Tuesday, 22 June 2010
The soul puppy
While I was licking my frozen yoghurt, he was looking at puppies. Not just looking so much as cuddling and – ye gods – bonding.
‘We’ve found a puppy for you,’ came the text with a photo attached of James manhandling something with exceedingly long ears.
Now, to be fair, we have talked for some considerable time about getting another dog. Something chilled, something laid-back, something that would (maybe, hope springs eternal) teach Asbo that there is more to life than biting bums and barking. I was thinking shaggy lurcher, or maybe something monumental and dozy like a deerhound. I was thinking rescue dog, older dog. What I wasn’t thinking was a terrier crossed with a spaniel. What I really wasn’t thinking was puppy.
‘No, no, no,’ I said crossly. ‘Just no. Terriers are bonkers, spaniels are nuts and neurotic – it’s the worst of all worlds.’
‘But he’s a Jack Spaniel.’
Oh for heaven’s sake. I’m fed up to the back teeth with all these new hybrids. Once upon a time, if a terrier got a spaniel up the duff they’d call the offspring mongrels and give them away. Now they’re Labradoodles or Springadors or, in this case, Jack sodding Spaniels and they cost a packet.
James could see it wasn’t cutting the mustard with me. I didn’t even like Pirates of the Caribbean.
‘But Mum... he’s my soul puppy,’ he said, his eyes going all wistful.
Eyes rolled at Sports Day when I related the tale. Labradors were suggested. I don’t really go a bundle on Labs but, faced with the terrier-spaniel combo, they suddenly took on a distinct lustre. ‘I know someone with pups,’ said Sarah. Sorted (I thought).
‘But I don’t want a Labrador. I don't want any old puppy. I want this puppy. Just this one.’
He had that look in his eyes again (and a fist furiously batted away tears). I suddenly remembered what it felt like to be eleven years old and desperate to have a pet of one’s own, truly one’s own.
I went to see the dog.
He was very pretty. Very sweet. A nice healthy, friendly pup. And, oh heck, what do you do? What would you do?
I handed over a deposit and drove off feeling – frankly - like Jack Sparrow facing the plank.
Sorry - no pics as yet. Though he does bear a passing likeness to Mr Depp. In fact, as I trawled through Google Images trying to find something similar to post, it did slightly concern me that absolutely NOTHING looks like this dog. Below is the nearest approximation but the ears are WAY longer.