This week I made a big decision. I finally decided to get a dog. In this blog post I’m going to introduce you to my new 24kg / 52 lbs heavy fluffy meatball friend called Živa.
Why get a dog in the first place?
First I need to say that I do like cats, but I was always more of a dog person. I always wanted my own dog, but haven’t really had a chance before.
When I still lived at my parents place, I couldn’t do it because we lived in an apartment and my parents didn’t allow it.
Later on when I moved to the US I was thinking of getting a dog again, but after some more thought I decided it would be irresponsible for me to do it. I did have a nice apartment with a patio, but the problem is that dogs need a lot of attention and I wasn’t really planning in staying in the US for the long term. I was working a lot and leaving the dog at home by itself for a half day or more just seems irresponsible to me.
On top of that, finding an apartment and landlord in San Francisco which allows larger dogs is quite hard and makes moving very painful.
Another opportunity showed itself again recently when I moved back to Slovenia. I decided that I want to stay in Europe for the foreseeable future and work from home. On top of that, my landlord here in Ljubljana has no problem with me having a dog inside the apartment.
Working from home means I can dedicate enough attention and love to the dog and that is also one of the main reasons why I decided to get it.
Adopting a dog from a shelter
A lot of people today buy puppies from local dog breeders. The problem is that all puppies are cute and a lot of people don’t realize that dogs are a big responsibility, especially when they grow up. Usually this leads to a lot of dogs being dumped once they grow up.
I’m not like that so I decided to adopt a slightly older dog. In top of that, I believe that dogs living in the shelters need more help so I decided to adopt one from a local shelter.
Before visiting the shelter in person, I have visited the website and immediately fell in love with a lovely young female called Živa. I know that dogs are very similar to people and outside look is not everything so I didn’t keep my hopes too high.
Luckily, when I visited the shelter in person it turned out that she’s one of the friendliest dogs there. Unlike other dogs, she was very friendly, didn’t bark and simply stuck her nose through the fence to greet me.
After getting to know her a little better, I came back on Monday and decided to adopt her.
Without further ado, lets get to know this lovely (not so) little creature.
Živa is a mixed breed (looks very much like a German shepherd) ~10 months old female which weighs around 24 kg / 52 lbs. She was found on the street and arrived in the shelter about two months ago. Her name is in Slovenian and stands for lively / playful / cheery. She got this name at the shelter and I decided to keep it since it describes her temperament really well.
She is a very friendly, quiet and a kind dog, but she also has almost unlimited energy and needs a tons of play time.
Even though she is very friendly she is currently still afraid of a lot of things including moving vehicles, bridges, stairs and so on. Interesting enough, she is not afraid of other people and dogs. She loves to jump on and kiss people :-)
I don’t know her history, but being afraid of so many thing probably means that her previous owner didn’t socialize her much / enough.
First day with a dog
First day was very happy, but also very stressful for both of us. We both didn’t get a lot of sleep (she was constantly checking on me and I was checking on her) and there were some potty accidents. Potty accidents were mostly my fault because I didn’t recognize that she needs to go to the toilet (I thought she just wants to play).
Plans for the future
First couple of days were great, but there is still a tons of things to do in the future. She needs more socializing, I need to train her not to pull and she needs to be trained to not be so afraid of many things.
As far as the pulling goes, I tried some manual approaches without much success. I’ve ordered an anti pull harness which goes around her front legs and doesn’t hurt her. Hopefully that will help.
On top of that, I also plan to take her to the dog school. The dog school is actually more for me than her (this is my first dog).