The mischief begins with new pet arrival

As a vet seeing a puppy is nothing new, but it's lovely when people bring their precious new pet to us for its first vaccination.

Jake, a 10 week old Border collie puppy
Jake, a 10 week old Border collie puppy

We can enjoy the tales of mischief, but are thankful that someone else is enduring the toilet training or getting valuables chewed. All this mayhem has been brought to our house with the arrival of Jake, a 10-week-old Border collie puppy.

Picking a puppy was interesting. I was trying to do a quick, pre-purchase exam, but the kids were choosing which one they wanted.

First hurdle was the flat-packed cage, which fitted in the boot on the way there, but was too big once assembled. Never mind, it went in the back seat. I considered wrapping him in a blanket on the kids’ knees. I’m glad I didn’t as a mile down the road diarrhoea squirted around the cage.

Once home, the fun began as the puppy explored his new surroundings and met the rest of the family and our dog Tara. Everyone got on great, apart from the two cats, who are reserving judgement.

Toilet training began with layers of newspaper over the floor. Having the cage to control his movements and give everyone some respite, including him, has been a godsend. Until bedtime, when the howling started. The second night was similar, but on the third day a trip to the pet shop brought lots of goodies, including a new bed, which the puppy curled up in and hasn’t howled since.

His young owners have been nagging me to attend to his vaccinations, flea and worming treatment. They have devoured the information in his puppy pack. Can we register his microchip? Can he join the Healthy Pet club? Can he have a free month’s pet insurance? Can he have a free bag of dog food? They’re quite demanding clients and no mention of payment.

His training has already started; he’s managed to sit. He’ll have the winter to settle in, then after lambing hopefully he will make a start with the sheep. My son has already been out to buy a sheepdog whistle so look out for them on One Man And His Dog.