Kate, a small business owner of MakeryKate from Bath, about her young pup Cooper the English Pointer. She has stepped into the puplight to tell us about Cooper and her last doggie Rufus.
We chat to Kate about her dog Cooper the English Pointer and her memories of Rufus.
Who was your first dog?
Rufus, a beautiful red working Cocker Spaniel. Sadly he died of old age earlier this year.
What are your first memories of your dogs?
We now have Cooper, an English Pointer puppy. He’s 6 months old. We were lucky enough to find wonderful breeders who kept us updated weekly with videos and photographs which was wonderful during Covid lockdown. So my first memories of him are videos of him wriggling around with his 11 brothers and sisters besides his mum, Darcy!
Now we have him home, we’re making memories with him every day. He makes us laugh with his goofy antics – I’m not sure he’s realised how long his legs are yet!
When did you fall in love with dogs?
I’ve always been a dog lover, but wasn’t lucky enough to own one until we moved from London to the countryside in 2008. We knew we wanted a dog almost immediately. We collected Rufus one morning and fell head over heels in love in an instant.
How many dogs have you owned?
Did you have your dog as a puppy or are they a rescue?
A puppy. We wrangled with this. But ultimately, we have 2 young children in our home and wanted to be sure we knew our puppy’s background. We also wanted them to experience the joy of having a puppy.
Did you do any research before getting your first dog?
Yes, lots! And even more research before getting our second dog! Rufus our Cocker Spaniel was amazing, but we knew we couldn’t get the same again for our second dog. We had friends with English Pointers, and we adored their nature. So we read up on the breed and decided that was the one for us.
What is the best thing about being part of the dog community?
You meet so many more people when you’re out and about! And pretty much everyone is cheerful and wants a pat! A dog walk is 100 x better than just a walk.
What are your top 5 (or more!) tips for dog owners?
- Do your research before you get a puppy! Ask other owners about different breeds and read up. Dog breeds are all so different in terms of behaviour, nature, how much they eat! So it’s good to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible before taking the plunge.
- Be prepared for some long nights, lots of mess in your house and a totally disrupted routine for a while when you get a puppy! It doesn’t last too long though. And it’s so worth it.
- We’ve tried to socialise Cooper as much as possible from being a young puppy, and it seems to be paying off. He’s confident around other dogs, but is quickly learning the boundaries with those that may not be as keen for puppy play!
- We took Cooper to a secure dog walking field (Half Penny Field) early on, to practice recall training in a safe environment. It was brilliant – it means we’re comfortable with him off the lead in fields already, and he’s brilliant at coming back to us. We’ll continue to visit the secure field, just to monitor his recall, until he’s probably a couple of years old.
- Working from home means I’m with Cooper all the time, so most days I’ll (force myself to) spend a couple of hours upstairs, away from him to reduce the risk of separation anxiety which I know can be quite a common dog trait.
What is your essential dog product that you own?
A bum-bag! It contains all the walk essentials so I’m never short of treats, bags, whistle and lead!
What is the most difficult thing about being a dog owner?
Losing Rufus was one of the most traumatic experiences I can remember. I wasn’t ready for the level of grief. The fact that their lives are so much shorter than ours is very difficult.
What is the best thing about being a dog owner?
Unconditional love and loyalty. Life is much happier with a dog in it 🙂