If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know all there is to know about my new puppy Alfie, but I just remembered that I haven’t introduced him to you guys on this blog yet! The month of January saw the arrival of Alfie, a border collie puppy who is now seven months old.
For a long time, I’ve wanted a dog, but I’ve never felt like I could have one due to the amount of time I spend away from home and the fact that I’ve always lived in leased apartments where I wasn’t allowed to have a pet.
But everything changed for me when I moved into my flat in Tromso in August of last year, and my landlord stated in passing that pets are permitted in the building. After then, I’d estimate the idea of acquiring a dog has entered my head an average of eighteen times each day since that time.
And while I do still work as a travel writer, this past year showed me that I can keep generating money even if I do not travel globally as frequently as I did in the past. In fact, I’ve found that I’ve had a lot more fun this year discovering places that are closer to home.
But maybe most crucially, my therapist encouraged me to have a dog in the strongest possible terms.
Nearly every week, she would bring up the subject of getting a dog and gently point out that now that I was living in an apartment that allowed pets, my reasons against getting a dog were getting weaker and weaker, and it was clear that I really wanted one.
She would also say that my reasons against getting a dog were getting weaker and weaker now that I was living in an apartment that allowed pets.
At this point, I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I genuinely cannot suggest treatment highly enough.
If you are able to spare the cash, going to therapy is definitely something you should invest in for yourself since I truly feel that everyone could gain so much from it.
If you sign up for online therapy with BetterHelp using this link (or enter the BetterHelp coupon code “heartmybackpack” at checkout), you will receive a discount of ten percent on your first month of service. If you join up using my link or code, there is a possibility that I will receive a commission.
During the month of December, a wilderness centre located outside of Troms posted new photos of retired sled dogs that were available for adoption.
Each day, I would look at the photos and wonder which of these huskies would be interested in moving to an apartment in the middle of the city to be with me.
But then, on a day in January when I was looking for figure skates on Finn (the Norwegian version of Craigslist), I made the decision to simply take a short look and see if anyone in the neighbourhood had dogs that they were looking to give up for adoption.
As there are relatively few dogs available for adoption in animal shelters in Norway, it appears that the best approach to locate dogs in this country is to seek for announcements on Finn or Facebook.
I had to go down quite a bit until I saw an advertisement for four border collie pups who were looking for new homes. The advertising had been up for a month, so I assumed that all of the puppies had already been adopted, but I still wrote a message just in case.
They still had two boys available, so a few days later I travelled out to their farm to visit them, just to look, and later that day I brought Alfie back with me!
Coming across the old notice and seeing that they still had Alfie available seemed like it was meant to be.
When I was younger, my family had a border collie, so I was more comfortable with one of those than I would have been with a husky. Alfie’s parents are both working sheep dogs and appeared to be extremely kind and loving.
His brother, on the other hand, was highly active, which is why I decided to adopt Alfie instead because he appeared to want to be cuddled the most.
Because Alfie was already four months old when I received him, I was able to avoid the most challenging time of raising a puppy. However, because he had been living on a farm, he needed to learn how to walk on a leash and adjust to life in an apartment.
It’s strange to reflect back to all of the excuses I had concocted for why I couldn’t get a dog, because now I can hardly remember what my life was like before I had Alfie.
The fact that he is much simpler than I had thought to deal with is certainly due to some good fortune on my part.
I had always believed that acquiring a dog would be a significant and impossible shift, so the ease with which Alfie has integrated himself into my life here has been a pleasant surprise to me.
Yes, he has undergone a significant amount of transformation, but I believe the most of it to be for the better!
Border collies are extremely intelligent and energetic dogs, which means that they demand a great deal of mental and physical activity.
To tell you the truth, I enjoy a lot of attention as well, so I believe that we are a wonderful match for one another. I can’t get over how rapidly he learns new skills and activities, and our daily interactions are always so fascinating thanks to him.
Having Alfie with me in Troms makes me feel more at ease in my current location, despite the fact that it is very possible for us to uproot our lives and start over somewhere.
I often talk about my desire to plant my family’s flag someplace else. For a long time, it felt like my life at home was just a waiting period between trips; however, these days, even if I’m just going out for a few hours, I can’t wait to get back and see Alfie.
Along with that, I can’t wait to discover Norway in a brand-new way: by travelling with a dog. It’s possible that we’ll stay in some of the pet-friendly hotels or cabins, but I have a feeling that the majority of our getaways will be spent in the great outdoors.
There has only been one journey that both Alfie and I have done together, but I can foresee that there will be many more excursions in our future.
We rented a cottage close to Kfjord and stayed there for three nights. It was approximately two hours outside of Tromso, and it was a lot of pleasure to be out in the countryside with each other.
Although there is a part of me that is tempted to purchase a tiny cottage on the edge of a fjord someplace and move out there with Alfie, I don’t think I’m quite ready to give up city life (and all of my dancing courses!) just yet. But who knows, maybe someday!