Atlas vs Child

Parents with children who decide to get a puppy and don’t lose their shit in the process … I applaud you.

Amy and I don’t have children, remember … we are the “cool aunts” we try to convince ourselves that the kids love us because we don’t have kids and they can colour their eyebrows in with pink felt tip and stay up late but in fact its probably just because we have a toy box. A toy box filled with toys the kids have never seen before and don’t have to share because there isn’t anyone else to share with.

So to conclude, we are the cool aunts.

We also have an Atlas.

Not the fun coloured, spinning educational type, that the parents of said children would probably appreciate, no, an 8 month old giant missile that weighs more than three children put together.

Yes … the fun kind of Atlas.

Now before Atlas came home, Amy and I have become accustomed to a more gentler way of life, with a female dog that was probably as old as your nana. She was not interested in the kids what so ever, she didn’t want their food, their noisy Thomas train nor their bikes and scooters, she absolutely was not interested in being present for a game of hairdressers or having her nails painted. If the kids were there, Jasmine was in hiding and that’s what she liked.

She did actually take part in a re-enactment of Frozen once and played the part of Sven the reindeer because, and I quote “We need a life sized prop”, no she wasn’t as big as a reindeer but she played it very well.

Take us forward to present day and we have Atlas.

Atlas is super friendly, over friendly in fact. I’ve only ever heard him growl once and that was due to a fountain shooting up from the floor and almost taking his top jaw off. I’ve got to hand it to the guy it probably was a very big shock. Atlas loves everyone, the problem we have with Atlas is that he does everything at super sonic speed.

With adults, I’m sure that’s no problem, they get the “please ignore him until he calms down” and we all go about our business, until the children arrive and that’s when the party starts. He has stolen socks of children, stolen shoes off children, ruined a game of soldiers because he’s either knocked the soldiers down or eaten them, sat on them, literally squashed them and then the inevitable, sent them flying. I don’t mean just made them lose their balance, I mean actually sent them flying.

It doesn’t matter how much you say, please stay calm, don’t run, don’t scream his name and head off in the other direction … kids don’t learn, and quite honestly if I had a giant dinosaur thundering towards me at super sonic speed and someone told me to stand still and be calm, Id be hot footing it the opposite direction too whilst shouting some very choice words at the crazy person telling me to stand there.

I get it …

There’s the older child, she’s Twelve and Atlas loves her. She has the ability to comprehend that where Atlas is concerned, at the moment, calm is better. They go on adventures and watch films and just generally manage to coexist quite happily. she strokes him, she feeds him, she cant walk him yet but she gives it a good go. All in all there’s a beautiful friendship blossoming.

~Atlas and Darcey

There’s the middle girl, she’s a little smaller but isn’t in the slightest bit bothered by Atlas and his crazy antics. She’s only seven so we have to be careful but she’s pretty good with him. He respects her which is always good but then again that might be because she wants to do things with him. She generally complains that he’s in her way, he’s usually sat right on top of her to be fair. Or that she cant see the TV, again he’s usually sat in front of her and because he’s a very similar size to her their heads are at the same height. Again … all in all slightly more stressful than the older one but not bad considering Atlas is such a giant goof ball.

Ava and Atlas

And then there are the boys.

The boys range from six to just turned four and there are three of them. Atlas thinks they are the best thing since sliced bread. They scream, they run, they play on bikes and scooters and put up a great game of chase. They play with toys that make loud noises and have cars that shoot around the living room. Sounds great doesn’t it, I cant blame him, occasionally I feel the need to join in. Until we have discounted little humans who have to be pulled out from underneath the puppy before they start to suffocate or very upset little people because the bike tyre has gone down due to mysteries chew holes.

Who am I trying to Kid … its carnage, its the clash of the titans all over again. We have taken to Atlas being attached to me on a house lead to ensure that no children are harmed in the “visit Amy and Sophie” day. He eventually calms down but kids come first, now we know these kids will go home and so we don’t feel so bad that whilst he’s learning he isn’t let lose on them, how on earth people manage with children and a puppy that live in the same house 24/7 I do not know, all I can say is well done to you!

