It’s been a relatively good year all in all, certainly much better than the couple before.
In March I left my job of 2.5 years at Audacious, and joined Blooie.
In March I gave a workshop at jQuery UK. This was a pretty big deal for me. Not only is it the biggest front-end developer conference in the UK, not only was I being asked to give a workshop to a room full of people (I’ve never given a workshop…) but I had to try and appease my anxiety long enough to do it without freaking out. Thankfully, it went well! It was a great weekend, in fact. I got to see a conference from ‘the other side’ and met some truly lovely Americans who were over giving talks / workshops. Sitting in a ‘green room’ with the people you look up to and regularly learn from is quite a funny feeling.
This year I also had the chance to write for net magazine. I’ve never written for a magazine before, so that was a nice little privilege. My article was published in the Summer 2014 issue and my family seemed pretty proud to receive copies.
By far the biggest news of the year was our little man Rupert. I have longed and wished for a dog for years. Since I was somewhere around the 7 year old mark I knew this dog would be a German Shepherd - I adore the breed. Their loyalty and love for their people is incredible. Around 3 years ago I knew this little guy would be called Rupert.
I’d always wanted to rescue my first dog, but alas a lot of rescues seemed disinterested in those living in flats. So, we purchased a puppy from Munroegan GSDs in September instead. I was sick with excitement for around a month after I’d spoken to the breeder and chosen Rupert. On September 26th we went to collect him and it was the longest 2.5 hour trip in history. We had never met Rupert in person due to the breeder being in Sheffield. Instead we had opted for a Kennel Club Assured Breeder (not a magic bullet, but a good start), seeing pictures of the pups and Mum etc, seeing hip scores of the parents etc. The second I laid eyes on him I fell in love. Well, I’d already fallen in love with his pictures but this was that proper, soppy “I’ll never let anything hurt you” love.
Me and Cam don’t want kids, that’s not our thing, I’m about as maternal as a mossy rock when it comes to humans. But I love my animals and Rupert is, for all intents and purposes, our “kid”. I’ve never owned a dog before, let alone a puppy, and they are incredibly hard work - but worth every single second.
Some people get a bit offended when children are compared to puppies (apart from my awesome best friends who have both and agree the puppy was harder), but they are very similar. A puppy needs constant supervision; they wake you up at 1am, 3am, 5am and whatever ams they feel like for a wee; they pee on the floor until you teach them not to; they put everything in their mouth; they whine and cry; they need you to teach them everything; they answer back sometimes; they play up and embarrass you sometimes; they chew things they shouldn’t; they teethe; they depend on you for everything. Whilst I don’t have kids having watched my baby brother be born and raised I know they’re remarkably similar…
And it’s so worth it. He has nothing but love to give, I am greeted from a 5 minute trip in Tescos as though I left to do an army tour. I am incredibly fortunate in that I work from home full time, and this little man comes over to check in with me, grab some snuggles or places his head on my lap. We love him to bits. Every little success you have fills you with joy. I remember him learning ‘lie down’ for the first time, I remember him eating his first raw meal (after we stupidly put him on kibble after the breeder fed raw), I remember him conquering the stairs for the first time, I remember his first visit to playgroup, and so on. Every little moment has filled me with joy, this little furry life that depends on me is thriving and it’s such a wonderful feeling. Don’t get me wrong, he can flip in to ‘landshark GSD’ mode in a second and give your hand a good mouthing - but all of the good, far outweighs the bad.
He graduated his KC Good Citizen ‘puppy foundation’ course last week, we were super proud of him. It was an easy course, and he knew everything on the syllabus (apart from ‘stand’) before we got there, but even so this paves the way for us trying for the KC Good Citizen Bronze Award in the New Year (which is much harder). He’s such a clever boy, and rounding off for the year at 5 months he knows: Sit, Stand, Lie Down, Watch, Touch, Come, Stay, Leave It, Off, Drop It, Fetch, Paw, Spin and Play Dead.
All in all, Rupert has improved our lives immensely. He gets us out of the house 2 - 3 times a day for walkies. He’s got us involved in all sorts of playgroups, training classes and group walks (he’s forcing me to conquer a little of my social anxiety). He loves us unconditionally. He brightens up the worst days. A doggy, especially a puppy, gives your life purpose which was definitely needed by me.
I needed to work at the office for 2 days this month (Christmas party etc) and I missed him the entire time…
I can’t wait to see him grow in to an even more handsome, loyal, loving, playful furball.
And those were the highlights of my year. I’m hopeful that 2015 is going to be a good year; three of my favourite people in the entire world are moving up North in February. Our visits will go from 1-2 a year to all-the-damn-time, and I can’t wait :)