Keeping Nami occupied while I work from home is no easy feat, but it gets manageable with time…that, or I am just getting used to it.
I think one of the hardest things about being a dog mum is staying committed. When I’m feeling tired or lazy, I still need to be responsible for Nami even if it means forcing myself out of the apartment. :D
Although the things Nami and I do together when I work from home may vary depending on the weather, my workload, and my health — these are the things I do to give myself room to get work done from home:
I love dressing Nami up in dog clothes and accessories. These are the Australian brands for dog clothing and accessory that I sometimes shop from, but mostly wish I could buy from.
Honestly, I haven’t bought from all these brands yet because I need to budget my income :’D but I like and follow them all to death, and plan to buy from them little by little, sale by sale, one by one.
I am NOT a sponsor for any of these brands, and this is NOT a sponsored post.
Actually, Nami isn’t a sponsor for any brand yet :’D
Nobody was harmed in the writing of this post, except for mummy’s credit card.
I think Yorkies, like all small stubborn breeds, are known as a bit of a potty training challenge. I watched a few Youtube videos before Nami arrived home and fully expected a few weeks of waking up in the middle of the night to make him go pee as part of his training process.
Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as that. :P
Luckily, Nami adjusted fairly quickly, but he still has accidents in the house.
Continued financial cost is, of course, an important consideration when getting a dog.
MoneySmart.gov.au has an outline of the costs of having a pet per year. This is a good start to knowing how much a dog will cost, but I wanted to share our financial decisions in getting a puppy in a post-COVID world.
Covid triggered a sharp rise in pet ownership in Australia. With extended lockdowns, flexible work-from-home options, and sometimes for mental/emotional support, everyone and their mother and their mother’s mother are getting a new pet.
Breeders raised the standard cost of their puppies. From what I’ve seen, the popular cavoodle designer mix is at around $5.5k-$6k on average. Frenchies are still popular, and the more exotic/rare colours seem to go from $7k-10k. Pomeranians can go from $3k to $6k depending on the breeder, for example.
Shelter adoption costs can vary, but typically are about a few hundred bucks and would’ve covered vaccines and desexing.
Once I set that amount aside, there are a few initial costs I had to cover. I kept a checklist of all I had to buy and wrote it down on paper old-school style, but here’s a digital version of it ;D
Below are rough estimates of how much I spent, just to help give you an idea. :P
I am now part of the statistic of Victorians who got a dog during the pandemic, although it just so happened that we first waited for:
My partner to have a full-time job
My partner to purchase a good (secondhand) car, and make sure we’ve covered any initial maintenance costs
us to move and settle in a new (better) apartment
me to reach some significant milestones at work
before I was convinced it was a good time to get a dog (finally).
Thanks to COVID, it’s actually very hard to find a small apartment dog for adoption because everyone is adopting, and I kid you not it is easier to find an apartment to rent than to adopt a dog. I joined many adoption Facebook groups so I can stalk them real-time, but the requirements to adopt typically include:
must have a yard
must have an active lifestyle
must have another dog
must have experience raising the breed
…and we would’ve already failed the yard requirement. Or past experience with a specific breed. Or past experience training. Or having another pet. The boxes we don’t tick were endless.
My ideal dog is a toy dog. It has to be small enough for me to bring my dog EVERYWHERE. To the office, to shops, to cafes, to the toilet — I mean EVERYWHERE. And if it’s easier for me to find a job than to adopt a rescue, then fck it I’ll just buy a puppy. “Adopt not shop” is a bullshit advice in a post-COVID AU world.
I feel like a real mum, juggling work and a new puppy and waking up early for Dylan’s packed breakfast and lunch to Nami’s morning kibbles to potty training and packing Nami’s puppy kit to bring to the office to booking an appointment with the vet and taking Nami around in a carrier to coming home and cleaning and making dinner and doing laundry, to bringing Nami to the backyard to make sure he goes potty and waiting for Dylan to come home from the office so he can look after Nami while I do some work that I didn’t get done during the afternoon because I was looking after Little Nami.
What a busy week it’s been but every moment has been worth it.
When my boyfriend and I moved in together during the early days of dating, it felt like a pretty normal and expected progression of our relationship. Maybe a little too early but since we were both renting, it meant more savings financially, so it was a no-brainer.
