When you've lived with a giant breed like a Newfoundland for a while it's hard to remember what life was like before. (I know it's hard to believe but this year I've had Newfies for 20 years - clearly I was a toddler when Newfie #1 arrived!). So for those of you who are thinking of going for a giant breed, or just curious about what it's like to live with some (you can't have just one) then read on...
1. You have a car far larger than you could ever possibly want if you didn’t have your dogs. I drive a Citroen Nemo (it’s a people carrier) and the rear seats are permanently folded flat for maximum Newfy arse space.
2. Slobber on the ceiling.
3. The biggest extending dog lead on the market still isn’t really big enough. The strain of a dog bigger than the largest quoted size makes these £40 babies last about 3 months. That and the sea water.
4. It’s tricky to find a collar big enough for your dog - this is made even trickier if your giant breed is of the coated variety.
5. Little muddy footprints on the kitchen floor after a walk or a jaunt into the garden is just a dream. Giant feet means giant footprints. Yeti style.
6. Inviting your furry friend onto the sofa is a considered activity. Ask yourself if you actually want to have space on the sofa? Or if you’d like 10st+ of dog laying on your lap? Or if you want to still be able to breath? Or see the TV?
7. Giant breeds love to help out around the house. Most of them reside in the Working Group for a reason after all. You can almost always guarantee that there will be a big furry carcass helpfully lying in front of stuff you need to get to. The oven, the fridge, your doors, the toilet. You get the gist.
8. Everyone at your vet practice knows you by your first name. And they seem to have suspiciously fancy cars. And houses. You also qualify for a bulk purchase discount.
9. Children run screaming towards and away from you in equal measures. The line between Grizzly Bear and Teddy Bear is a fine one.
10. You feel a little bit like you are a featured attraction at most outdoor events/spaces. It’s a regular occurrence to turn round to see a whole line of spectators and photographers ogling and snapping merrily away.
11. Nothing on a work surface or table is safe. And not because your dog puts their feet up on stuff. They don’t need to. They can just reach.
12. You don’t have a coffee table. Huge tails and hot beverages perching on low tables in the middle of the room do not mix.