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3 Points to Consider BEFORE Getting a Pet



Getting a pet can be one of the best and most rewarding experiences you can ever have! I've always had animals, I was the girl who had everything under the sun as a kid. Cats, dogs, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, fish, stick insects, ant farms. You name it I probably had it. Currently I have two miniature dachshunds and a South African tortoise (you can see him photo bombing the pic above 😁). 

Even though I had all these animals as a child I never really understood the financial impact they would have on my life as an adult or the emotional one. Having a pet as a child is not the same as when you're an adult, as an adult they are your responsibility and its up to you to make sure they are well looked after, well fed and happy. As a kid you just have fun with them.

With that in mind, I thought I would write a little list of things to think about when getting a pet. Some are obvious, some maybe less so.

(Pably & Negan)

1. Can you afford the initial cost?

The total cost will obviously be dependant on the type of pet you would like to get. You need to think about the cost of the pet itself; for example my dogs cost over £1000. You may be looking to get a pet from a shelter and therefore the animal itself doesn't cost you anything. Or you may be looking to buy a gold fish, which again would be a relatively low cost. 

But the initial cost of your pet is not just the animal itself. You need to think about where it will sleep (bed, blanket, fish bowl, cage etc)? How will you travel back home with your pet? Do you need a lead/collar? Food and water bowl? Toys? Grooming items? Food and treats? Vaccinations? 

All in all I think we must have spent at least a £100 maybe more on the above things.


2. Ongoing/Monthly costs:

Pet insurance is a bitch, especially if you have multiple animals or if they are the kind susceptible to injury or hereditary health problems. For example, my dogs pet insurance costs £100 per month. I have a premium lifetime package with PetPlan due to the fact my dogs could possibly have hereditary back problems which could result in a £7000 vet fee for surgery. The lifetime package means that if either of my dogs have an issue, PetPlan cannot cancel my insurance the following year. If I got the yearly package, if they had an issue PetPlan could refuse to cover them. The cost of your pets insurance will be completley dependant on the type of animal, its age and its health. This is 100% something you need to consider when looking for a pet.

Another ongoing cost will be routine vet appointments and medication. Most insurance policies have an excess attached, on mine this is £100. So I am unable to claim on routine appointments as they all fall below this cost. That doesn't mean they don't all add up though. For a routine appointment my vets charges £20 and if your pet needs medication that doesn't go over £100 you will be paying for this out of your pocket. Like worming tablets. My dogs need two different types of tablets to cover their worming, there is one that they have once a month (only costs £1.51) and then another that they have four times a year which costs £32. So over a year that is £292.34 for both dogs. Over their lifetime this comes to a whopping £4968 (they can live for up to 17 years). You will also get one off issues that need to be addressed, such as one of my dogs getting an ear infection that he needed drops for. The drops cost £52, so including the appointment fee this was £72. 

My final major cost for the on going section is food. Now this will depend on the animal and what type of food you chose to feed them. We feed our dogs a reasonably premium brand, Canigan. Now this isn't us being snobby. Our breeder feed them Royal Canin when they were born (another more premium brand) but our oldest dog has a very sensitive stomach and is also a picky eater and we had issues with it. We done our research into what food is good for mini dachshunds and Canigan came out as one of the top. Our dogs like it and it doesn't affect my oldest ones stomach issues. This sets us back £32 per month. Not a huge amount but again over the year it adds up. Whatever animal you have I think its important to do your research on foods and find one that fits the animal as well as your budget. 

Now the last but possibly most important.

3. Emotional Impact:

Let me tell you I was not prepared for the emotional impact that having dogs would have on me. We (myself and my partner) are our dogs whole entire world, they adore us and want to be with us all of the time. They are the cutest most affectionate animals I have ever been around and they were the best decision we ever made. 

What I wasnt prepared for was how the feeling of being truely responbile for something is, my partner was also shocked. When we got Pablo, he was so small and so dependant. We felt horrendous leaving him at home, especially when he gave us those puppy dog eyes (see below pic of the first day we brought him home). We had to think more about how we spent our time, we couldnt just go straight to the pub from work unless we had someone to check in on the dogsa We had to have someone to look after them when we went on holiday. We are lucky as my mum looks after them, I am not sure what we would do if she didnt as there is no way I would ever put them in a kennel. 

The best part of getting an animal is the love that they show you and the warmth you get from them. I love going home to my dogs and seeing how excited they are too see me. 

Getting an animal is a big responsibilty but if its something you want then it is definitly worth it. My life wouldnt feel the same without them now :).

(Baby Pablo)

Running Acheivements

(Source: Unsplash)
My Running Achievement:

So can you guess my big running achievement?!? Drumroll please……. I ran a whole 1 mile without stopping……
Yes I know this properly sounds really piddly to some of you out there but for me this was quite a big achievement. I am not a natural runner and for the people out there who say there is no thing as a natural runner, I'm calling that out as a lie!! My boyfriend is what I would call a natural runner. Even if he doesn’t run for 6 months at a time, he will be able to straight out and run a 5k and be fine. Yes he may say he found it a little tough but at the end he would still be alive and breathing and in general feeling pretty good about himself.
As for me, over the past 4 or so years I’ve tried out running numerous times. Each time I start one of those 5k training plans that has you running for one minute and then walking for one minute. I usually get up to running for around 5 minutes on those things and then give up. I was a smoker you see so my chest is prob a little weaker than some and I used to really struggle with getting any breath in at all. As the years have gone by since quitting (yes you should quite that habit too, it’s pretty disgusting) it has got a lot lot better.
This year I tried a different approach, I started running and stopped when I couldn’t go anymore, then walked for a bit and then started running again. Not really timing myself but using the app RunKeeper to track my distance. First time I ran a mile but stopped 4 or 5 times in between, so was probably only running about a min and a half at a time.

