Lamb Tripe Topper. Whilst the canned variety is admittedly a little on the nose – Albus does a little dance every time I prepare it and then hoovers it down faster than a speeding bullet which as a mum, brings a smile from ear to ear.
Exercise has been another constant in the year of having Albus. My husband and I are avid runners and love the outdoors, a critical factor in choosing a Vizsla as a pet. We wanted a dog that loved running as much as us and love it Albus does! Ever since he was a pup, without fail he gets taken out twice a day for an average total of 2 hours running in the park with his friends. Whilst we joke we spend more time with our new ‘park parents’ than our actual friends and often in the freezing dark of the morning, watching him hoon in pure excitement as the sun rises over the ocean is one of life’s little joys. The other benefit of this much exercise is that he turns into the most gorgeous cuddly little thing at the end of the day, completely pooped from his daily exertion… not to mention it keeps the household destruction to a minimum!
Lately, I have been talking to Albus about the arrival of his new little brother (crazy dog lady I know). I spend a lot of time helping dog owners introduce babies into their households and know how important it is to do it right. Whilst there are bound to be some issues, I have no doubt Albus is going to be a fantastic big brother. He loves kids… admittedly sometimes a little too much, and I can’t wait to watch the friendship between him and his ‘little brother’ bloom.
Written by Dr. Josie Gollan