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While Amanda has been letting go of the apron strings as her middle son leaves for university, I have become the proud owner of a new puppy. Perhaps I have been influenced by Amanda's underlying anxiety over the past few weeks and anticipating how I might feel when my gorgeous golden balls (as he is known by his sister) goes to university.
I have dabbled with the thought that perhaps he may never leave me, but know this is selfish and wrong and I should actively encourage him to leave home at some point in the next few years. After all, we all know the odd (literally) 50 something man who lives with 'mummy', and no-one wants that for their sons!
After months of being texted cute pictures of puppies and almost constant badgering by the teens, we finally relent and agree to buy a puppy. After much laying down of rules, agreements to share the walking (signed in blood) and arguments about what breed, we settle on a labradoodle. Teen daughter wanted a chug (Chihuahua/Pug) and son wanted a Boxer, so this seemed like the perfect compromise, cute and fluffy, but big - but hopefully not too big!
We drive back from the farm in Kent, where we have chosen him out of a litter of 8 gorgeous puppies. He cries most of the way home and we feel like new parents all over again. Teen son is already besotted and tells his Dad off for driving too fast!
We arrive home to settle our baby in and introduce him to teen daughter who has no idea we are getting him today. She is beside herself and immediately starts BBMing all her friends. Within half an hour the living room is filled with teenage girls cooing and saying 'I am so getting a dog.'
We spend the whole evening cuddling him, letting him sit on the sofa and watching him wee on the floor! Everyone is up extra early the next day to make sure he's ok. Teen daughter has had no sleep, as he was in her bed all night and kept waking up!
Within a few days he has already taken over my life and we are now about to embark on toilet training, puppy socialising classes and a strict bed time routine, which is all very time consuming.
I wonder if I have done the right thing, because inevitably he will end up being my responsibility. But I already adore him and besides, he is always pleased to see me and needs me in a way my children no longer do. Oh and he can't talk - whats not to love?