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Picking up a PUPPY!

The early bird catches the worm. Early worm dies. I hope I’m not a worm!

The mountains in the distance in wales.

Biography of a nobody day 9. January 9th 2021.

5 hour round trip for my special pick up today. I fetched my daughter in for a little cuddle then I set to emptying my boot of my various tools and remnants of trips from summer- ready to set off at 8:15. Air fed welding mask, overalls, boots, socket set, toolbox, kayak paddle, 3 coats, a helmet, a pair of trainers, 2 beach mats and a spade later I finally had cleared my boot enough for the exchange to happen at 11. I live in a house that is much smaller than the previous one I lived in so my boot has become my man space and dumping ground.

I also had to stop at a garage to put in some oil... I have not checked in a while and I am surprised It hasn’t done any damage! These big turbo diesel engines really go through a lot of oil. Also filled up the washer liquid and then set the nav and my playlist then set off.

Very little traffic during the pandemic so that's a bonus- though I suppose its technically only key workers or certain circumstances where you are allowed on the road. My trip is one of those. My Dad lives in wales and has agreed to meet me roughly halfway for a trade. He breeds dogs (a few different types) and I am having one! He hasn’t asked for anything in return but I know he is getting a kitten soon so I am giving him all the stuff I had prepared for the 2 kittens I was supposed to be having just before Christmas. Which was EVERYTHING.

The reason we didn’t have the two kittens is that two of my closest friends are extremely allergic to cat saliva. I found out after paying the deposit and buying all the stuff. Painful. Apparently, you can be allergic to the dander (basically cat dandruff) or the saliva which gets everywhere anyway because they lick themselves. There is some kind of protein in it. Anyway, I know a lot about it because I looked at every possible solution and bar inventing a cure for the allergy it meant if I wanted my friends to be able to visit post-pandemic I had to cancel the cats. I prefer dogs anyway, I grew up on a farm and we always had yard dogs, sheepdogs and house dogs (usually some breed of terrier). That didn’t stop it being a nightmare but things all worked out anyway. my Dad had a pup and we had a home and wanted a pet to love. I think kids that grow up with pets and/or siblings turn out to be a little more empathetic and caring- so a pet was a really important addition to the family.

I had been suggesting passively to my daughter that we may at some point have a pet and no matter what it was she wanted to call it Rusty. It turns out that she reads the “Sam’s farm” ladybird books that I read as a kid and the dog's name in them is Rusty.

So, I met my Dad for a social distanced exchange in a pub car park just past Newtown at around 11 am.

I then all of a sudden was the proud owner and ... protector... of another life. A living thing. My car is not safe enough for this incredibly cute baby thing. I immediately reverted back to 'new Dad mode'- a mode I haven’t seen since taking my daughter out of the hospital for the first time after she was born. I drove the car as if it was made of glass and I realised my life would once again be irreversibly changed.

I remember the day I took her home. Home is the same, you are the same, your life is exactly the same. You are no smarter and there is no injection of parenting knowledge suddenly, but yesterday you had no baby and today you do. You put the baby on the kitchen table in their travel chair. The table is the same, the kitchen is the same, but there's now a baby in there. It truly was the oddest feeling in the world and I had a great sense of.... what the hell do we do now?

I know with Rusty though I can skip straight past the “how do I do this” feeling of the first 6 months of having a baby and straight onto the “why does everything all of a sudden look sharp” stage: when a baby starts becoming independently mobile. Rusty is already extremely mobile. He nearly got out of the bloody travel bag I had bought for him after two minutes in the car. Then he fell asleep and I had to stop twice to check he was alive. You do that a lot with babies as well when you first get home. Alex used to sleep so still that I had investigated out of worry that she was ok ALL the time.

I got home around 2 pm and got out my phone to record Alex's reaction. I don’t think I have seen instant love like that since I watched her herself be born.

We then chilled into the evening and enjoyed watching Rusty discover our house.

I have looked all over the internet on how to train pups not to poop everywhere and yap at night.

Let's see how this goes...

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