When my boyfriend sold his motorbike to get a car so he can bring me to places easily, I felt like, hey we’re really taking this relationship seriously. I didn’t technically buy the car, but it felt like my car too.
When we decided we’re getting a dog to raise together, it felt like we’ve stepped up our serious-couple game. If we’re playing puppy-mum and puppy-dad, it feels like we’re starting to build our family. We must really be in for the long-term.
And you know what? I’m fcking excited. And that’s probably an understatement.
I’ve been feeling quite down the past few weeks because I’m dancing two steps forward and one step back with eczema. It would seem like my skin is healing…and then it isn’t. I’ve grown very desperate, and so far I’ve tried:
Raw honey / manuka honey on my skin
Tea tree oil
Vitamin D supplements
Not wearing pants (I’m always at the cusp of healing when I’m working from home, then everything is aggravated after a day of wearing pants)
Are they working? I’m not sure.
What I haven’t tried:
Less work. In fact, I always find myself getting new responsibilities on a regular basis, I’m on a solid self-denial that I am constantly feeling imposter syndrome.
Less stress. I was crying almost every evening the week before Christmas. Some nights I can’t sleep. I felt a similar tipping point sometime in January, which thankfully didn’t last long.
With the way things are going, I am not winning my battle with eczema. I’m stuck on a stalemate, and that’s not the happy news I wanted to write about.
Things have a bright side, as cliche as that sounds. Because if I don’t believe in bright sides, I don’t think I’ll convince myself I have the grit to endure. Ever since I’ve tried to emulate Secretary Kim, it’s been ever so slightly easier and more habitual to take on every thing Life tries to fling at me. (And with an idol like Secretary Kim, I aspire to handle every thing with finesse.)
No, my first win for 2021 is not my battle against eczema. It is my 4-day work week!
I’ve always been secretly envious of my colleagues (past and present) who work only 4 days. It’s been a while but ever since I received docked pay due to COVID-19, I’ve always wanted to negotiate for a 4-day work week. Now that I’ve reached a milestone at work, I finally achieved it!!! (My colleague says once you experience it, there is no going back.)
I don’t know yet how this will change how I live, but I know for sure it’s a big, good thing.
I don’t think there’s any going back to what the world was before COVID. 2020 has forced people to move, forced some to stay, forced people to make decisions and hurled others into unexpected problems or setbacks. It forced people to adapt and change, or risk being left behind.
More than a week into 2021, I’m trying to get into my new ‘normal’:
Cooking at home and learning new recipes
Going on road trips and exploring new places
Doing ‘some’ outdoor activities
Buying physical books (!!!)
Forcing myself to write down the conversations I keep in my head
I’ve spent most of 2020 trying to survive and cope. But I need to start growing again.
It was a long journey for me before I felt comfortable cooking, but lockdown and work stress turned cooking into a destressor and something to look forward to. I could barely cook when I started dating my current boyfriend, but look where we are now ;)
We are overcompensating from a hard Victoria lockdown.
Trips with a primary ‘eating’ itinerary was less than ideal for the weight, hence we are slowly trying hiking.
I can finally imagine myself settling down here, so I greenlit myself to start building a collection of physical books again.
My friend did a tarot reading for me recently, and I was advised to get a hobby.
There’s a number of things that I feel I should write down. The last two weeks felt like tall waves crashing onto the shore — natural, even expected, forceful and a little strong. I’ve left my first job in Melbourne to start another journey of self-worth. I’ve ended a relationship of 8 years. I’m relearning what it means to trust and rely on someone.
The earth continues to rotate, space continues to expand, and life goes on. This time I don’t have to carry the disappointments and unmet needs that built up over eight years. I’ve let go of the expectations and missed opportunities of the last eight months. I’ve been exploring what it means to not be alone in the last eight days.
Maybe some of the things weren’t what I expected. It took a long time for me to accept breaking up was the best decision for myself. Work goodbyes felt lonesome, but some people I didn’t imagine were supportive and I received words that touched me and made me believe I’ve done my best. I never would’ve guessed I’d hear, “I’ll take care of you”, from someone when I’ve been well enough on my own. Those moments felt poignant, but also sincere and heartfelt. Maybe I should trust myself a little more. I’ve already gone a long way, after all.