I’ve wanted a dog for as long as I can remember, not for aesthetic reasons, but for the joy it would bring to my life, and in November my husband and I finally picked up a bundle of black fluff from a nice lady in Essex. Now I can’t remember what life was like before Grenson – our miniature schnauzer – came to live with us. While it’s really amazing having a dog, there are a lot of really important things you should consider before getting one. The decision to get a puppy or rescue dog is a big one that will, hopefully, affect you for about 15 years. They need loads of time, attention and love, and if you just want one as a fashion accessory or for the Instagram LOLs but can’t be bothered to go for a walk twice a day and pick up poo in tiny plastic bags, it's clearly not the right decision for you…if you’re up for all the hard work though, it’s totally worth it! So here, for you, is my fashion girl’s guide to getting a puppy. Because yes, you can be a responsible dog owner AND be into fashion...
1. Puppies don’t have hands (obvs), so they feel with their mouths. Their mouths contain razor sharp little teeth. The consequences of this are manifold. Let’s start with their favourite thing: slippers. That said, both mine and my husband's UGG clogs appear to be completely indistructable.
2. They don’t know how much shoes cost. Be sure to tidy away your Dior Fusion trainers somewhere completely out of reach and behind a closed door.
3. They love shoelaces. Embrace your loafers and Velcro Stan Smiths until the teething is over.
4. See also socks. Especially those lovely chunky knitted ones you paid over the odds for. #teeth
5. They don’t know the difference between their own tatty fleece blanket from Pets4Homes and your £95 geometric mid-century style Danish one. You cannot learn this lesson too soon.
6. They love anything that dangles. Avoid drawstrings and zips – sports luxe is basically out of bounds for you for a while.
7. Wristwear is a no no. Take off your watch as soon as you get home.
9. Your hair is not immune to the chewing. If you have long hair, tie it up in a knot whenever you are with the puppy. He WILL find your ponytail.
10. Some dogs shed their coats, so if you’re precious about your wool trousers and knitwear, it might be worth considering a breed that doesn’t. Miniature schnauzers like Grenson are good on this front, as are any of the poodle cross breeds.
11. Of course, dogs that do shed are also lovely, so get yourself a lint roller if you opt for one of those breeds, or invest heavily in Sellotape.
12. As adorable as you think he might look in a Fair Isle knitted roll neck sweater, remember that he already is wearing a coat and it's a bit cruel to make him wear another layer indoors with the central heating on and the fire lit.
13. While we’re on the subject of dog fashion, in my limited experience, they really aren’t keen on putting it on. Even if it is a cool mod-style parka that matches your human one perfectly and makes a brilliant Instagram picture. Spoilsports.
14. Remember to have your morning cuddle when he licks your chin (bless him...sort of) BEFORE you wash your face and put your make-up on.
15. Save money on manicures. Long nails and toilet training do not make good partners.
16. There’s nothing wrong with forking out for a snazzy collar and lead in my book. He has to wear it every day after all! And the standard pet shop ones just don’t cut the mustard, style-wise. Grenson’s is from Mulberry. Lucky boy!
17. Say goodbye to your social life for a few months. At least the one where you and your other half do stuff as a couple. Of course, you could just enjoy those lovely snugly evenings in together and then when the puppy’s old enough, take him out to dog friendly bars and restaurants with you.