“We always thought about adopting.
By ‘we’, I really mean me. Though the kids very quickly warmed up to the idea of having a pet dog, my husband was much harder to convince.
We met our dog Tyler (at the time he was called Julius) at the pet shelter. The things that struck us were his kind and gentle eyes. We wanted a dog that would be gentle and friendly with the kids and Tyler was the one.
However, in the beginning, it was not always easy. Though Tyler was toilet-trained, he had some accidents. He is a mixed breed with a lot of border collie, so he’s very energetic and requires lots of physical activity. The frequent walks took some getting used to and required a change in our daily routine. He also had a habit of nipping (we were told this was his natural herding instinct) which was an annoyance, though he has stopped completely now. My husband also, at this time, remained lukewarm about having a dog in the house with us, so sometimes things did get a little tense at home.
What helped us a lot was going through some basic obedience classes with Tyler. In these classes, we learned a lot about our dog and how to handle him. It does require some perseverance to keep reminding ourselves of how to handle him properly and to keep practising the new dog commands we’ve learned with Tyler. But what a difference the training made. Once Tyler started to understand us a little bit more, and we understand our dog, he became a lot more fun to bring out with us, to have around at home, and it became a lot less frustrating for both us and our dog.
Not long after we adopted Tyler, we learned that we would relocate to Europe. The question of whether Tyler would come with us did come up. There were so many question marks, and though details of our future were uncertain, it soon became unquestionable that Tyler would join us.
Tyler joined us in Europe a few months after we relocated. Germany is a dog-loving country. We take Tyler pretty much everywhere we go now. He even has his own Pet Passport to travel all over Europe with us. He’s been in the German Alps with us while we go skiing. We discovered that our tropical dog loves the snow! He romps in the forest with me every morning and gets me out for long walks where I would otherwise not have done. I love the morning and sunset walks with him. He likes to socialise with other dogs we meet on our walks, thereby introducing me to my neighbours who also own dogs. He keeps me company at home while my husband is out at work, and the kids are in school. He nuzzles his nose against me for affection, and sits and stares at me when he wants something. He’s my loyal companion. And he’s a big part of our family. I can’t imagine not having Tyler in our lives, and adopting him was the best decision we have made as a family. And… even my husband is convinced!”