A shout-out to humanity’s best friend!

What does IT have in common with dogs? Well, IT is people and people love dogs and have dogs. And since today, 1st July, is National Dog Day in Poland, Insights decided to have a chat with some MakoLabbers about how they came to share their lives with a four-legged companion and whether a dog is simply a cuddly ‘fur baby’ or a serious responsibility.
Read on to find out what Michał Hertel, Head of Communication & Business Development, Maciej Grala, Senior .NET Developer and Jacek Dąbrowski, Marketing Specialist, had to say on the topic.

Let’s start at the beginning. Where did the idea of getting a dog spring from?

Having a dog was something we spent ages weighing up as a family. We kept putting off the decision about getting one because the way we live meant that we were often out for lengthy periods. And we wanted a friendly, energetic dog, with no aggressive traits. A dog that would be an active companion and would motivate us to get out of the house, go running and go for walks. One that would thrive outdoors and indoors. Common sense told us to set the decision aside until we moved from a flat to a house. Once that happened, we agreed on a realistic plan. Among the breeds we all liked were dogs with hunting genes, including the Gończy Polski, the Polish Hunting Dog, a scent hound. We looked for a breeder in the Łódź area, went to choose a puppy, waited as necessary and Akira’s been with us for more than a year now.
Our decision was also dictated by where we were living. Sadly, dogs and cats and so forth weren’t allowed in our rented flat. Mind you, we were able to have a hedgehog… and even two! Finally, we moved into our own flat. In the meantime, as they say, my partner’s health problems were getting steadily worse and we wanted to make things a bit easier for her, so we took in her dog, a sixteen-year-old mongrel called Filip. It wasn’t long before my partner, Daria, started making it known that she really wanted another dog… and once the love of your life gets started, that’s that, so Batat (Sweet Potato – ed.), a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, has been part of the family since June 2021. Now the lady in my life is clamouring for a third dog… and I’m starting to get worried!!!
The idea of getting a dog was a spontaneous one. It was my girlfriend’s birthday and we were feeling the lack of a pet. The flat seemed empty without one and that’s what gave rise to the thought of giving her a present in the form of a fluffy Pomeranian. We collected him when he was three months old. At the time, he was so small, he fitted into the palm of my hand.

Having a dog is…?

…a pretty good lesson in humility and patience, at any rate with a dog like ours. A dog needs rearing and training. You have to establish an understanding with it. This is the first dog we’ve had together as a family and it’s a major, ongoing test… the daily responsibilities, the walks or runs, the socialisation with other dogs, encountering new smells and new people. Polish hunting dogs aren’t that easy a breed to train, either. We started out labouring under the delusion that a beginner’s training course would show us the way and it’d be plain sailing from then on, but the reality’s turned out to be a bit tougher. It’s a never-ending learning process for us and that’s the choice we made for ourselves. Mind you, now we couldn’t imagine life without Akira and her unwavering need for exercise and fun! Having her is also the massive injection of love we receive from her every single day.
…a long-term responsibility Daily life is organised more around the dogs and their needs. In effect, that’s a good thing, because it sorts out our routine. There’s also the fact that they wake me up in the morning, so I’m never late for work any more! It also gets me out of the flat regularly and I meet people and talk to them more often. I feel like I’m slowly emerging from a cellar! I spend much more time just wandering in parks, woods and forests.
…a huge responsibility and it demands a good attitude towards animals. Mind you, bearing in mind the baggage of our experiences with having two horses, it’s certainly been a bit easier for us. Day by day, the responsibilities of having a small dog are transforming into our friendship and love for our ‘little fella’.

Who would you recommend having a dog to?

I think it’d be easier to say who I wouldn’t recommend it to and that’s people who won’t have time for it. I can’t imagine leaving a dog, particularly one like ours, shut up alone at home all day. Dogs are fantastic. They make for a gentler life , they unite the people around them… but obviously, they also absorb your time, they have to be looked after and they need interaction. They can be a wonderful friend and an excellent chance for learning about responsibility.
I’d be afraid to say ‘everyone’, because of all the many exclusory factors!
I’d recommend a dog to people who need a sense of closeness. They’re animals that really mould your character and, in exchange for the care and love they receive, they thank you in the best possible way, with affection and understanding, which isn’t always forthcoming from other people.

What advice would you offer to new dog owners?

There’s certainly plenty of advice around, but I’d say it’s worth remembering that small gestures really count. Before you leave home, spend some time stroking your dog and hugging them… and give them a treat. Dogs are faithful and they’ll always wait for you. Small gestures that build your relationship with them really matter a lot. Set things up so that your dog doesn’t miss you too badly when you’re all out. It’s also vital to choose a dog that will suit your character and lifestyle, bearing in mind both your needs and your pet’s.
Spend time with your dog regularly, especially when he or she is young. Play with them, train them and observe their behaviour. Socialise them and offer fresh stimuli. It’ll pay off in the future, because you’ll have a more self-confident dog and the relationship between you will be a better one.
Advice for new dog owners? First and foremost, don’t panic! Just approach dogs naturally. Animals can sense any kind of stress and anxiety in their owner. The calmer and more in control a human shows themselves to be, the safer a dog will feel.

In a nutshell, then, these furry bundles of joy come with quite a package of responsibilities attached… but is there anything else that brings the same kind of satisfaction and pleasure as watching one that you’ve reared and made your own? We’d also say that the fact that you’ll always be responsible for them is nothing more nor less than a privilege.

1st July 2022
6 min. read

Kamila Braszak

Employer Branding Specialist


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