Emily George always wanted a dog.
When she was just two-years-old, their beloved family dog Mandy passed away, which broke little Emily’s heart. For years, she begged her parents for another four-legged friend—but when she was 15, her parents played a little trick on her to test if she and her younger sister Bella, then 8, were ready for the commitment.
“They were worried we wouldn’t be able to look after a dog as well as it deserves,” Emily told PetsOnMe.
So, when Emily’s neighbours went on a week-long holiday, her parents volunteered they take care of their neighbour’s English Mastiff puppy, Bubbles. Little did they know, it was all a test!
“We were absolutely in love with this little puppy!”
“My sister and I would wake up during the night when Bubbles had to go outside, we were always filling her water bowl, fed her and walked her every day.”
“Our parents were very impressed and proud of how good we were.”
Bubbles had also been a test for Isabella, who had been afraid of dogs beforehand, but found the puppy to be much more approachable than an adult dog.
A few months later, Emily was set to turn 16, and once again, she asked for a puppy; heartbroken when her parents said no. But after the girls handed Bubbles back to their owner, their Dad was already looking around to adopt their own perfect furry friend.
“They surprised us a week before my birthday with the cutest puppy we’ve ever seen,” Emily said.
“I didn’t think she was mine. I thought it was just a random dog Dad was letting me pat.”
“When he said she was mine, I burst into tears and just hugged him for about ten minutes, and cuddled Pippa for so long.”
“Seven years later, our Pippa is one of the best members of our family.”
Pippa is a border collie cross Labrador with a huge personality. She’s dorky, funny, lazy and crazy happy, and loves playdates. Pippa fits well in an active family of soccer players, and even knows a few tricks with the ball herself—like draw backs and passing with her snout.
“Pippa makes us all so happy. We would be lost without her now.”
“She’s the best part of our family, and absolutely loves our family. You can tell how happy she is with us!”
“Whenever I’m sad, I cuddle with Pippa and she sits with me until I’m happy again.”
“She waits at the door whenever she hears us driving down the hill and pulling up the front.”
“We just love her so much!”
Now 23, Emily believes looking after Bubbles definitely helped prepare her family, and confirmed they were ready for the joys and hardships of full-time pet ownership. Test-driving dog ownership made the family confident they could handle the care of another furry friend—and Emily and Bella certainly proved that. They cared for Pippa, washing her once a week, walking and feeding her every day, and playing with her in the backyard.
“It was one of the best moments in my life, knowing I finally had a dog I could call mine.”
Giving pet ownership a test-drive—by pet sitting, caring, or even simply walking them—is a great way to see if you’re prepared to love and care for a new fur baby. And who knows? It could lead to one of the best moments in your life, too.
I’m a journalist with a passion for all things wacky and strange. Like me on Facebook (Zoe Simmons Journalism) and follow me on Twitter (@ItBeginsWithZ) for more!