In association with our good friends at DogHQ each month we meet Shore people whose four-legged family members add a great deal of joy to their lives. Our very own dog-lover Aidan Bennett loves the task of putting this monthly feature together. He and wife Michelle have two dogs of their own. This month, we feature two-year-old French Bulldog Percy, who is Birkenhead-based Baylee Niwa’s first dog.
AIDAN BENNETT: How long has Percy been part of your life?
BAYLEE NIWA: Percy has recently celebrated his second birthday and we are coming up to our two-year anniversary in October.
AB: What made you decide to get this breed?
BN: I’ve followed French bulldogs on social media in the past and found that they had such a personality about them. They have a really playful nature and I have always found them incredible adorable.
AB: Has he been doing much chewing or any other destructive things?
BN: He has been pretty good with his ‘leave’ command so he doesn’t get too destructive. He does have a tendency to destroy his toys and reusable supermarket bags. He does love to chew on the carboard inside paper towel rolls.
AB: Do you have any other pets?
BN: I have a cat. Her name is Harriet and she is a year older than Percy. They often play together and chase each other around the house.
AB: What do you guys love about Percy?
BN: He is incredibly friendly with people and has a very caring nature about him. He has such a personality and loves cuddles.
AB: What has been the most challenging part of training a new puppy?
BN: To begin with, Percy would sleep all day and then as soon as I went to bed he would have the ‘zoomies’. That was a challenge. The bathroom training took some getting used to as well. Now that we have the basics mastered, we are training a few more tricks, which has been fun.
AB: What are his favourite things to do?
BN: Where do I start! Percy loves his days at day care, going for walks around the neighbourhood and along the beach and to parks. He has a love/hate relationship with the cat; and loves tucking himself up in the blankets and keeping warm.
AB: How long has he been going to DogHQ and does he love it?
BN: He has been attending DogHQ for a couple of months now. He loves it and is so tired when I collect him in the afternoons. He is always so excited when we pull in and I always have trouble getting him back into the car in the evenings – he doesn’t seem to want to leave.
AB: Does he love the beach and swimming?
BN: He does love the beach, running around chasing the ball and sticks that he finds. He isn’t a big fan of the water. He’ll play around in the shallows but that’s the most he has done. He’s been swimming once and hated it.
AB: Percy is obviously pretty new in your lives. Any words of wisdom for other dog owners or prospective dog owners?
BN: Percy has been the most amazing companion but owning a dog is not without its challenges. Be aware of the responsibility they come with. And train them early!!