About two years ago we started to notice that our children were nervous and sometimes even afraid around other dogs. It’s really strange because we have a dog at home and they are around it every day. We would teach them to have a healthy respect of dogs but we encouraged the contact when possible.

RcNama and Réalta drinking from the same bowl. About a year ago, Nama, my guide dog had a few negative encounters with other dogs. He was attacked a few times by loose dogs and after a few of these encounters, he decided that he would attack before they attacked him.

We decided a year ago that we would get another dog as a pet. It makes sense. Nama gets ongoing exposure to another dog and so too do the children. The pup will also help with keeping Nama engaged with everyone in the house and more mobile. When the pup gets attention, Nama joins in. It’s great because he was enjoying his bed a little too much.

Enter stage left Réalta. She’s a Lurcher pup that’s now about 12 weeks old. Her father is a Greyhound Collie cross. Her mother is a Greyhound Collie Whippet cross.

Back in August, I was talking to a friend during Music at the Gate. I mentioned that we were actively looking for a lurcher but the right one. We had visited a few dogs but hadn’t found the right temperament. I didn’t know that the man I was talk to actually bread lurchers! He promised me that he would find a breeding pair that he would trust to provide a really great pup with the temperament that we were looking for. Four months later I get a call to tell me that the pup was ready and it would be dropped off a few weeks later.

Réalta arrived a few weeks before Christmas. She’s getting on really well. Oh Réalta for anyone who doesn’t speak Irish is the word star. Because Réalta is one of the best traditional groups ever and star because…. you know…… Christmas, stars, all that kind of stuff.

So here’s the thing. Pups are nuts! Crazy! Wild! Untamed! We should have called her zoom because she has two speeds. Stop and zoom! Or maybe bounce because sometimes she stops, zooms then bounces off the fridge, a door or a wall. IT’s kind of funny. She flies through the house, through the living room, out through the hall, into the kitchen and tries to make a slight left adjustment to avoid the corner of the fridge. Sometimes she doesn’t quite make it though and there’s a crash followed by a tiny whimper. Sometimes she over compensates and her four paws go from under her and she slides across the floor for a second until she rights herself. It’s really funny. It doesn’t bother her of course. Two seconds later she’s off zooming around the place again without a care in the world.

It was great getting a new pup right before Christmas. It added to the energy in the house over our favourite time of the year. It was also nice that I was off for about two and a half weeks so I got to spend a lot of time with her. But now the fun begins. We’re establishing a more rigid routine now that we’re back to our normal daily activities. Getting up in the morning is now a crazy blur of craziness. I remember the days when I’d have a few minutes to get up, grab some breakfast and a cup of coffee, take a leisurely shower, sort out Nama then head to work. Now it’s something like this:

*. Get up.

Go down stairs

Turn the alarm off

Nama jumps out of bed. I tell him to settle quietly.

I grab Réalta from her bed

I bring her outside because if I leave her for any time at all, she’ll pee on the floor.

When she’s peed I let Nama then relieve himself and I try to get dog food ready. While I’m doing that, Réalta goes zooming around the garden. I need to go grab her then rush back so Nama doesn’t manage to get to the food before I do.

I feed Nama then bring Réalta to eat. If I don’t have both food bowls prepared quick enough, both dogs will make too much noise. Nama will start dancing and Réalta will start crying and barking.

Both dogs eat. Then it’s back outside to the dog run but it takes some convincing. I bring Réalta in but she needs some convincing to relieve herself. She finally finishes then I sort out Nama.

After I’ve sorted Nama out I go find Réalta again. She’s gone zooming around the garden again so I have to go find her again. Then Nama does the same so I have to talk to him nicely so he comes back as well.

I go inside and start to make breakfast. Meanwhile I’m talking to Nama so he has attention and I’m occasionally distracting Réalta from playing with my laptop case, the swim bag that Emma has out in preparation for today, the bottom of the kitchen chairs and everything else that has caught her attention in that millisecond.

By the time I’ve had breakfast and had a coffee, I’m wrecked! I get into the shower, rush to get dressed then fly out the door glad to go to work for a break for a few hours.

I pity Emma then because she has Réalta still zooming around the house and two children to get ready for school.

It’s just nuts!

But I wouldn’t trade her though. The children are really enjoying having the pup around and Nama is a lot more sociable.