art showing a puppy face

This Is What Happens When A Non-Dog Lover Gets One

dog face with paw

This Is How I Changed 180 And Became A Dog Lover

This is a story that must be told. This is my story of how I changed from being a person who did not like pets to a person who simply adores her new 4-legged pet. I never thought I could love a dog until CoCo came in my life. While I will remember 2020 for many significant changes in my life, this has to be the single biggest one.

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My Interesting Backstory

Let me start with the backstory. My husband has always been a pet lover and had two dogs before we got married. Unfortunately, one expired before we met and the other some months after our marriage, so my exposure to a pet was very brief.

He had always wanted a dog but since I was not too comfortable, we never tread that path again.

I am not averse to animals and dog in general, but I did not want to keep a dog in the house for 5 main reasons.

Dog face

My Reasons for Not Getting a Pet

1. Responsibility & Maintenance

Having a pet is like having another family member. If one has a pet, one has to be committed to taking care of the pet needs. Being a working wife and then a mom, I was not sure if I could manage the pet with my work and house responsibilities.

And with 2 daughters, the list of tasks to be done are never ending.

As my daughters grew older (they are in their teens now), the threesome (Including my husband) kept on trying to convince me. But my one Mommy dialogue “It’s either the dog or me” worked for many years.

Another reason for not agreeing was that I wanted my daughters to understand the commitment involved and participate equally in all the chores of the pet. They need to realise that a pet requires high maintenance & should not be only for their entertainment.

2. Dog Smell

I always felt that houses that have dogs as pets, smell and I somehow could not take that smell. Even when a dog used to come near me, the smell used to put me off. Of course, a lot depends on the grooming of the dog and how clean he is kept. Again, nothing to do with the dog but the owner of the dog. Dog smell was a big deterrent.

3. Non-Exposure to a Pet

As I said earlier, I was never exposed to a pet before. Hence, I was not sure how I would adjust to a pet, frankly. Will I be able to take care of him adequately, or will he be another task for me. I was not exposed to the love of a pet and hence for me, a pet translated to another item on my Task List.

4. Fleas

I had heard so many stories from my father in law on how our earlier dogs had got infected with fleas, and that was a big fear in me. I have almost an OCD for cleanliness, and I can’t bear to have any insects in the house and definitely not on my dog. And getting rid of fleas is not an easy task. It’s troublesome for the dog as well as the owner.

5. Staying Alone

How do we manage the holidays? Where do we leave the dog even if we have to go out for a weekend? Dogs can’t survive on their own, unlike cats which are independent and can just be left with food and water for a couple of days. We either organise a dog sitter or find alternative accommodation. It’s expensive, and it can be stressful.

Then How & Why I Changed My Mind About Pets? Read on to find out.

The Change Of Heart

We moved from India to Singapore In Oct last year and I took a sabbatical to help my girls adjust to the new environment.

I could again hear soundbites of getting a pet and kept my calm. I was now more open to having a conversation because I felt that a few of my concerns were addressed.

The girls were more responsible now and willing to participate and commit their time to the pet.  And since I was not working, I was more relaxed and could do my bit. But I did not know that this will be the starting point of another round of debates.

Dog against a backdrop

The Big Decision

So, once we crossed the hurdle of deciding to get a dog, the next point of debate was which breed? My girls were hellbent on getting a Golden Retriever.  My thought was to get a smaller dog so that we all get used to the idea of having a dog and taking care of him. Again, our breakfast table conversations revolved around the breed and size for many weeks.

Here I must give credit to my husband who convinced my girls for a small dog though I know he preferred a bigger one himself. I guess for him it was something is better than nothing.

So every day my husband and I will send my daughters cute pics of small dogs, and finally, we decided that we will go to the pet centre and see all the dogs including a golden retriever puppy and whichever dog calls out to us, we will get him home.

Ufff!! 2nd step done.

And then the whole world stopped, and everything was shutdown. And needless to say, our visit also got postponed indefinitely.

This definitely disappointed the girls, but they kept their excitement going by thinking of what they will name their pet.

And yet again everyone had their point of view. And it was interesting to note that how something or rather someone who is not yet a part of the family can arouse so many emotions.