Second run I started running and didn’t stop for 11min and 32 seconds, which for me worked out at exactly as mile. I was so bloody happy. In my world of fitness I’m gonna go with the little achievements, maybe one day this will turn into a full marathon!! Yep getting a little ahead of myself.

An Open Letter.......

Some people say that it never gets any easier. Some  people say it gets easier over time or that whilst it doesn't get easier your learn to deal with it better.

For me, its definitely got easier over time but that doesn't mean its any better.

Its been 3 years now and I have learned how to cope and I've got my methods for making myself feel better.

On a day to day basis I don't let myself think about it or think about you. If I did I would always be upset. Its strange as some days I can sit and think about you or talk about you and it be nothing but happy memories, sitting with a smile on my face and laughing at the memories I have of us.

Other days I can barely think about you without wanting to cry.

People think they understand but unless they have lost a parent then they really don't. Its not something you can really explain. Its not a pain you can explain.  Sometimes I feel like I've got the whole world sitting on my heart crushing it. Sometimes I worry I will forget your voice or if the voice I think I hear in my head is actually yours. I worry that you will be looking down and because you don't see me crying you will think I don't care, as you wont be able to see the pain on the inside. Then it twists and I worry that you are watching me in bed at night when I cant sleep and I think of you and cry, as I know that you don't want me to be crying.

I know how incredibly lucky I was to have you as my Dad. You were far from perfect, as was I. But the one thing no one can ever take from you or me is the unwavering love you gave me. There has never been a point in my life when I didn't know you loved me more than anything else in the world and that you were proud of me, even in the times when you should have been ashamed. From the day I was born you always told me I was your saving grace and that I saved your life. I grew up think I was your favourite but in truth you loved me and Andy the very same. You made us both feel special.

When someone dies people always talk about the things that that person will miss out on. For me its much more selfish than that, its the things I will miss out on now that your gone.

You never got to see me graduate from Uni. You didn't see me get my real first job. You wont walk me down the isle if I get married. I wont get to pass you my first child for a cuddle or see you cuddle any future grandchildren. My future kids will miss out on the best Granddad they could have had. My nephew is currently missing out on the best Granddad he could have had.

Currently he's two and a half, 3 in May. And when you ask him where Granddad Geoff is, he answers "in the trees and the flowers".

That is forever the way I will think of you. In the place you loved, with the things you loved.

I miss you Dad. I love you Dad.

How I keep Organised

How I Keep Organised:
Don’t you think these posts are everywhere now? How to keep organised, how to prioritize, how to do you’re to do lists etc. Although they are all over the place, I've found many of these posts to be beneficial to me in the past as everyone has a slightly different way of doing things and you can pick up different tips from each post.

So here’s mine. These are some of the ways I try to keep organised, this is based on my work life not so much my personal life.

1     Write to do lists, lots of them:
I have a few ways of doing my to-do lists. My first to do list is my Outlook email inbox. As my emails come in I flag them by a category which is colour coded, so I know when they need to be done. The red boxes mean they need to be done today, blue boxes need to be done that week. As I complete a task, I then move that email over into its relevant folder on the left. So that anything in my in box is still to do. If I reply to an email but that issue still hasn’t been resolved, I leave it in my inbox and put a pink flag next to it. For me a pink flag means I have replied and am waiting for a response. The things in my email are generally queries that I need to update, not day to day jobs.

My second to do list is the Stickynote that you get on Windows PC’s. If you don’t know where to get this just go to your start menu (bottom left of your screen) and type in Stickynotes. I use this to write down absolutely everything that I have to do, all of it. If I have lots and lots to do, I will use multiple Stickynotes and arrange the to do lists via a category.
My last to do list is via a traditional note book. This I will take into meetings and note down anything I have to do from those, these would also be added to my Stickynote to do list once out of the meeting.

Some may think this is a little extreme, but in my line of work when there is just so so many little things that need completing on a daily basis without this type of system I would be well and truly screwed.

       Keep a tidy desk:
This one applies to me but may not apply to all. For me, if my desk is covered in crap I feel claustrophobic and it makes my mind feel stuffy. Some of the people I work with are the complete opposite, their desks are covered in stuff but that’s how they feel comfortable. One girl told me that if her desk is tidy it makes her feel like something is wrong.
The nature of my job is that my desk cannot really be completely clear but I try and keep my files filed, pens in pots, and generally neat. You can tell I am super busy if my desk is not tidy.
3      Make a schedule and stick to it:

      Once my to do lists are done, I try to stick to just one or two things at a time and try to finish them as much as they can be. I will set myself a realistic time to get the task done and then I will do it. If you stop and start lots of different things, it becomes much harder to not to get to that finish line.
4      No Procrastination:
This ones really hard and I fail a lot. I would also imagine for those of you who are able to work from home would struggle with this one even more. For me it’s all about sticking to that schedule. I will set my schedule so that I work for about an hour, then make a tea, pop outside or go for lunch. So that I am not sat constantly for hours and hours.

5      Take that lunch break:

Again I know people find this hard but I am really against sitting at your desk eating lunch. Its counterproductive, you end up feeling over worked. It’s much better to take some time, even 20 minutes, to step away from your desk and have lunch. Let your head clear and relax a little. Then when you go back to your desk your much more likely to go back to work with added determination and motivation. 

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