Puppy Love

I've known Golden Retrievers as long as I've known life. My parents had their first before I was ever thought of and I spent my earliest days watched over by a four-legged babysitter; my pram always accompanied by my gentle golden guardian. Paddy was a big bundle of placidity - mum could leave him outside the local newsagent without a lead and guarantee he'd still be there when she came back ..even if she'd forgotten him and made a return trip home first!

He was one of the family growing up - the fourth member of our little sibling gang for the first ten years, until he passed away at the age of (almost) thirteen.

Me, as a big-eared baby, with Paddy. // And again as a toddler.

A while after him came Brodie - a completely different kettle of fish! My mum bought him as a surprise, letting us discover him hiding in the bathroom one day after school, and he was constantly surprising us ever since! From his mud-rolling escapades as a puppy, to the times when he'd jump the wall and take himself for a walk, he was endless energy and kept us always on our toes. Even old age and arthritis couldn't make him stop!

But feisty disobedience aside, he was endlessly affectionate and always ecstatic to see us. Some of my favourite moments were watching his excitement when I returned from uni for a break, or when my dad came home after being offshore for a month. There's nothing quite like the loyalty of a dog to make you feel loved!

Brodie was part of the family and the furniture for almost 15 years and we were understandably devastated when he passed away suddenly in September of last year.

Brodie and I a few years back. // After an adventure in the snow.

I wasn't sold on the idea of getting another dog just yet. I felt like a traitor to my beautiful old friend, seemingly "replacing" him so soon. And yet Ruan came to join our family in November and I have found myself completely and utterly in love.

He's nearing six months old now (hence the inspiration for this post) and I can't quite comprehend how big he's become. It's fascinating to watch him grow and to see him develop his own personality and unique little quirks, like the adorable way he tilts his wee head when you ask him, "Are you listening?"; his obsession with lying for hours in the middle of the garden; the way he searches everywhere for me when I call home on speakerphone; and his unexplainable phobia of cardboard boxes and wheelie bins!

He's well and truly one of the family already and we're so clearly his. I only hope that he'll stay with us for at least as long as Brodie did!

A tiny new arrival back in November.
With me on Christmas Day.
Getting a bit bigger in January.
And now.. Positively gigantic!

It's a total cliche to call them "man's best friend," but it's so very, very true. 
Completely smitten!

What about you? Do you have a friend of the four-legged variety?

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  1. You inspired me, but I got carried away, so posted here: http://blessingandblunder.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/we-grew-up-with-labradors.html Apparently, I wanted to talk about the dogs in my childhood! No photos though.

  2. Love this post. Funnily enough I also blogged yesterday morning about my experiences of owning a dog - we rehomed a Labrador four weeks ago! http://messintheness.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/rehoming-a-dog-our-experiences-so-far/