So, when did we finally get our pet Home?

Once the circuit breaker/ lockdown was eased, we made an appointment with the pet centres and started doing our rounds. We actually only went to two centres and found our little puppy in the second one.

CoCo’s Homecoming

Family getting home a dog

By now you would know that our pet toy poodle is called CoCo. And when people say that a dog calls out to you, it is so true. When we went to the centre, there were multiple puppies, but this one just melted our heart, and we decided to get him home.

Honestly, while we were making the decision, I was very nervous as I did not know how I will react to the little one. There was excitement yet apprehension for me as I am not a pet-person. This was a big change and something that I had never experienced before. But this tiny fluff ball (as my daughter calls him) was so adorable that I could not say no.

So, we finally got CoCo home on 27th June 2020– all of 3 months. And our lives have not been the same since then. There was a new baby in the house, and everything revolved around him.

Since my girls were doing online schooling and my husband was working from home, Coco’s transition to his new home was pretty smooth. Or rather I was able to adapt to the new baby of the house quite quickly. My husband and the girls took over the entire responsibility of feeding him, cleaning his poo and I just played with him.

There was something about him, that attracted me towards him – maybe his innocence, his jumping around like a kangaroo on all 4 legs or simple his cute selfless cuddles.

We all know and have read about pets and human relationships. I actually experienced a change in the vibes around the house since CoCo came in. And here is how.

The CoCo Vibes

1. More Laughter Less Tension

dog playing on the sofa

This was the most evident change. With Coco and his antics becoming the prime attraction, there is always something happening in the house. Either he is up to something, or someone is up to something with him. Believe me; there is never a dull moment with a poodle in the house. I think we have started spending more time together as a family because of CoCo with him making sure he is sitting in the centre amongst us.

2. Increased Tolerance Levels

lady with a dog

I think with a pet in the house, your patience and tolerance levels increase, especially as a mother.

I certainly cannot shout at my daughters now as they will innocently point at him and say that I don’t shout at him. Well, jokes apart, it’s like me getting re-trained on handling kids again. I think we moms tend to forget this trait as our kids grow and start getting into a verbal argument with our teens which obviously leads nowhere.

In case of pets, you can scold them, and they do understand your mood but there is no guarantee they will not go back and repeat the same thing. Especially puppies.

Therefore, one has to be patient and give them time to register the required behaviour. And I have seen changes in CoCo over these 6 months.

3. More Responsive & Responsible Kids/Teens

teenager giving bath to the dog

My Teens have evolved with CoCo, and they are certainly more responsive and responsible. They were always compassionate towards animals but having a pet in the house is actually making them practice what they have been talking about.

Needless to say, they have also been spoiling him with their pampering. I have another kid now who enjoys strawberries and blueberries thanks to my elder daughter.

There are some amazing choices for spoiling your Pets in Cratejoy. Have a look.

teenager with a pup

Most of my house rules for pets have gone out of the window thanks to my husband and daughters, but honestly, it’s difficult not to indulge. But a mom is a mom right… and CoCo is also learning that.

4. Pets Emanate Love

toy poodle

When we were in the process of finalizing a pet, we felt it was necessary to gauge the comfort level of our helper too. So, one day I asked her. She mentioned that though she was not too fond of dogs, she would prefer smaller dogs. Today she is another one in the house who has had a change of heart.

You will see her happily playing with him as she finishes off her daily morning chores and he will also make sure he comes in her way.

5. Pets Relieve Stress

poodle with a man

This year has been a stressful year for all of us—some more some less. Getting a pet during these trying times was the best decision we made.

Apart from the above 4 reasons, CoCo is a great stress reliever between back-to-back online calls and meetings. Read about this and more on my blog on 7 Brilliant Ways To Relieve Stress That You Need To Know Now.

He is always around to give you a warm hug or a lick irrespective of how your day is going. So many times, he is attending conference calls with my husband, and I am sure he has got a few Management fundas already.

old lady with a dog

We stay together as a family with my husband’s parents who are both 85 plus and CoCo’s presence has helped them to divert their attention from their old age problems.

