We’ve got (another) dog

We’ve got (another) dog

We’ve got (another) dog

… Or why does it always rain on me…

Okay, so I’m sitting at home yesterday, finally getting a spot of peace and quiet to catch up on a movie, the excellent ‘Brawl in Cell Block 99’, starring Vince Vaughn, because wifey and the little one had gone out for the afternoon. Bliss, you might say and indeed you’d be right. I’d been trying to see this particular film all the way through without interruption for the last ten days, so now was my chance. Wrong! Twenty-five minutes from the end, with me on the edge of my seat, the car pulls up with all the windows rolled down and my little boy shouting out at the top of his voice: “Daddy, we’ve got a dog! We’ve got a dog, Daddy!”

Sure enough, no sooner had the car pulled to a halt than the doors were opened and after a bit of shuffling around in the back, my wife emerged carrying a small and absolutely terrified dog. Up until that point, I had thought that my son was playing a bit of a joke on me, but no, it was true, we had a dog.

Ben the dog, lying down sleeping.Rob Gregory Author

They’re so cute when they’re asleep… and not trying to escape!

Now, let’s rewind about forty-five minutes because there are some strange factors at play here, which need elucidation. I’m not a great believer in superstition or things like that. Being me, you tend not to be. It’s just one of those things you have to accept. However, while watching the film, I found myself musing about my tendency to overreact a little when my wife does one of her annoying, sorry… endearing ‘acts of complete randomness’, such as selling the motorbikes, ordering a running machine and expecting me to put it together when the instructions are in Thai, or holding a major religious ceremony in front of our business, complete with chanting monks, incense burning and lots of wailing… and on that occasion, it wasn’t even a Friday! Well, I just was coming to terms with the idea that maybe I should try to chill out a bit more when the dog ‘arrived’. The timing was impeccable. It was uncanny, like Buddha had decided that I didn’t already have enough excitement in my life and decided to add some more in the form of man’s best friend.

Normally, I would have done a very plausible impression of a medium-sized firework (not large I’ll have you know) going off, but I had just told myself to chill out about things, so what was I going to do? Besides, as mentioned above, the poor little mite was absolutely terrified beyond belief. Shaking and drooling uncontrollably as a result of the drive home… and I am making no comment about the quality of my wife’s driving here, although I have been known to do the same on occasion… I was worried that she might collapse and give up there and then (the dog that is, not my wife… she never gives up). So, I sat down on the floor, all thoughts of my Vince Vaughn film forgotten and tried to soothe her (we’re talking about the dog now, just in case you were wondering). After about an hour, by which time both of my arms and a good portion of my shorts were covered in frightened dog slaver, she finally calmed down enough to take a little water and some food.

Empty floor - no dog. Rob Gregory Author

Dog gone! Probably off chasing motorbikes, the crazy beast!

Since then, mainly because I’m a great big softie when it comes to animals, apart from the ones that try to bite my son that is (true story), she’s become part of the family and has been renamed ‘Ben’ by myself, mainly because I can’t pronounce her Thai name (and yes, I do know that she’s a girl dog). The only thing is that she’s not a puppy and she’s not a street dog. She’s a temple dog, so is having a bit of a hard time adjusting to her new life… it’s probably due to the lack of orange robes, but if anyone suggests that I start wearing one then look out! The problem is compounded by the fact that we live close to a busy road, so I’m terrified that she’s going to get run over, as happened to one of our cats, or stolen, as happened to our last puppy (another true story).

Black puppy dog with white paws. Rob Gregory Author

Doody doody doo, where are you? Our stolen puppy, Doody. Super cute or what!

Anyway, after tying her up last night, which isn’t something that I wanted to do, being an animal lover and all that, I came down this morning only to find that she’d slipped her collar and had gone off wandering around the neighbourhood. Thankfully my wife was able to track her down and that should have been the end of it. But alas, no. When I got back from my morning bike ride (43km in case you were wondering), she’d chewed through the restraining rope and was socialising with three boy dogs from along the road, the shameless hussy! This time, I managed to get her back inside and warned her about hanging around with strange boy dogs, even if she was only trying to make friends. I know what happens in these situations! Since then and it’s only been a matter of hours now, we’ve abandoned the rope and are trying our best to get used to the idea that she’s probably a darned sight more streetwise than our son is!

Anyway, I’m not looking forward to tonight when we have to shut her inside the house to stop her wandering the streets, but its either that or spend a sleepless night worrying that she might have got into trouble. Wish me luck dear reader, as I think I’m going to have my hands full for a while here. But then I’d rather have full hands than have lovely, good-natured, little Ben squashed by a car.

Stay tuned for more dog stories (and I’m sure there will be lots) as our relationship with Ben develops in the future.

Owning a dog is a big responsibility and unlike us, you should be well prepared before you bring your new addition home. Below are some useful resources to help you ensure that it is a pleasant experience for both you and your dog:

Bringing a new dog home

The 3-3-3 rule for adopted dogs

Surviving the first night

Living with a new dog

Puppy feeding guide

How to be a responsible dog owner

In-depth guide to financing a service dog (a very useful resource for anyone with physical/mental difficulties)

2019 Update:

Well, it’s been nearly a year since we first got Ben and what a fantastic dog she’s turned out to be. To coincide with the request that I recently received from Jessie at Jen Reviews, to include the article below on preparing to look after a new puppy, I thought I’d include a couple of recent pictures, so that you can see how Ben has grown!

Please do take the opportunity to check out the links, especially the one below, which is excellent and if you do have a new dog, then I hope that they turn out as well as Ben!

22 Essential Items to Get Before Bringing Home Your New Puppy

Ben the dog. Happy and alert. Rob Gregory Author

Ben the dog, lying on my bed roll. Naughty girl, but at least she is happy!


Ben the dog, sleeping in the bar at Christmas. Rob Gregory Author

Ben, sleeping in the bar at Christmas.


To ensure that you stay tuned for more ben-related updates in future, please take a moment to subscribe to my newsletter. And while you’re here, why not check out some of my other blogs and books. I’m sure that you’ll find something to make you smile.


Thank you!