Dogs can be a woman’s best friend too

Linda & Buddie When Labrador Buddie came into Linda’s life, he tested her pet peeves. Now she wouldn’t be without him, bad habits and all. Over the next few months Linda will travel around Ireland and learn about animal rescue centres across the country. She will share her learning and experiences here on the DoneDeal blog. The first rescue centre blog post comes tomorrow. Until then, read about Linda below. By Linda Daly I wouldn’t be what you’d call a dog lover. Now, my six-year-old daughter Rachel, she’s a dog lover. She especially loves our Labrador, Buddie. My love for him has been slow-burning. It’s not that I don’t get his unending loyalty or willingness to give you a nudge when you’re having a bad day; and I completely hate animal cruelty. It’s just the hairs and smell in my home can be overbearing. And getting a Labrador for my first pet has been a baptism of fire. Part of the furniture Buddie is just 10-months-old and having him has been a learning curve. I often say to people, I don’t own a dog; I share my house with one. My sister and her son who has autism live with me, and Buddie is technically theirs. Though Rachel insists she’s his mother. We got him last December in between the big snows, and he arrived all cute and Andrex-ad type cuddly. Within weeks, he’d grown to three times his size, and then the chewing started. First it was the skirting boards, then the blinds, then the kitchen lino. It came to boiling point one night when I asked my sister to get rid of the dog. The next day, she began to make enquiries about re-homing him, and I immediately felt remorse. Despite all his bad habits, I couldn’t imagine Buddie going off to live somewhere else or worse. That was seven months ago, and we’ve had our ups and downs but Buddie is now part of the furniture he so likes to chew, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Learning more about animals So when I was asked to do the blog for and to visit animal rescue centres, I jumped at the opportunity. Rachel and I will be visiting centres around the country and I’m looking forward to learning about animals and appreciating them a little bit more.