For us, as parents, the best sight of the day is when my daughters come back from their school and ring the bell at 16.20 hrs. He knows it’s them, and he starts jumping with joy. The moment he sees them, he wants to jump up to them and lick them all over. Truly unconditional love.

So adorable isn’t it.

lady with a poodle on a swing

CoCo is 9 months now and it seems that he has been with us forever. He is becoming more and more lovable and an inseparable part of our family now.

Some people ask me that don’t you regret not having a pet before. Well, my answer is that we should get a pet only once we are convinced that we will be able to give him time, attention and unconditional love. It’s a commitment of a lifetime with benefits for both involved. And as regards to my other concerns, I am sure we will find a way out.

So, have you taken the plunge yet?

If you already have a pet, then I am sure will relate to my blog. And if not, this will surely make you reconsider.

If yes, please share this blog with your family and friends.

A big Thank You to my sister Dr.Minni Chadha for this beautiful sketch of CoCo.

If you would like to be a part of my tribe, please do subscribe to my Newsletter.

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Rippy Gauba
Rippy Gauba

I am a working professional and a mom of 2 teen daughters. After having worked in the corporate world for 22 years, I am now a free-lance consultant specialising in project management. I am very passionate about spending quality time with my family, my pet CoCo, painting and blogging.

I write on Mindset, Motivation & Management. These are everyday, practical tips I picked up from my personal & professional life. These learnings have impacted my life as an individual, as a parent and as a working professional. I am sure these will be useful for you too and help create Ripples of change in your lives & that’s my intention.

Welcome Aboard!!

18 thoughts on “This Is What Happens When A Non-Dog Lover Gets One”

  1. Well…, i still have to undergo this change of heart… which iam sure will happen once I meet CoCo… he’s definitely very cute…particularly now as he’s learnt how to pose for pics …;)
    So till that time… I’ll reserve my judgement 🙂

    1. ?
      Same here….
      I know the girls are gonna love having a puppy around, am not sure yet…
      May reconsider now….
      And Great going Rippy , this was my first…..So happy for you…….

      1. Dear Kamalpreet,

        Thank you for your valuable comments on my-ripple-effect.
        I truly wanted to share my story with all those like me who are hesitating to take the plunge.

        But I think the key thing is that I took my time to become comfortable and then the acceptance was wholehearted. That’s what is important.

        Therefore I have mentioned that each one of us will value the decision of taken at the right time.

        Thank you again for taking out time to comment on my blog.

        Have a good day!

        Warm regards,

        Rippy

  2. Dr.Susmita Saxena

    I am a dog lover and can relate to your experience totally! Inspite of that I have been able to stop my children from bringing home a dog as I feel that our holidays would stop as we don’t have good enough dog creche in our country yet. But having a dog at home would definitely bring a greater bonding for families!
    Love Coco??

    1. Dear Dr Susmita,

      Firstly thank you so much for reading my blogs and commenting on them.

      I truly wanted to share my story with all those like me who are hesitating to take the plunge.
      Yes, you are right about the problem of leaving dogs when you are out of town and that was one of my fears too. We still have to see how we will handle that. 
      I am still not at the level that you are, but I do see a change in me after CoCo has come in my life, and I have started responding positively to animals.
      But I think the key thing is that I took my time to become comfortable and then the acceptance was wholehearted. That’s what is important.
      Therefore I have mentioned that each one of us will value the decision of taken at the right time.

      Thank you again for taking out time to comment on my blog.

  3. Nice write up ?. I am an animal lover AND a cleanliness freak, quite a combo. But my dog, who is an Indie/desi, loves all the brushing and grooming I do to get rid of loose hair. Over time I have learned to ease up and enjoy being in the moment. I feed a couple of stray cats and despite being different from dogs, they do have strong attachments. Whenever I have been away, my neighbour, who is a very kind-hearted person and takes over in my absence, tells me that the cats would regularly sit outside my door and keep calling piteously. After my return, they still go and visit her every day but the calling has stopped. Congratulations on your change of heart. It’s a privilege to be loved and trusted by animals.

    1. Dear Sumitha,
      Thank you for your valuable comments on my-ripple-effect.I truly wanted to share my story with all those like me who are hesitating to take the plunge.
      And you seem to be very much like me – a cleanliness freak so frankly that’s why I did not want a Golden Retriever as my first pet as it sheds a lot though they seem to be really lovable.

