The Perfect Puppy

I’ve been a dog owner for over a year now and I love it. It feels natural to look after the tiny, fluffy, living creature that I essentially keep captive in my house, but it wasn’t something that came easy. I was really worried – I had no previous knowledge of keeping or training a dog. Growing up, my family were more goldfish people!

As I like to do with any new project, I spent weeks researching what I’m supposed to buy, prepare, and expect. I think it’s fair to say that there is a lot of information out there, and everyone has an opinion. It was pretty overwhelming, so I ended up going back to basics and looked for a book.

After reading a ridiculous number of book reviews, I settled on the number one book for Dogs on Amazon (with 300 x 5 star reviews): The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey.

It took me a couple of days to read it cover to cover, but I came out of it with so much knowledge and confidence in what was to come. The main questions I had were:

  • What should I expect on the first night?
  • What happens if he tries to go to the toilet in the middle of the living room floor?
  • When do I feed him?
  • How do I teach him what’s right and wrong?
  • When can I take him for a walk?

The book covered everything I wanted to know and more. One of my favourite sections was the suggested routine, something I was quite worried about:

The Perfect Puppy

I didn’t go for the exact routine they laid out, but just knowing what was needed (a LOT of pee breaks) really helped.

I won’t go through the book page by page, but if you have a puppy and are looking for something simple to read to get you started, this is it. It breaks down all the training into easy chunks, and answers the stupid questions you’re afraid to ask.

Among the many things I took away from this book, two things stood out for me:

  • It’s all about patience. Just keep at it and your puppy will get it eventually.
  • Never punish, only praise. Dogs don’t understand why you’re shouting, so there’s no point.

A year down the line, this still holds true.

The book is also bursting with cute puppy pictures. This was my favourite, his little face is adorable!

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Recommended!

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Regency Love: iPhone App

I was looking for a new mobile game to try out on the iPhone 6 a few days ago, and came across Regency Love on the app store top charts.

Experience life in the British Regency as a young gentlewoman, where you must maintain proper decorum, sharpen your wits, and find a suitable husband!

Now this is something I can play! Set aside the zombies and flying poultry: give me a ball and an enquiry as to the health of my family, and I’m in game heaven!

It’s very much a ‘choose your own adventure’ style game, a welcome flashback to my childhood. Essentially, you are given a set of answers to choose from when conversing with other characters. These answers set you off on your personal path to romance and finding a ‘suitable husband’.

I’ll admit, there were points where I had butterflies, worried my chosen answer would rob me of that elusive engagement. I got very carried away as it is pretty immersive for an Austen fan like me!

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I don’t want to spoil things, because part of the experience is in discovering the game yourself. There is very little in the way of signposting or help, but as with all well designed games, you get it eventually.

The artwork is beautiful and fits the era perfectly. I even find some of the gentlemen attractive, though I don’t know if it’s testament to the artist or a horrible indictment on my grip on reality.

The only niggle I have were the limited questions that became repetitive over time, but that really is no problem when you’re playing – you just know the answers quicker!

The app is currently listed at £2.99 on the app store. Considering the amount of effort that go into creating the app, that’s a bargain.

Recommended!

Film Review: Drinking Buddies

At the weekend I watched Drinking Buddies, a film starting Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson and Anna Kendrick.

It was an ‘indie’ film.

As a general rule I don’t mind ‘indie’ films. However, calling a film ‘indie’ these days is no longer about a good movie making it against the odds. It’s now a blanket word that marketing departments attach to a film to excuse rambling dialogue and a vague plot. It’s meant to be seen as a quirky piece, but just comes across as unplanned and a bit shit.

I spent most of the film thinking things like “it would be amazing if the lead guy contracted tetanus and died right now”, or “maybe there will be a gas leak explosion and all the main characters will die”! Neither of those things happened.

In fact, nothing happened. Every now and again they drank unidentified beer out of plastic cups, but that’s about the extent of the excitement.

This was definitely a modern day ‘indie’ film. A boring, flatline plot with messy dialogue and characters I wouldn’t put out if they were on fire.

I want my 90 minutes back.