Michael Hayward is an experienced dog owner. You may remember his moving account of saying goodbye to his own dog, Toby. It was a K9 Magazine favourite. Here's Michael's take on striking the balance between dog ownership and having a social life.
I think it's OK to say we've all been guilty of it. There's no shame. Not a bit. You're on the phone. A friend you haven't seen in a while is on the other end. 'How about seeing that new film this afternoon?' they say. 'It's meant to be good,' they say. You have read the reviews, you say. It looks good indeed.Then you look down at your feet.
Your dog is looking up with interested eyes. Perhaps he cocks his head to the right. And before you know it the words come out. 'I can't.'
'Oh why not?' your friend says, and you don't have an answer. You look again at your dog. You can't leave him home alone. Not even with the radio on.
'I have a lot to do,' you say quickly. 'OK. How about tomorrow?'
'We'll see,' you say and say goodbye. The phone call ends. The dog wags his tail. 'Good boy.'
If this example sounds familiar then it might be time to start getting back out there. In this article I will look at the importance of keeping your social life, separate from that of your beloved pet. [premiumcontent]
It will only enrich the relationship all round.