Friday, 24 July 2015

How much does it cost to be priceless?

Anyone who reads this Blog can be sure in their mind is not moaning, nor scare mongering and certainly not bragging, some of what you will read may surprise, even astound you but all I can say is that not one penny spent hasn't been repaid.

From the beginning, as Blue is a Pedigree he came at a cost of £650.00 what we now know it is was more like a down payment, but through the years has turned out to be a sound investment.

We won't go into every detail, but there have been what others would term as consumables, bedding, toys, leads and collars.

Training was a must, if you have never had a German Shepherd before, don't believe for a moment that training is not essential. It is great for learning bonding and socialising. First there was "puppy" class's then there was obedience training, and later on there was a failed Schutzhund training, we all failed that, there is an entirely different story to be told about regarding that day.

Vet bills don't come cheap, needing regular boosters, worming, flea treatment, removal of his hidden testicles that never saw the light of day, allergy treatment, spinal surgery really hit home hard. The spinal surgery alone was £4,500.00 of which we paid 10% and the rest was claimed back on insurance.

The spinal surgery meant that although we already had a crate for Blue, it was too small while he was still growing through his recuperation, so a second was needed, which meant he could have the small one for sleeping in at night, and live in the larger one through the day.

Once recovered Blue went through a course of hydrotherapy, which was covered through insurance, but he was still limited to mobility with other dogs etc, so the socialising training needed to be done again.

The benefits of hydrotherapy were to help us through a very trouble time with Blue, essentially he was becoming a bully, he needed to have his energies channelled elsewhere. We were fortunate to come across "Aquadoggies a few miles down the road. To this day Blue rarely misses his Wednesday swim, the cost is £200.00 for 10 weeks swimming. There he gets a 15-20 minute swim, shower and blow dry.

German Shepherds are notorious for delicate/dodgy tummy's. Blue is no exception, for a long time now he has been on a mix of dried food and tinned Royal Canin, the dry food is specificallly for German Shepherds and the tin food is for sensitivity control,but he still picks up things while out and about, the food he is on now costs about, and of course like every dog treats and rewards fill the gaps in between

We spend around 4 weeks of the year away on holiday, where many places charge for dogs, normally around £20 per week

How much have we spent over 7 years? 

Breeders fee      £650.00
Food   £3,612.00
Treats   £2,016.00
Hydrotherapy / swimming   £4,000.00
Holidays      £480.00
Vets   £1,260.00
Insurance   £5,460.00
Collars,leads & squeaky toys      £250.00
Training      £350.00
Grand Total £18,078.00

So about the cost of an average new family car. I always used the expression it was like running a luxury car, which in some ways about £2,500.00 a year would not be far off.

What has our money got us, for just  £6.84 a day or 28p an hour? over 2628 days

Over time I have read and heard about the unique attributes of a German Shepherd. My own account is that they truly are more than a pet. 

We do not own Blue, we live with Blue. Blue very much fills our life and our home, Is every day a bed of roses? No; But would we be without him? No

The most endearing qualities about Blue are hard to put into words, but he is better than a best friend, he is more loyal than any football fan could be about their club, and he has a mischievous side.

Given what he has in his armoury, he could do a lot of damage, but has a very sensitive soul.

We have grown together, learning from each other, Climbed mountains, trekked across fells, ran and played all sorts of games, gone into the sea, and crossed burns and streams, dug holes.

We have had our spats, both of us have trouble counting from 1 to 10 during "wind ups", each of us know which button to press to get a reaction, more often annoying my wife Sue.

I am currently reading a book called the last wolf, I can see where some of the traits have been passed down through the generations, not the myths, but the social side.

So for a cost of just under £7.00 a day for the last 7+ years our world (Sue and me), and Blue's has been shared, with only a couple of days apart, (while he was recovering from his spinal operation at Fitzpatrick Referrals)

It would still be a bargain at twice the price.

Oh and just to add, we he is a live in intruder alarm, which operates 24hrs, 

we have a few times been asked, would he bite?, 

we say yes, that way no one will be disappointed or surprised

Just for fun the image below picks up on words used when writing about Blue

A typical day in Scotland on holiday