So, it’s a new year. Most people get fairly excited about New Year, but think about this experience from a dog’s perspective – we haven’t experienced as many new years as humans have so it’s a really big deal for us. Back in 2011, I was experiencing my first Hogmanay and New Year with my Parents, and I must admit it passed in a blur of chilly paws (I was only a pupster at the time) as I tried to come to terms with the whole concept of “business outdoors” in December.
By the time 2013 dawned, I’d got the hang of things – as had the Parents. (Apparently standing outside in gale force winds and driving rain while encouraging your tiny new pup to “Do your business little man” is also a challenging process for humans. Who knew?) I’d learned about fireworks during the festival that happens in Edinburgh every August, so the Hogmanay celebrations were less of a shock. And I’d learnt that New Year’s Eve means two things in our household: snuggling on the sofa with the Parents, and a DVD box set.
And this Hogmanay was no exception as we settled into position with a box set of 24, and I snoozed through the drone-attack explosions on TV and the fireworks that were happening outside. But not before
my Mum I published a Steller story on My December. True, January 5 is a little late to be sharing this accompanying blog post but Mum and I decided to have a ‘screen break’ over the holidays – laptop screen, that is, as there’s no escape from the iPhone in our household.
And, as is the way at the start of a New Year, I sat down and made some resolutions. 7 resolutions to be precise. Random, I know, but here goes:
1/ Accept that it’s okay to walk out our front door and turn left. Walking out our front door and turning right means I’m either a/ going to our garden (which is tucked way round the back of where we live) or b/ going to meet Dad from work. Right is good. Turning left means Mum and I are just going for a walk, and that induces all sorts of anxiety. Mum and I are working through this. For the time being, Mum carries me to my ‘safe place’ and I walk from there. This approach makes me less anxious. However, I am “a hefty lump to have to lug around,” Mum says, as I chose a safe place that isn’t anywhere near our home. I arrive at the safe place fully charged, while Mum is whimpering with arm-ache.
So, at some point this year, I’m going to walk out our front door and turn left. And it’s going to be okay.
2/ Eat more kibble. You might imagine that eating kibble would be the easiest resolution to keep but I struggle with kibble some days. I want chicken treats. I want mackerel munchies. I want chive chews. I do not want kibble, even the organic, grain, dairy and soya free sustainably-farmed kibble that Mum buys for me. So yes, I need to eat more kibble and (deep breaths) demand less treats…
I feel hungry even writing this.
3/ Grouch a tiny bit less when people visit the stair we live on, and a considerable amount less when the postman arrives. (Ed: I sense this is an impossible resolution to keep…)
4/ Be less terrified of other dogs. (Ed: work in progress.)
5/ Learn never to drop a sneaky pee indoors. Anywhere. At any time. Ever. Even when it’s raining outside. (Ed: see my comment to 3/ above.)
6/ Find an extended family member who I can adopt, and who I can stay with sometimes. As it is, Mum and Dad have no one to leave me with, so while Dad makes occasional trips back to his Homeland, Mum can’t go anywhere. This, naturally, is fine by me. I want Mum all to myself, at all times. Always. But apparently this is an important resolution. “I really want to go to Berlin… Paris… Amsterdam… London… somewhere,” she says. This resolution promises to be a tricky one. (Ed: tell me about it.)
7/ Find a friendly pupster, or two, who I can meet and go walks with in Edinburgh. Apparently, I need to be a bit more social. (See 4/) So if you’re reading this and you happen to be a dachshund living in Edinburgh who’s looking for an anti-social, anxiety-filled friend… do get in touch.
And that’s it. My 7 Resolutions of 2015. I haven’t been successful on any of these so far but, really, it is only day 5… and what’s the rush? There are 360 more days on which to get this list nailed.
Happy New Year friends!