I’ve noticed this week that the longer I leave it in between blog posts the more the fear sets in about ever blogging again. I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 weeks since my last blog post! Life has just run away with me these last three weeks.
In between our actual work, Paul and I have been busy working on an exciting little project which we hope to let you all in on in due course; I’ll confirm right now that said ‘exciting project’ is not a baby. I’m officially at the stage in my life where any “guess what’s“ are assumed to be pregnancy announcements. On our family Zoom quiz night on Saturday I said “Mum, Brooke has something to show you” referring to my little niece who has had a considerable amount of her hair cut off. Paul’s Aunt misheard and got really excited and said “Oh my godddddd Rachael are you going to show us all a scan picture”. It was funny for us but when you are on a zoom call with 10 different households, two of which are Nan’s over a “certain” age who struggle to use
Zoom any form of modern technology, the confusion becomes reallllllll.
Anyway, back to the real reason you are all here, Charlie.
Since my last blog post, Charlie has started day care, taken his first emergency trip to the vet and become Tiktok famous; all before he’d even lost his first tooth. Our boy doesn’t do things by halves.
I want to take you back to a few months ago to the start of ‘Lockdown’. My friend Kate and I were having a conversation about Saturday nights in ‘lockdown’ which naturally led to us sending each other funny memes and TikTok videos. TikTok is a video sharing social media platform, for anyone who might not have heard of it.
Now, I was getting the vibe Kate might have been a little bit keen to start getting all TikTok creative so I said, and I quote, “If you start making TikToks, I’m done”. Fast forward a few months and I have apparently unlocked my true potential as the hypocritical TikTok dog Mom I was born to be.
Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing when I downloaded the TikTok app and put 3 videos of Charlie together with a cute little “That’s just my baby doggy” sound behind it. I posted the video to literally no one; I had no followers and I didn’t follow anyone because I didn’t know how to find people. When I clicked back on the TikTok app later that night, I had a bunch of notifications and when I clicked on the video I noticed it had 7 THOUSAND LIKES; I was absolutely gob smacked!
I became obsessed with making Paul “guess how many likes” it had; literally every hour for the next few days “PAUL GUESS HOW MANY NOW?” (Sorry, not even sorry).
Within days the video was at 30k likes, then 50k then 100k likes!
ONE HUNDREAD THOUSAND PEOPLE!
The big moment came when I was outside in the garden with Charlie and I got a Facebook notification from my friend Kate who had tagged me in a PrettyLittleThing post. I clicked on the notification to see that PrettyLittleThing, as in global fashion brand with 12.4 MILLION followers on social media PrettyLittleThing had shared Charlie’s TikTok video on their social media.
I’m not freaking out, you’re freaking out!
OK, I freaked out.
The video hit 1 MILLION VIEWS and then 2 MILLION VIEWS! 2 MILLLLLIONNNN PEOPLE watching Charlie essentially yawning and falling asleep. Crazy.
“GUYS GUESS HOW MANY IT’S ON NOW”, the video is currently at 2.9 MILLION VIEWS with almost 368 THOUSAND LIKES and has since been shared by lots of different accounts including MissPap.
A Charlie fact: almost 3 million people have watched Charlie fall asleep and our parents haven’t even met him yet!!!
Some of Charlie’s social media friends have messaged to tell us things like, their relative who lives in Dubai sent them the TikTok video saying “Aw look at this guy” and they are like “OMG CHARLIE I KNOW HIM”. I’ve had people who I went to school with message saying “no way, I’ve just liked this I didn’t know it was your Charlie”.
When I “like” or “reply” to some of the comments on the TikTok video people respond saying “OMG HE’S LIKED!!” as if Charlie himself is having a scroll on TikTok throwing out likes left, right and centre. At this point I’m literally just waiting to be on our daily dog walk and someone turn around to us and say “NO WAY IS THAT @CHESHIRECOCKERCHARLIE from Tiktok”.
Paul’s friends have always found our life weird; they joke that Paul is some sort of secret “influencer”. Just like this weird TikTok experience, other unexpected and weird things have happened to us in the past. I’m trying to think of an example of ‘weird experiences’ that doesn’t require an extensive back story or me explaining who people are for the story to make sense.
I wouldn’t even describe it as your “average” kind of weird; if that’s even a thing? “Average” weird is like, for example, being half way around the world in a hotel swimming pool and bumping into the receptionist from your gym back home. Our weird is more than that. It’s like, 3 years later being in a completely different part of the world in another hotel swimming pool and bumping into THE SAME RECEPTIONIST FROM YOUR GYM, kind of weird.
The peak of “weird life” happened a few years ago when we moved to Coventry for Paul’s work; he started at his first engineering job after graduating University. Within months of starting the job and making said new friends we won tickets for a meet and greet ASAP Rocky at his gig with Wiz Khalifa.
Weird fact #1: slightly weird but believable, right?
A few weeks later we randomly won £5,000 on a lottery ticket.
Weird fact #2: it’s getting weirder.
A few weeks after that, we won a holiday to Jamaica. We were casually taking part in a Jamaican Jerk cooking class ran by our hotel when we turned around to the couple next to us to be met by Frankie Muniz. Frankie Muniz AKA “Malcom in the Middle”; 90’s babies WILL KNOW. Now, “Malcom in the Middle” was Paul’s THINGGGGGG; like he’s watched every episode, his Mum used to call him “Malcom” when he was younger and they have like family jokes about it. Obviously Paul had a pure fan girl moment and managed to get papped with him (aka I took a photo of them on my iPhone).
