Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Me and You and a Dog Named…..err

What’s in a name? Well quite a lot as it turns out. For, as a family, we have been trying to name the new arrival.

A few days ago we went to look at, I repeat - LOOK AT - a litter of Golden Doodles. Although they do sound like a 60s Motown group, Golden Doodles are a Golden Retriever / Poodle cross. Like a Labradoodle but even more ditzy, if that were possible.

I have never been a fan of viewing the litter – How do you only take one?

When I was a girl, Harry was working on a job and while off set got chatting to the Animal Wrangler. She had a donkey that needed a good home. Harry rang my mother, Maureen – “Yes, that’s fine, we’ll have it.” she said.
Five minutes later he rang back “Err, the donkey’s got a friend.”
“No problem.”
And five minutes after that, “And the friend’s got a foal.”
“So it’s just the three then?”
There were originally 4. They were in a sorry state when rescued and so had been named Near, Miss, Narrow and Squeak – but Miss hadn’t made it, she was too far-gone. After a career in show business (that saw Near land a pivotal supporting role in a film about Jesus), ours seemed an appropriate place for their retirement.

17 years ago - the last time I was shopping for a puppy - We were presented with the two remaining girls of the litter and asked to choose which one - “Wadda ya mean, which one?” Yet again, like the Rangers, we couldn’t leave anyone behind. So we took them both, which meant that while they always had each other we never really had them.

Mindful of all the above, we girded our loins and approached the Doodle litter with full emotional armour in place.

Well… I did. The Better Half has never had a dog of his own, by dint of having a brother with rampant asthma. He has taken care of dogs - he inherited my late lamented two. But while I could only see the old girls for the bundles of fluff they had once been, he, understandably, could only see them as the flatulent dust clouds they had become. They were also unbelievable toxic to the asthmatic brother who has spent many a Christmas wheezing outside, only coming in for turkey and to retighten his bronchi.

As Doodles have a reputation for being slightly more allergy friendly than most breeds you can see why we were interested.
‘Interested’ is not a word I would have used to describe the better half after seeing the litter - ‘drooling’ is more like it. Puppy power strikes again.

There were 7 puppies in all and we literally had the pick of the litter. There were 3 big cream coloured boys, doing what boy dogs do best, three cream girls all of whom were breaking the cute-o-meter and then, giving off the aura of last puppy in the shop, was one black fur ball. Timid, shy and set apart from the others, so that she wouldn’t be set on as the odd one out, she was a natural born pessimist – I knew which my money was on. The Better Half’s eyes kept swiveling back to this one pup that wasn’t trying to gnaw him. We arranged to return with daughters in tow the next day. Taking with us a deposit, just in case – yeah, right.

No. 1 daughter also wanted the black one. It was hard to say what No. 2’s preference was, as she spent all her time saying either “Was-sat?” or “Dog” to anything that wagged.

If we wanted, we could take the puppy then and there. Right, everybody in the car, find the nearest pet shop and load the boot with everything it could ever possibly need.

When we returned to pick up the pooch the better half went in to collect her. As he approached she was the only one who barked in recognition. Ah… kismet.

All we have to do now is name her.

Answers on a postcard please.

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