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A New Family Member

After years of contemplating how ‘adult’ you have to be to own your own dog, I finally took the plunge and at the age of 24, announced to my Boyfriend ‘That’s it, I’ve decided we are grown-ups; we’re getting a dog.’

Me and Joe ‘the boyfriend’

I had recently begun working in a local veterinary clinic and realised that unfortunately, a minority of owners are unable to provide a loving, understanding, or financially stable environment for a canine companion; and that we could offer just that to a four legged friend.

A short stint browsing local rescue centres proved unsuccessful due to stringent rehoming requirements (A subject I wish to touch upon in a future blog) and after daily trawls through pets4homes we finally found our little dude.

Buck at 6 weeks old

Born in the darkest depths of North Devon, Buck is a wonderful mixture of Springador (Springer Spaniel X Labrador)

Buck’s Mum

and Working Cocker Spaniel (A less curly, more athletic version of the Show Cocker)

Buck’s Dad

We spent several weeks preparing for our new addition to the family and most importantly to us, that meant trying our best to forewarn ‘Mojo’ our rather lovely but stubborn feline housemate. We used a couple of products available online and in pets shops which are designed to help sooth animals in times of stress. I had been advised that using two products together would show best results, and although not 100% convinced of their effectiveness, thought it worth a shot if it meant Mojo didn’t pack his bags and move to the neighbours.

Mojo, the hinger ninja!

Feliway is a product proclaiming to release ‘cat appeasing pheromones’ via a plug-in diffuser or spray which helps your cat feel comfortable and safe.

Zylkène is a powder added to your pet’s food derived from casein, a protein in milk. It is a molecule known to promote the relaxation of newborns after breastfeeding and creates a calming affect.

Both products work best with a ‘build up’ in the environment/system so we started Mojo on his drugs as soon as we knew Buck was to become his new brother from another mother. Both myself and my boyfriend perceived Mojo as being more friendly and relaxed on the run-up to collecting Buck and agreed to purchase another stash to help Mojo through the puppy’s first few weeks with us. [As a side note Zylkene can also be used for dogs and Feliway has a sister product called Adaptil using a similar science for dogs!]

In reality, it is difficult to ascertain how effective these products were in relaxing Mojo as success is only measurable by our perceptions, and there’s always a risk of a placebo effect…….sorry I meant this placebo.

So Buck arrived home and lets just say, Mojo was less than impressed however does continue to come home for breakfast and dinner. He seems to like observing Buck exploring the garden. I’m sure he’ll get used to sharing his territory soon!

Buck in the garden at 8 weeks (pic from Concrete Photography)

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