      I am still not at the level that you are, but I do see a change in me after CoCo has come in my life, and I have started responding positively to animals.
      But I think the key thing is that I took my time to become comfortable and then the acceptance was wholehearted. That’s what is important.
      Therefore I have mentioned that each one of us will value the decision of taken at the right time.

      Thank you again for taking out time to comment on my blog.

      Have a good day!
      Warm regards,
      Rippy Gauba

  4. Brilliantly expressed…felt and still having the same kind of apprehension you had about getting a pet…However I think pets would definitely be a source of greater bonding at home.But am I willing to take the leap!! Not yet.. but interest is kindled…? Have a nice day

    1. Dear Dr Nithya,

      Thank you for your valuable comments on my-ripple-effect.
      I truly wanted to share my story with all those like me who are hesitating to take the plunge.

      But I think the key thing is that I took my time to become comfortable and then the acceptance was wholehearted. That’s what is important.

      Therefore I have mentioned that each one of us will value the decision of taken at the right time.

      Thank you again for taking out time to comment on my blog.

  5. The roles in my family were reversed. It was my husband who always threatened “either me or a dog”.
    And the match box two bedroom homes in Bombay were not conducive to owning a pet.
    Also your point about the kids being responsible for a life of a puppy was another factor that dissuaded me from really talking about getting a dog.
    Finally in 2019 after we shifted to a large 3 bed home with wrap around balcony we took the plunge and adopted a 3 month labrador whose family couldn’t take care of him.
    And the rest as the say is history.
    He has been the one who has got us through the pandemic, who has taught us to speak softly, who has managed to get us off the sofa or chair when we are glued to the laptop or mobile to play with him or run after him while he is busy tearing the cushions.
    By the way my mom who stays with us has developed a new skill. She has on last count restitched all the cushions at least 12 times in these 8 months.
    It’s not us who have adopted Kuro, he has blessed us by living with us.

    1. Dear Tricia.

      Thank you for sharing your story on my-ripple-effect.

      I read it out to my husband, and we were laughing away.

      Yes, how lives change after getting a dog in the house.

      I truly wanted to share my story with all those like me who are hesitating to take the plunge.

      But I think the key thing is that I took my time to become comfortable and then the acceptance was wholehearted. That’s what is important.

      Therefore I have mentioned that each one of us will value the decision of taken at the right time.

      You mentioned you are from Mumbai. I am also from Mumbai and now based in Singapore. So where in Mumbai do you stay and how did my blog reach you?

      Thank you again for taking out time to comment on my blog and do go through my other blogs which are truly a slice of life.

      Have a good day!

      1. Dear Rippy,
        It was a pleasure reading your blog, so many things you speak about resonate with me
        I presently stay at Churchgate near Mantralaya.
        My school friend Kalpana sent me the link of your blog. She asked me to read your work.
        And I’m going to look forward to more articles from you.
        Cheers!
        Tricia Charan

      2. Dear Tricia,

        Great to hear from a fellow mumbaikar and do send your feedback on my other articles too. I have sent you my co-ordinates.
        Feedback and appreciation from people like you keep me going.

        Keep in touch and have a Merry Christmas. Do look out for CoCo’s first Christmas celebrations on my instagram handle.

        Regards
        Rippy

  6. I could completely relate to the blog…
    My wife had serious apprehensions about having a pet, but i played a masterstroke by gifting her a beautiful dalmation puppy on her birthday as a surprise!!
    Ever since, my wife and the entire family has lost all their concerns and the puppy had adapted to the household and vice versa s a fish to a pond.

    1. Thank you, Doc, for your valuable comments on my-ripple-effect.

      And that’s a brilliant masterstroke. Thank God my husband did not think of that.

      I truly wanted to share my story with all those like me who are hesitating to take the plunge. 

      But I think the key thing is that I took my time to become comfortable and then the acceptance was wholehearted. That’s what is important.

      Therefore I have mentioned that each one of us will value the decision of taken at the right time.

      Thank you again for taking out time to comment on my blog.

      Warm regards,
      Rippy Gauba

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