Am curled up on the couch with my hot-schnozzer-bottle. No. Let’s try that again.
I do have a hot-schnozzer-bottle but I’m not curled up. I’m balanced on the edge of the couch, leaning on the footstool working on the laptop, trying to get this column done.
Every time I dare to move, I get hoofed by an indignant hairy beast.
For once I’m not talking about the mister, this time I mean the dog. Or at least one of them. We have two.
Because that was a great idea. Buying two puppies from the same litter. Two, instead of one.
Dogs before furniture
When the mister and I bought this house 19 years ago, our first purchase was a dog.
We had no furniture, sleeping on a makeshift bed on the living room floor.
Instead of getting ourselves a couch, we drove the length of Scotland and collected a tiny, all black fur puppy.
The mister, who was swithering over whether we should get a dog, quickly handed over the cash after she sauntered into the room and sat on his foot as if to say, ‘right big man, time to go’.
The lovely Hollie
The very lovely Hollie, was trained easily, walked beautifully off the lead, and was universally adored by all who met her.
October 2018 was when we had to say goodbye.
She didn’t owe us another minute and, even though it broke our hearts to do so, we carried her to the beach for one last time.
A week after my cancer diagnosis and a few days before we flew out on holiday.
We gave the kids the first half of the holiday to grieve and the second half to process my news.
‘My Christmas present better woof’
Telling our girls was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do as parents.
It catapulted them into a world of medical jargon and forced them to witness, first hand, some of the devastating effects treatment can have.
It imposes on their lives and compels them to grow up faster than we, as parents, had hoped.
After being told, biggest kid announced, ‘something in my Christmas presents better woof’.
Who were we to deny such a simple request?
We won’t be hasty…
Without them knowing, I started to search for a suitable family addition and found the perfect little lady – again, who was I kidding?
As we drove to see her, there was a concise and sincere conversation between myself, and the mister regards us ‘just going to see’ and how ‘we wouldn’t be hasty’ in making our decisions.
I believe we may have never had such a pointless conversation in our 18-year marriage and as I stood there watching my giant husband scoop up six out of ten puppies, I knew we were goners.
‘Our’ pup had accidentally been sold the night before leaving us a choice of two.
No surprise, not four but eight paws came home in a cardboard box on the mister’s knee. We are pathetic.
Done for ever since
These pint-sized puppies sniffed that out instantly and we’ve been done for ever since.
Hollie, being a collie cross, had been easy to train.
No such luck with these two ‘eejits’.
THEIR training was further hindered by our children insisting on helping, this resulted in no end of mixed messages and an attitude on them both that would shock even Barbara Woodhouse.
Am almost certain the kids ‘training’ involved showing them how to roll their eyes and be snide.
They can bap a phone out your hand…
We can’t get ours to give a paw, but they can bap a mobile phone out your hand if you’re not giving them enough attention.
Sprockers are energetic to say the least but what absolute joy they bring with it.
I’ve never been more grateful to live next to a forest. If we walk five miles, they must do about 20 and could go again the same day!
These two might believe they’re in charge and, I concede, they occasionally are.
The Battle of the Couch
When they were small, they sat on our shoulders like fur shawls.
Our lovely couch has resigned itself to being their favourite spot.
Dogs who were NOT allowed on the couch have decided slinking along the rear of the cushion to lie along my back stops them being cold.
My spot is now theirs. I was ridiculous to have believed anything to the contrary.