Tag Archives: breed

Piddles, poodles and pups

Primrose getting some practice in!

Primrose getting some practice in with Poppy’s furry friend!

 “DAWWWWWGGGGGGIIIIIIIEEEEEESSSSSS” (doggies!) as a very dear friend of mine from the wilds of Scotland would say!  It is impossible to describe the excitement that has hit Margot and Jerry headquarters! Dear Reader, as you may have already gleaned from last week’s snippet, we are soon to be joined by a new family member, one of the furry kind.  Undoubtedly, this will add yet more madness to a household inhabited by a batty townie attempting the good life, her absurdly patient husband, a teenage 4 year old, 1 fearless toddler, a bi-polar cat who can run sideways and another rescue who is distantly related to raccoons and hides under duvets.  I am not even sure if ‘Mad as a March Hare’ cuts it…..perhaps certifiably insane would be more appropriate?  Before the animal rights activists come after me, I KNOW a dog is for life and not just because one is moving to the countryside…  Yes yes I am aware that having a pup in the house is extremely hard work and yes yes I also know that training takes time…..  I know all of this, really I do, dear Reader.  I am not a dog in a handbag kind of girl….my handbags are FAR too precious!  It is amazing how many people rolled eyes, drew sharp intakes of breath and mumbled that we were in for a year of disaster when Jerry and I shared our little announcement.  Perhaps our friends were worried having seen our parenting skills in action and were not sure that we should attempt to use them on a poor defenceless animal?  Almost everyone seemed worried about my ability to cope with toddler, 4 year old and wee puppy.  Other suggestions followed from dear Mamma that I should potty train Poppy at the same time as housetraining the dear pup to kill two birds with one stone.  Now that really would raise eyebrows amongst the yummy mummies in leafy suburbia at coffee mornings as I ushered Poppy with pot in one hand and dog on a lead in the other, out to the garden “Just popping out to take toddler and pup for a wee.  Do help yourselves to coffee.”  Brushing warnings aside (mostly through sticking my fingers in my ears), little puddles await the cottage’s wooden floors and on this occasion, not from the leaky roof.  However, anyone who knows me well, knows that I love a challenge……I am attempting the good life after all!

With no house hunting on the cards last week and the sale on the cottage in temporary limbo, I decided to put my idleness to good use and watch Crufts to pick up some doggie tips.  I was staggered to hear that over 20,000 dogs take part each year and that some even travel from far flung corners of the world.  The pampering and hairspraying of dogs reduced me to giggles but I have to admit to enjoying watching the gundogs.  Primrose and Poppy found the whole spectacle quite amusing too and Poppy practised shouting her best ‘Floof’ at the television with every doggie close-up.  Pom-pom bottoms and pooches – who could ask for more?  We dodged the use of the ‘b’ word a few times (such an unattractive word for a lady hound) and somehow in the process of watching dogs strutting their stuff, Primrose developed a staunch liking of poodles, trying to persuade us that it was the only dog worth owning.  Jerry put his foot down on the subject and said that if Primrose were to ever own a poodle, he might have to disinherit her…  Oh no, dear Reader, we are NOT poodle owners.  Nor would I be able to consider the prospect of having to identify myself as the owner of a cockapoo, labradoodle, shizhapoo, chihuaranian or any other ridiculously named dog mash up.  (Apologies dear Reader if you own any of the aforementioned doggies – I am sure they are a delight to own but I really can’t say their names with even a hint of seriousness).  Jerry was not quite so polite on the subject of dogs with silly names.  His priceless comment on labradoodles: “Surely the two different breeds can’t be interested in mating – wouldn’t they be offended by each other?”  I soon realised that forcing Jerry to watch Crufts was not going to result in him taking to the idea of ‘flyball’ or ‘agility’ seriously, as he was too busy vocalising his disgust of silly show titles (Jerry might have had a point….Nosferatu featured in one long kennel name) and laughing at dogs dancing to music.  I confess to tittering a little during Best In Show when the commentators were describing the dogs: “alert, full of character”, “Look at that swagger, he certainly owns the ring…”  In the end, I had to switch off as Jerry’s sardonic commentary was too much to bear!  Breed finally agreed upon, Jerry and I spent some time researching Kennel Club registered breeders (I say Jerry and I…..) and reading up on whether or not our puppy would be a good match for us.  With priorities well and truly organised, I then started making a list of all the extra country items I might need to go with the dog: wellibobs for quick garden dashes in the rain, coat with hood or alternatively a few headscarves (a la Her Majesty), further tweed items, floral lanyard for whistle and the list went on.  Jerry was soon regretting his decision…

My latest bedtime reading!

Bedtime reading!

Armed with puppy owner’s bible, The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey, I have now developed an unhealthy obsession with tweed dog beds, crates and gundog training.  Mothers’ Day even included an inaugural family trip to Pets at Home to make a puppy shopping list.   So without further ado, he is our boy…….A SPANIEL, a working cocker to be exact.  Temperament: Lively, perky and lovable, pleasant, gentle, playful and affectionate.    I know what you are thinking dear Reader, I have missed out the crucial part on the temperament front.  Spaniels are known for being a little loopy……….well they do say that dogs often take after their owners!

Our boy.  Just a few days old here.

Our boy. Just a few days old here.