Tuesday 22 June 2010

The soul puppy

Why oh why oh why? There I was, at the Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival, happy as Larry, wandering around, eating sausage samples. Adrian was doing a beer tasting and I’d come along as his driver. We’d thought about taking James but he’d begged to stay behind and we’d caved in. BIG mistake.

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. 


Dorset Dispatches said...

Definitely an attitude with bounce, but with a lot of fun attached too. I'm glad you caved in. I would have as well.

Maggie Christie said...

Oh you big softie you! I'm glad you caved in and I can't wait to see the pictures.

Jon Storey said...

As the proud (and haggard) owner of two Jack Russells, I wish you


fairyhedgehog said...

It matters so much to a child! I hope it all works out well.

Fennie said...

Good luck! Once he's through the sofa chewing phase you'll have lots of fun.

Humdrum Mum said...

We got my dog Kim when I was 8, and she was my "sister" until she died when I was 16. I am still not really over it. I'm not sure whether I will ever have one of my own tho. Happy days - HMx

Alison Cross said...

Now you have to get this dog just so that you can call it Jack Spaniel and adorn it with braids and eye-liner!!

I bet you fall in love with the little blighter ;-)

Ali x

Exmoorjane said...

Pants: like the attitude with bounce description but think you're being way too kind.

Mags: MUG, total mug! Really, how daft am I?

Jon: haggard is the word - Asbo has aged me by decades!

Fairy: me too, me too...ah well, the stuff of blogs I suppose!

Fennie: sofa is already pretty chewed so not too worried about that. it's everything else that bothers me!

Humdrum: oooh, that is lovely. I had my first 'real, me only' dog when I was 13 and she was so so fabulous. They do break your heart though.

Ali: yeah, well, um (blushes, caught out).

Glummy: fear not, we already have our own Jack Russell and yup, barks for England. I'm sort of hoping the spaniel bit wins out on that score!

Lou Archer said...

Surely doglets are just like children, if you train them properly they'll do exactly as they are told! ..... Not that I've managed to have a huge amount of control over my 5yo or my 7yo ........

Yeah! Best of luck!

Frances said...

Very interesting development, Jane.

When does the new arrival arrive? How are you preparing ASBO J?

I foresee much rich material, and so hope that you will soon be writing lots of posts. The new pup is a male, right? So you are still the only female at your place? xo

Anonymous said...

Sure Asbo will be planning all sorts of high jinks with a gullible pup in tow!

Jack Spaniel - love it.

Ivy said...

Once a terrier always a terrier I am half through my third (and defentively last ) one. Good luck and book yourself a place at puppy school!

rachel said...

Hmmmmm..... how well I remember that sort of ever-so-sincere manipulation of soppy mother..... You know what you've done, don't you - ASBO Jack will bring out the co-offender in that puppy, and you'll spend the next decade looking for the docile spaniel part....

On the other hand, James now owes you - big time.

Keep us posted, won't you!

English Mum said...

Oh my goodness! I'm all excited and he's not even my puppy. What on earth with Jack say? x

Lara said...

Um, I have a Cocker Spaniel and it is completely bonkers, but I wouldn't be without her. Dogs are just like no other pet aren't they?
I would definately caved too.....

Good luck!

Tattieweasle said...

Soul puppy - I am definitley going to have to use that! I am never allowed to buy new dogs or adopt them or foster them or anything. I only have four...so glad you have succumbed and I am sure Asbo will be exstatic when it arrives. Poor Asbo...
Forgive me I have tagged you over at mine for an Interrogation should you wish...because obviously you need smething to take your mind off things!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Yes , I can quite see how that would happen !

R.C. Lewis said...

Can't help thinking of how thoroughly my father was against us getting a dog. For years he refused, and he had the excuse that our backyard wasn't enclosed. Once we moved to a house with a fenced-in yard, he lost the battle.

Almost thirteen years later, guess who spoils the dog the most? ;)

Of course, ours is half Lab, half Husky - I'm not aware of any silly name for such a cross - and is just a big puddle of love. I've never experienced owning a smaller dog.

Good luck, m'dear.

Anonymous said...

You're just a big softy at heart. I hope Asbo has met his match!

DD's Diary said...

Gosh, you're a good mum. I've just said no to a tortoise and you can't get much lower maintenance than that - unless it's a pet rock x

Rob-bear said...

Well, Jane, with a title like that, my first thought was that perhaps ASBO Jack had "mended his ways."

But, no. Things are worse than that. A puppy! A soulful puppy. Oh dear!

We got Miss Sadie as a puppy a year ago — I still haven't recovered from what she's done to my back.

I hope James knows how to handle this new creature. You don't need two ASBO dogs in your house.

Kitty said...

Oh, how very sweet. Will you call him Jonny? I would.
I thought you wanted a whippet? I suppose if a whippet isn't you're soul puppy then that's just the way it is!