Me getting a dog was not a childhood dream.

I have always been a cat-girl…

As far as I can remember I did not have a good relation to dogs. I was always a cat-girl and my family always had cats. Sometimes, 6 of them. It was really crazy. But as we had a garden, it was perfect for them. They were mostly outside, but when they were hungry or wanted to be pet, we were there.

Everything got worse…

My father never had problems with dogs, but my mother was afraid and so was I. Everything got worse when a sheepdog attacked me when I was 10. It was unexpected and the owner was as surprised as we were. However, I started to hate dogs. Small, big, tall, brown, black, white…just every kind of dog. And the worst part that we went to the Baltic sea for vacation soon after and as you can imagine: There were lots of dogs and most of them run without a leash and so I was always in this flight mode. Or I hid myself behind my father.

Bad coping strategy

I found a way to deal with it. Well, actually, I changed the sidewalk whenever a dog came in my way. That was not really helpful, but efficient. And so I did this for years and I nearly forgot about my fear until I moved to a big city and I was confronted with dogs nearly every day, especially because there was a huge park in front of my apartment block. But I had this weird strategy and as we were students, none of my friends had a pet and so, I was fine.

One day…

One day, a friend told me that she will host a dog for some months while the owners got a baby and wanted to get into a routine without the dog. I remember the first day I met Lilli. She was a golden retriever mixed-breed and she was like 20 inches (50 cm) high and she was a real beauty.But I was just afraid of her. When I entered the flat, she was very interested and came directly towards me. I tried to be cool, but I started sweating and I absolutely did not feel comfortable. As my friend knew about this “problem”, she stopped Lilli whenever she approached towards me. After a while I relaxed, especially because Lilli was such an empathic dog. We met often and from time to time I started to like this dog and after some months I started to love this dog and I started to feel this special connection between humans and dogs. Since then, I talk about her as “my therapeutic dog” and she really helped me to come over this traumatic memory. Unfortunately, when she came back to her owners, I never saw her again.

After many years

…I found myself thinking about having a dog. First, it was just a thought and I always wiped it away. But the thought was persistent and I started to think about it seriously. I was still a student, I lived in a shared flat, my daily routine  – there was none. And I always thought: Can I effort a dog? And I did not only mean the money for food and toys, vaccinations and maybe more expensive veterinary treatments; I was worried about the time and whether I would somehow find a way to combine the benefits of independent living and my wish to have a dog. Again, I stopped thinking about it.

In 2014…

In 2014 I met a girl from the US and she came to Germany with her dog. They were travelling together like everywhere and the dog even stayed at home while she was at work. I realized how dog-friendly Germany is and that they are welcome nearly everywhere. I did a lot of research on dogs and breeds, trying to find a dog that fits to me, asking people, filling questionnaires and so on. In autumn 2014 I moved to my first own flat and shortly after I stumbled over a picture of a puppy…

Her name was Venera and she was born in Bulgaria. A German agency placed her and after discussions with friends and my parents (after all, you might need someone to take care when you are sick or on vacation) and of course myself, I just wrote a mail to them and 1 week later some one came to visit me. After a 2-hours interview, the woman was convinced that I am a good mistress and she recommended me.

The day I received the mail of acceptance is one of my best days of the last years and I was so happy – until they told me that I would have to wait another 2 months. She was 4 months and European right states that animals have to be vaccinated against rabies and this can not be done in puppies younger than 6 months. These 2 months were the longest I ever had and started to doubt.

Suddenly, I got a message stating the day of her arrival…

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