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Friday, 11 October 2013



So I've gone and done it haven't I? Rocked the balance in our home and provided Bob with a male heir; selflessly given our oestrogen rich house a boost of testosterone. Someone Bob can scratch his balls with; shout obscenities at the TV with when Man City's eleven men morph into ballerinas for ninety minutes, and someone to roll his eyes with when we girls morph into dragons once a month.

I can't pretend I wasn't apprehensive at the prospect of sleepless nights and toilet training all over again, but there are no lengths I won't go to in the pursuit of Bob's happiness; and I'm happy to report he's been sleeping through since day one and seems to have accepted that the lounge floor is not his private lav.

Yes, this great gift to Bob has come in the form of a puppy. Overnight we turned from a twelve legged family to sixteen - just like that. Well, actually, not just like that, we did spend a few weeks checking daily the website of Pound Puppy, (the same rescue centre we found Sally six years ago) waiting for the right dog to appear. And appear he did. I knew at a glance he was the boy for us; not that I had many stipulations; all he needed to be was small, a puppy and male. He ticked all three boxes. Two phone calls, five days and 126 miles later, he was spewing in my lap as though my life wouldn't be complete without another travel sick youth to contend with. To his credit though, he was infinitely more subtle in his nausea than Chicken and Tuna, vomiting his breakfast daintily into a tissue before attempting to tuck in once more as though he'd magically produced another meal.

To say he's a distraction is like calling The Vatican a church. (Hence my tardy blog post.) Since I sat down to write today - a mere ten minutes ago, I've had to pull him off my computer lead, pull him off Sally's neck, wrestle him for my flip flop and race him to the letterbox before he reduced the post to shreds. His waking hours are spent inadvertently wreaking havoc. Nothing escapes his inquisitive gnashes - doormats, tea towels, gas fire coals, candle wax, school bags, toilet rolls, (no one's told him he's not a golden Labrador) violins, (although, I suspect that's a deliberate act as he howls and yelps from the first flourish of the bow!) socks, snails, magazines, toes, fingers, noses, even a full bottle of wine, dragged from the wine rack in our absence became the victim of his scrutinising explorations. In fact, the only thing he doesn't chew is a raw hide chew; these he barks at suspiciously and leaves lying around to be tripped over by unsuspecting feet. When he's not trying to reduce the house to an apocalyptic wasteland and terrorising Sally, he's yanking branches off shrubs in the garden and dead heading the geraniums.


But it's Sally who suffers the most as it's she he invariably springs upon when the egg box loses its allure. She accepts his assault with surprising good grace with only the occasional snap of retaliation while I tell her reassuringly that she'll thank me when he's grown up and they're the best of friends. She's still to be convinced. All in all, he's a PPP - Puppy Pain in the Posterior! Although, have you ever met a puppy that isn't? It's their duty to the canine species; a test of our worthiness as guardians and protectors. If we pass, and see them through to adulthood, the rewards are infinite - loyalty, devotion, unconditional love, laughs and a soothing coat to stroke. Dogs don't bear grudges or judge you or point out your moustache and bingo wings. Sure, they might crap and piss in corners of the house you never knew existed until you finally pinpoint the smell, but so did Chicken and Tuna!

Dogs don't need new shoes every five minutes because their paws have grown again ("What do you mean you can't feel your toes? I only bought those last week!"). Dogs don't require spring, summer, autumn and winter wardrobes; Chicken's favourite alliteration is SSS - Spring / Summer Shopping Spree. Dogs never say, "Can I have an ice cream?" "Are we there yet?" or "I'm not eating that!" They'll never ask for a pony or storm off in a sulk because you won't let them join Facebook. My list could go on and on until it rivalled War and Peace for page numbers.

However, what dogs don't give us is enough time, especially when they're snatched from us prematurely. Their seven years to our one ensure an all too brief love affair. I firmly believe the pain inflicted by each lost pet can only be soothed by another - hence Eddie. A tiny rascal of teeth and mischief now, but on that dreaded day when Sally leaves us for doggy heaven, Eddie will guide us through our grief with a furry paw and a wagging tail. Well, that's the plan anyway. Maybe I should have stuck to kids!

For Monty 2007 - 2013
A happier dog you couldn't hope to meet. x

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