As you can imagine, explaining these things to new colleagues/friends was hard but someone had to do it. The gram was looking prettttttttty impressive; backstage with our pal ASAP Rocky, flying to Jamaica, cooking with Malcom in the Middle. INFLUENCER LIFE you knowwww.
Weird fact #3: ok veryyyyyy f*cking weird.
A few weeks after returning from Jamaica, we won another holiday to Ibiza. By this point everyone was just SICK of us; we’d ring our families and they’d answer saying “What’ve you won now?”. Not only did we win a holiday to Ibiza but it included an all expensive sunset meal at Café Mambo. On night 1 of our holiday we popped down to Café Mambo to arrange the meal for a few nights time and they invited us into VIP got us a couple of glasses of champagne. Casual. We ended up staying the whole night and NATURALLY got chatting to Dj Martin Solveig. Another weird moment, another celebrity pic for the gram.
Weird fact #4: OKKKKKK WE GET IT YOUR LIFE IS WEIRD.
I don’t think half the people we KNOW even know these stories about us! I could genuinely go on to tell you more weirdness, such as winning festival tickets, winning another holiday to Ibiza, winning another holiday to Switzerland and meeting Chase and Status but honestly, you get the picture right?
So from TikTok fame to day care. If you read my last blog post “How to leave your dog but not leave your dog” you might remember me talking about enrolling Charlie in day care. We decided we would use day care as a way of getting Charlie used to socialising with other dogs whilst also getting used to spending some time apart from us. On our more recent walks we were noticing more and more how nervous Charlie was becoming when other dogs would approach him for a cheeky sniff. Humans on the other hand, Charlie will literally bound up to any human and straight up expect fusses and belly tickles from them.
You know the whole reputation dogs have for being loyal? Yeah, can’t relate. Charlie is about as loyal at Love Island’s Georgia “I’M LOYAL BABE”. He was clearly back of the queue when they were dishing out the loyalty for sure; I swear he’d forget about us in 5 seconds flat so long as you were rubbing his tummy.
With dogs, however, it had got to the point that he was cowering behind us or running away before other dogs had literally even given him a second glance. When we started noticing this we pushed forward the day care enrollment; if I’m completely honest with you all (which I try to be) I was still putting day care off even after blogging about my intentions to do it.
If anyone is local to us and wondering which day care we decided to use, we went with Cain9 Camp in Sandbach; which is around 7 miles from us in Nantwich, Cheshire. There are doggy day care facilities closer to us but Cain9 just appealed to me. I really liked how active Cain9 were on social media; they post videos and pictures of the dogs playing, they welcome newbies and wish dogs a happy birthday on their Facebook page (sometimes it’s the little things isn’t it). I was also really impressed by their facilities and how much information they asked us for before booking him in.
The day we dropped him off at day care for the first time, I genuinely felt like a nervous parent dropping my baby off at Nursery; whilst I knew it would do him the world of good, I also wanted to turn around and go home for a cuddle. He was at day care from 10am-5pm and whilst he was there the girls at Cain9 sent me a video of him crazy playing with another dog; I literally welled up! As expected, he took a while to get involved but they said in the last few hours he really came into himself and the girls said they felt like proud parents when he finally joined it with the other dogs. If you follow Charlie on Instagram you may have seen the videos of him after day care, we’d no sooner got in the car before he was out like a light and he pretty much slept the whole evening; best £20 I’ve ever spent.
If any of you are finding socialising your pups difficult in the current situation, I would 100% recommend doggy day care. We’ve noticed improvements in Charlie’s confidence around other dogs on walks after just one day at day care!
Our emergency trip to the Vet came about after we let Charlie off the lead for the very first time to practice recall. We’d taken advantage of the light evenings and took Charlie out for a walk about 8pm- 8.30pm. When we got home Charlie
turned into a hormonal teenage girl ran straight into the bedroom and started crying. I picked him up and took him to the living room with us and he started thrashing around and licking his paw over and over. The licking got more and more excessive to the point that his foot was honestly soaked.
We’d tried to have a good look at his paw and we couldn’t see anything in it but were concerned that he wouldn’t put his foot on the ground and he was still crying. Honestly, his little cry breaks my heart. I would say maybe 30 minutes went by like this where we weren’t really sure what to do we were just
staring at him responsibly observing him.
If you’ve read some of my other blog posts you will know that I describe Paul and I as opposite ends of the drama scale. Needless to say Paul thought we should wait and see how Charlie was in the morning and I thought we should ring the Vet ASAP assuming he would need
an amputation to be seen. Naturally I called for backup, in the form of Paul’s Mum; she agreed with me and off to the vets we went.
The Vet came to the conclusion that it was an insect sting or bite and explained that older dogs would probably just shrug this off; which I think was the polite and professional way of telling us our boy is a WIMP. He gave Charlie a steroid injection to help with the irritation and off we went back home (all 4 legs in situ).
So as you can imagine, between exciting new projects, regular old work, TikTok fame, emergency trips to the Vet, starting day care and losing baby teeth it’s been an exciting and hectic couple of weeks for us all. You know when you are constantly waiting for life to slow down but you are coming to the realisation that this is just your life and you need to just deal with the pace?
I genuinely wouldn’t have it any other way!
Rachael, Paul & Charlie x
P.s As if I was ever going to leave you without the ACTUAL TikTok video!