Dogs are strange, yet beautiful creatures. They love you regardless of your insecurities, flaws and imperfections, and they're always excited to see you when you come home from work. Sounds ideal, no?

Whilst dogs are the epitome of perfection and purity, they are also hard work. I like to compare it to having a child (like most dog owners do), they start teething, they eat whatever they can get their mouth on, they cry when you leave them for too long and they have little control of their bladders in the first few months - it is at this point that I would like to interject that I have never had children, therefore my comparison shouldn't be taken wholeheartedly.

I'd normally describe myself as a pessimist

Nonetheless, owning a dog requires commitment and for me, it was a commitment that ultimately changed the way in which I view the world. Often, dogs are characterised as being 'man’s best friend' and this I can report is 100% fact. I have no qualms in admitting that my dog is my best friend. In such a short amount of time, I have found that life is in the little things. Such as, going for a walk; who knew something so simple had such an underlying beauty in it. There's nothing more calming and fulfilling than going for a walk with your best friend. Watching them run full pelt through the long grass, tongue lopsided hanging out of their mouth, as they chase after a yellow fuzzy ball.

There is something about seeing your dog happy and enjoy themselves that fills you with unprecedented joy. As someone who would normally describe themselves as a pessimist, I now find myself appreciating the things in life which I have always overlooked, things which I didn't know I could be happy about. For this, I am extremely thankful.

Putting life into perspective

Perspective is important, but often hard to find. Personally, I have always had a millennial perspective on life, which I have discovered is a counter-productive way of dealing with things. I find that perspective is a significant element in the way you project yourself and handle situations. For example, the way I used to deal with negative situations would usually have the opposite effect of what I initially intended.

So, instead of solving a problem or coming to a compromise my reaction would be to throw a tantrum because things aren't going my way. This doesn't quite work with a dog. Especially a puppy, who doesn't understand right and wrong and isn't able to communicate with you the way you would think. You simply can't throw a tantrum and shout at a puppy because they won't understand, they don't get why you're upset. Your interaction with them has to be positive because that is integral to the dog's development and their relationship with you.

Quality of life

I will be the first to admit, as an only child I have been a somewhat selfish individual. Putting my dog before me has taught me a couple of things about the rollercoaster we call life.

Another being, how you spend your money is crucial. We recently had an experience in which our dog became ill and had to go to a hospital for a little while. Whilst this was unexpected it put things into perspective. It was at this point I realised that if I continue to spend the way I spend money, then my dog’s health and quality of life will suffer. In this day and age, it is easy to be consumed by the capitalist nature of our society, though most likely, the materialist things you think you need are only things you want. I stopped finding joy in products and clothing because, at the end of the day, there is only so much a new skirt or shirt can do for me. The reality is, if I give in to every whim and every desire I have, then I cannot afford to provide my dog with the best healthcare possible; and the wellbeing of my dog is the most important thing.

Essentially, what I have learnt is that I now have a huge responsibility, and I owe it to this dog to give her the best life possible. which means I have to act like an actual adult now. Not only has owning a dog put things into perspective, but I find myself talking to people more than I have in my whole life, I smile more and I feel happier with life. I can't quite pinpoint what it is, I just know that introducing a beautiful little puppy into the mix has somehow brought everything together. I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes it takes something or someone else to help you to appreciate the good in life. And for me, it was my dog.