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Teddy’s Tales: Why Get a Dog?


I cannot remember the crux of the matter – nor can he – but our son was upset. When I tried to talk it through, he muttered, rather hopelessly, “If I had a dog, he would understand.” And the seed was planted.
Several months later and the distress has disappeared – as it does when you’re 8-years-old – but the dog remains firmly on the agenda – as, of course, it would. Just 5 weeks, in fact, until one carefully picked pup arrives under our roof.
Only now, it appears I am more excited about it than anyone else in our house. (Perhaps I should mention that I have really, really wanted a dog ever since I can remember.)
I have always been more enthusiastic than my husband, who grew up with dogs, and has recently been inclined to offer comments such as, “We don’t have a proper garden,” and, “It’ll need to be walked, even in weather like this”.
Yesterday, our 6-year-old breezily informed us that really, he would much prefer a fluffy marmalade cat. And having heard about a puppy who bulldozed, then chewed over a friend’s highly prized Lego Star Wars fleet, even his big brother is now a little less gung-ho.
I admit to the odd doubt-filled moment, but only because I have high hopes of our new family member. I don’t want the puppy that my dog-owning friends delight in warning me about. The dog that cries all night, poos everywhere, chews everything, soils sofas, nips ankles, steals shoes (or just vomits into them), whines incessantly, makes the children vie for attention and inevitably turns me into a crashing dog-bore does not appeal.
It will take some effort – and as I work from home, largely by me – but our puppy will keep off sofas, stay downstairs (people say it’ll end up in our bed – they cannot know my aversion to dog’s bum on pillow), walk obediently off-leash, manage not to terrorise children, ours included, and most importantly, learn to bark and poo on command. (You think I’m joking? Apparently it’s possible and I am so signing up for that.)
Now I’ve just got to make it happen. And I will. Our puppy will be a positive addition to the family. The idea of it provided light relief for my son, and for me at the same time, when my father was ill. Shortly my children will have a faithful friend who listens without prejudice (and hopefully the youngest will learn why dogs rather than cats that are considered man’s best friend); my husband will get to train a dog the way he feels that his parents never did with their sweet but lunatic Beagles; I will finally have the dog I’ve always wanted and my dad, he would have been tickled that we are going to name our puppy in his honour.

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