Why Sometimes You Need to Take a Chance in Life

The love of a family dog - Saluki lurcher mix

A little while ago I was given the opportunity to take a chance – something that would change my life to some extent – and I wondered whether I was doing the right thing (as you do).

The life-changing opportunity: To get a dog (my first, not counting our family dog when I was growing up).

The worry: Am I doing the right thing, will I be too restricted in the things I like to do in life, what will I do if we go on holiday, is my house big enough, blah blah blah.

I’m sure it’s a familiar story to most dog owners: They change your life for the better and are absolutely worth it, 100%… Nothing but undivided love and devotion in exchange for food, shelter, exercise and a whole heap of attention and love.

To cut a long story short, Riley – a gorgeous Saluki (AKA Persian greyhound) cross – became a member of our family yesterday after much many months’ discussions with a friend who realised that he just couldn’t have the attention he deserved after she expanded her own family with a small and wonderful human being. My husband and I had always loved Riley every time we visited and we even discussed getting a dog “if only we could get a dog that was like Riley”.

Fate intervened and the end result was him coming to live with us.

I did try and talk myself out of it with all the practical objections, and we discussed how going away for the weekend or a day out shopping would become more difficult. We discussed whether he would be happy in a smaller house than he was in before. And lots of other silly things.

The basic facts were this: Were days out shopping really better than taking a dog we adored on long walks in the country every weekend? Were one or two weekends in a hotel a year better than the love and adoration we’d get every single day from Riley?

Well it’s been a little over 24 hours in, and it’s safe to say I’m so in love with him it’s untrue. He follows me round the house, he puts his paw on me if I stop stroking him, he trots alongside me very close when we’re out walking.

If I’d listened to all the naysaying in my head we wouldn’t have this joy in our lives, but we would be able to go on a weekend break without worrying about what to do about our dog… Woop-de-dooh.

So whether it’s getting a dog, moving house, looking for a new job, starting a blog, joining an online dating service, even buying that little red dress you saw today when out shopping – DO IT, and do it now. Take a chance. You have nothing to lose except the chance to make your life richer, more interesting and more wonderful – who knows what exciting things may happen as a result?

I now have two long-legged, grey-haired boys in my life whom I adore. My father said that surely if you count him too that makes three – I said “boy” was stretching it a bit (he’s 87), but I’ll say three men to make him happy…!

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Why Sometimes You Need to Take a Chance in Life and and get that dog or buy that house or leave that job or join that dating agency or start that blog... | Not Dressed As Lamb



  1. 1 April 2017 / 6:44 am

    Oh Catherine, I have been so unfaithful to you. I am sorry. Life got in the way. I am catching up now.
    This is wonderful, you having a dog. And the solution for your weekends and days of shopping is, you have to find a lovely person who likes to take care of Riley now and then, who doesn't mind a stay-over in a weekend, but doesn't want or cannot have a dog of her/his own. That is how we solve it. We have several addresses. There is even website that brings dog owners and dog lovers together. For free.

  2. 21 March 2017 / 10:05 pm

    Reading your blog for the first time the post sometimes you have to take a chance emmediately caught my attention, at the age of 60 i also took a chance on an xxl Greyhound who had retired from racing I called him Holmes after Sherlock as he likes to investigate everything. At 30 " tall at the shoulder I did wonder am I doing the right thing having this lovely beautiful black boy like you it took just 24 hrs to fall in love with my loveley gentle giant 18months on and life would not be the same without him, things are very different now less shoping more walking and definitely no regrets just pure joy. janet x

  3. 16 March 2017 / 9:06 pm

    Ah, you're right we do need to just do things. Your dog is gorgeous. Pen x #brillblogposts

  4. 16 March 2017 / 10:58 am

    Congratulations! He's a gorgeous doggy. There are lots of hotels and campsites now that allow you to take pets, so he could go with you for a weekend away πŸ™‚

    Emma xxx

  5. 16 March 2017 / 9:34 am

    I believe you certainly regret the things in life you say no too, far more than the yes'. He looks like a gorgeous dog. Our drive me nuts at times but have brought so much to my life. #brilliantblogposts

  6. 14 March 2017 / 10:20 am

    OH YAY!!! Catherine this is such wonderful news, dogs really do make everything better, they are just the most loyal loving companions and i say on a regular basis i cant imagine my life without our little cassy. Riley looks absolutely beautiful, how lucky you both are to have each other now. You won't regret this most amazing life changing decision. Plus you really can find lots of doggy friendly hotels and retreats once you start looking (Hoseasons do lodges that are lovely and most are pet friendly! we take cassy with us every year) Cant wait to see Riley in more pics soon. Lots of love XXXX

  7. 13 March 2017 / 9:05 pm

    Awwwwww….. I LOVE a lurcher!
    How handsome your new man is!! :o)
    Hounds make wonderful pets… so loving and they love to lounge, doze and cuddle most of the time!
    A great decision Catherine.

