So my first foster dog fell through, firstly, he’s just too nervous, and secondly, he needs to live a solitary life, something I can’t afford him. However, there is a (not so little) 12 week old bundle of fluff hopefully bounding into our lives tomorrow.

Now I’ve told people and they’re constantly asking the same questions. Will I be able to control it? What about the apartment? Do I have the experience?

The answers in order are:

Yes, I will be able to control her, I can assert my authority in a calm, non violent manner, firmly putting myself at the top of the chain when it comes to the pack. Also, I don’t do bad manners, and as such, training is going to be an integral part of our day to day life, spending up to 4 hours a day in 20 minute chunks. There will be no misunderstanding where she lies in the pecking order, and socialization will also be a huge part of our day.

The apartment doesn’t really matter, Spanish Mastiff’s are giant dogs, but, they also aren’t overly active, unlike Boxers who need a lot of room to move and run 24/7, and only needs around 1 – 2 hours of gentle walking a day.

You can do more, but that’s up to the owner and the dog. Living where I do, there are no shortages of walks we can do, not to mention bars I can sit outside and have a drink while socializing her. We’ll spend more time out of doors than indoors, and during summer, if we still have her (this is only a temporary thing to get her on the right track for when she’s adopted permanently), I’ll have a kennel/shed built onto the solarium where it will be cooler should she decide to sleep outside.

Do I have experience? Of course I do, this isn’t something I’d do on a bloody whim. I was brought up with all sorts of animals, though as I got older they got bigger. I trained my first Labrador at 12, then at 13 mum got another, then she got St Bernards and Wolfhounds. So yes, I think I am experienced enough to deal with a giant 12 week old puppy.

The whole point of this exercise is, she was found abandoned as a part of 2 litters of pups hiding in undergrowth, and what I’m doing is building the foundations for a happy, obedient, (house trained) dog that will go on to lead a very happy, very fulfilling life. It’s a  win-win situation, someone gets a dream dog that needs little to no work putting in, and I get to know that I’ve done the noble thing and ensured that a puppy is kept out of the kennels and feels human love and affection. Something all dogs need.

Sara O'Connell
A passionate photographer from Arizona, Sara enjoys art and culture.