Well everyone, it's soon going to be 4 weeks since we got our puppy. Having not had dogs since I was a kid, my re-introduction to the dog world has been through the somewhat naive, and innocent eyes, of a 32 year old male. It's amazing how much stuff about dog ownership that I simply took for granted when I was a kid; perhaps because it simply didn't relate to me, but I'd like to use this post to share with you some of my new found "adult" observations of the dog world. And perhaps, after reading, you might all care to add a few of your own? 1. Internet dating sites are a waste of money. All single guys looking for love should immediately cancel their subscription with match.com, and use the savings to buy a puppy. Not because a puppy is better company than a wife/partner/significant other you understand (although I am sure some would debate that); but simply because (as I have discovered), nothing else attracts people like a puppy can! Now I am not single (or looking thank you), but let me tell you, it's been just 2 days since I started taking puppy out "in public" and I now have more "dates" lined up than a fig tree branch! On Wednesday night I have to be at my local Tesco at 7.30pm to meet a guy who is bringing me a fab diet sheet (for my other half, not the dog!) after he came up and simply started chatting about pup. I have 3 separate meetings lined up this week in the local park with 2 lovely ladies and an eccentric posh bloke so that we can walk our dogs together. The girls at the local library have promised to let me off with my fines if I go back and show them puppy and I think I have made about 10 new acquaintances in our local area. Plus, I made a sweet new friend at puppy class. She is 10 years old and her dog's called Harper (a beautiful lab) LOL. She was there with her Mam and Dad and she put me right at ease with my puppy (we were both new there). Lovely kid and a credit to her parents! Hopefully she will be there next week and I can catch up on Harper's progress. Really guys, if you want to meet people with minimal effort, just buy a puppy and parade it around your local area. 2. Gym memberships are a waste of money. I smoke. I drink. I watch TV. I stay up late. I leave the dishes until the next day and my cleaner does them. I am lazy. But on Sunday, I found myself doing circuits of an agility course inside a horse shed at my puppy's first training class. I was jumping over hurdles, bending down looking into tunnels and running around in circles. Still slightly hungover from the previous evening, I would usually have been laid on my couch watching the Eastenders omnibus (or something equally as mind numbing) but not this particular Sunday. After my circuit training, I went home to replenish fluids, before heading off to my local park where I took part in "run from the bench to the tree and back and see if puppy follows you". Then I endured "run whilst calling puppy's name to see if he thinks you are more interesting than the other dog he is chasing after". The following day was slightly less punishing as I was introduced to "fetch the item that you just threw 100 yards whilst puppy watches you do it" and then afterward "watch puppy chase the item you threw 100 yards before sniffing it and coming back with nothing" and then quickly reverting to "fetch the item that you just threw 100 yards whilst puppy watches you do it"! By the end of the month, I'll have the body and fitness levels of Steve Cram! 3. You don't need to buy expensive veterinary foods if your elderly cat is overweight. Tigger is an adorable, 11 year old neutered male cat that we've had since he was a kitten. Prone to over-eating and under-exercising (you cannot control the diet of a cat who goes outside as they can catch and eat as many mice as they like), his weight goes up and down like a bride's nightie! People often say either, "Wow, what a big cat" (when he is heavy), or ask if he is a female (when he is normal) due to the large "sacks of skin" hanging underneath his belly, not unlike those of a female cat that has given birth to a couple of litters. Vets often suggest a "balanced and controlled" (i.e. expensive) diet of dried foods, which would be fine were it not for his ability to supplement it with whatever he catches, or more often, gratefully gleans from the other cat loving households in the area. Since puppy's arrival 4 weeks ago, Tigger has miraculously lost weight and toned up. This is due to 2 things. 1) If he doesn't eat his food, the dog will. 2) Being chased around the garden at 15mph must be having a similar effect on his health levels as "fetch the item that you just threw 100 yards whilst puppy watches you do it" is having on mine. So anyway, I think that now will be a good time to hand over to everyone else, and see if I can discover all of the other "hidden benefits" of dog ownership that I didn't know were waiting for me!