We do have the odd moment of utter cuteness …

Noah and Atlas

We are obviously aware (or secretly praying) that he will calm down and we try not to hide him away from them because the children and Atlas need to learn to be together shutting him away and not continuing our lives as we would, would only exasperate the situation and then maybe one day there will be a child living in the house, what would we do then? The bottom line is he has to learn not to react to the children and the children have to learn how to respect the dog.

We have a long road ahead but we are trying to subject Atlas to everything and everyone to enable him to become a well rounded member of the family. He comes to as many places with us as we can take him and has training sessions frequently (not that his obedience is getting any better).

The main part is he is a baby and is still learning, but in the interim, jokes aside we are very cautious of what situations we put him in where children are concerned, mainly due to his size. That’s our responsibility isn’t it? To ensure the children don’t get hurt and become frightened but to teach them how to be kind and to have respect which will then hopefully enable them to have their very own best friend when they’re a little older.

Please, any tips on how you deal with high energy clashes between children and puppies is much appreciated.

p.s. no children were harmed in the making of Atlas vs Child !

 

 

 

Where it began

Hello all and welcome to our blog. This primarily is to document the cute, sometimes highly irritating and mostly hilarious antics of our now seven month old German Shepherd puppy officially named, The Regal King. Luckily for all, (us mainly) he has a “house name” as we like to call it, Atlas (we will go into the naming of the demon puppy, this needs its very own place)

It all started with my previous delight Jasmine, also a German shepherd. My family and I bought her as a nine week old fat, fluffy ball of loveliness. Believe me when I say that she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen … I was only 16 at the time and had lead a relatively sheltered life and so my experiences of beautiful things were a little limited, nonetheless we were blissfully in love with her.  I will upload a picture for everyone to cast their eyes at, just so everything is in perspective.

At first thoughts I remember that she was the most loving loyal companion you could wish for. Mind you the more I think of it, that probably really inst the case. There was the hair, anyone with any form of shedding dog can appreciate the hair, let alone a long haired German shepherd, you eat it, breath it, sleep in it, drink it and more often than not, just learn to embrace it. Then there was her hatred of men, this was an interesting pastime of hers that I’m fairly sure she took great pleasure in, so much so that the poor postman posted a note through the door one morning requesting his very own post bin to save his fingers. You will be please to know that we duly obliged, mainly to avoid any future court summons from frightened said postman. There was the love of shoe insoles, yes the insole only, many a time I went to school in the morning with my poor feet just resting on the hard rubber of the shoe sole after Jasmines wild night of insole shredding. If you ever have the opportunity to see a shoe minus its insole you will know what I’m talking about, safe to say it wasn’t the most comfortable after a day trudging through the halls of secondary school and last but not least there was the lack of sleep. Now I knew even then that some puppies can be a little upset in the evening … what I hadn’t prepared myself for was the high pitched screeching at maximum volume every hour !! The only way to shut her up was to sleep alongside her on the kitchen floor and even then it didn’t always work.

Alas, we finally got over the terrible stages of being a family with a new pup and forgave her for the initial mishaps we had in the first year of our coexistence and moved on.  For the next twelve years we cried, laughed, loved and subsequently enjoyed an amazing twelve wonderful years with her until she sadly and very unexpectedly suffered a stroke in December 2017.

It was all very quick and we are so thankful that she did not have to suffer. During the twelve years we spent with our very special Jasmine, I especially learnt some very hard lessons. The first being to love unconditionally and forgive, everyone and everything makes mistakes, don’t hold them to it. Teach the right way and move on but love always. The second was loyalty, now every dog is somewhat loyal to their owner in their own way but if you have never owned a German shepherd then you have sorely missed out, they are loyal to the death and once they have bonded with you they will be your best friend for life, the third and probably most important lesson that I find myself recently struggling with is patience, try where possible to take a deep breath and be patient, dont act in the moment, move away, compose and reevaluate the situation, you never know a different approach might be the key.

But of course our story does not stop there! Everyone who has ever had a pet then you will fully appreciate that a house is not a home without any animal, especially when its missing a giant German Shepherd. Jasmine left such a void within the household that we decided a new dog was a must have and so we met Atlas.

 

Jasmine1 Jasmine … where it all started ❤