  8. 12 March 2017 / 5:40 pm

    Thanks for the quote I needed that today.

    Thanks for hosting and I hope that you had a wonderful weekend.

  9. 11 March 2017 / 11:19 pm

    We got a rescue dog a year ago and its been the best thing ever – lovely to have a dog to walk and snuggle with.

  10. 11 March 2017 / 2:56 pm

    Awww, such a sweet story! I'm so happy for you! He looks like the sweetest dog. Almost a year ago I had the same doubts when my husband came home and said there were some abandoned kittens a co-worker was caring for. My husband was the one who wanted to adopt and I worried about the same issues as you did. But the day to day to love and joy I receive from him is so worth it.

  11. 11 March 2017 / 2:53 pm

    Congratulations on the new furry insanely adorable member of your family Catherine! As you've already discovered, there is absolutely nothing like the love of a dog. We have four, and while they are a lot of work I wouldn't change it for the world. They are my heart!

  12. 11 March 2017 / 12:34 pm

    What a beautiful fur face. Congratulations!

  13. 11 March 2017 / 10:27 am

    All the best in your new adventure with Riley. He is a lucky dog indeed, and you very brave. Having brought up two girls and now grandchildren I want the time I can get for myself. I took the decition in January to jump into any train passing my way, hahahhaa.
    Much love and good luck to the 3 of you

  14. 11 March 2017 / 10:15 am

    Being tired & wrung out I was in no fit state to read this. Started crying….I'm so happy for the 3 of you but mostly you Catherine. The way you describe this instant bond with Riley has filled my heart to bursting! X

  15. 11 March 2017 / 10:09 am

    A true life long friend there, dogs are so loving and I wouldn't be without my darling Roxy! Good luck with Riley he looks adorable. x Jacqui

  16. 11 March 2017 / 8:30 am

    Riley looks absolutely gorgeous, Catherine! I shall look forward to seeing more pics of him in your fashion shoot photos! I agree that having a dog changes your life. We have two and I can't imagine life without them πŸ™‚
    Suzy xx

  17. 11 March 2017 / 7:32 am

    Aww he is gorgeous Catherine. I thought these things before we has a dog, I love my dog Mollie. we go walking together for hours each day and she follows me around too. It is so sweet πŸ™‚ Thanks for hosting, I keep meaning to stop by when i get you email, here now πŸ™‚

  18. 11 March 2017 / 7:28 am

    Congratulations on Riley. We adopted our dog 18 months ago when her previous owners moved to the US. We haven't looked back! Yes we do have to plan a bit more, and are more restricted, but we make it work. We've just been away for four days, and our big soft rottweiler has been in kennels, I think we missed her as much as she missed us!

  19. 11 March 2017 / 5:47 am

    A HUGE congratulations to you and Keith on the four-legged addition to your family, dearest Catherine!! Robin and I can't imagine our lives without our own (ferret) fur-babies…and you are SO right when you say that the love and joy that a pet brings far outweighs any of the "inconveniences." I am already looking forward to seeing handsome Riley (hopefully!) make some more guest appearances on your blog!! XOXO


  20. 11 March 2017 / 4:16 am

    Congratulations on Riley becoming part of your family!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  21. 11 March 2017 / 2:33 am

    This is such a sweet story you had me crying. I have two dogs in my life one I call my heart and one I call my soul. They give more than I could ever give them but I do my best every single day. They are snuggled up against me now and they bring me deep comfort and pure joy. Congratulations you are a dog mommy! Peace! Cheryl Tucker

  22. 10 March 2017 / 9:48 pm

    What a beautiful post! And so true with regard to just about anything. Taking chances is scary, but the rewards are exponential! He is a very handsome addition to your family, indeed!


  23. 10 March 2017 / 9:38 pm

    Awwww…It's one of those things that makes you realize what life is all about!!
    I can't wait to see more of this handsome man in the future!!

  24. 10 March 2017 / 9:21 pm

    OMG what a precious blog and a precious Riley. Well done you two, your lives will be changed forever but you can still go away….look at me! I am so relieved I am only in Oz for 3 more weeks till I see my baby or I would be blubbering right now. Beautiful photographs too. Much love to you all, Suzi x

  25. 10 March 2017 / 9:14 pm

    Congratulations! Dogs are the best, and Riley is adorable.

  26. 10 March 2017 / 8:55 pm

    Riley is gorgeous! You can't beat dog love. Unconditional. I love my two and treat them like my babies xx Have a great weekend Catherine

  27. Adrienne Shubin
    10 March 2017 / 8:42 pm

    Congratulations! Riley is darling…you will absolutely LOVE having a dog! I have four (or rather, they have me) and I can't imagine life any differently. They bring me such joy every single day!
    xo, A

  28. 10 March 2017 / 8:16 pm

    I think you had a Riley-shaped hole in your life, and now that hole is filled! You'll be the most amazing dog owner ever. Dogs bring such joy, and they're amazing at relieving stress and putting life's dramas into perspective. xxx

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