I can’t remember who thought it would be a good idea, but a new puppy has joined the family, and is adding another layer of chaos (and cleaning!) to life. Let’s just say it’s lucky for him that he’s very cute
• WE welcomed a new addition to the wider family this week, a puppy. He’s a bit like the Littlest Hobo and is going between three houses at the moment but he’s got the leg in the door in ours, and despite my best intentions, he’s proving hard to resist. We’re still very much at the settling in stage which, as anyone who has ever had a puppy will know is pretty …challenging. Like the type of challenging that makes you consider a glass of wine at 3pm. It’s not helping that we already have an older four-legged girl to consider. She’s very much in her twilight years and isn’t appreciating this little yappy yoke disturbing her 24/7 nap cycle one bit. So basically all day long I’m going around the place telling her she’s a great girl (and not to snarl at her new doggy brother), telling him he’s doing a great job (and not to annoy his big doggy sister), also telling him not to nip the six-year-old (three pairs of leggings ripped already and we’re only a week in), while all the time wishing someone would give me a little pat me on the head and say I’m doing a great job, or just put me in a quiet corner.
• I actually feel sorry for our older dog and find myself identifying more with her than the adorable young pup. She’s only got two teeth left (I’m not quite that bad but I have written recently about my implants, remember?), she’s piled on a few pounds over the years (enough said), and her responses aren’t what they used to be (the dreaded brain fog). When everyone’s fussing and fawning over the puppy, her eyes say it all: ‘Enjoy it while you can sonny because every dog has its day.’
• I remember getting her as a tiny little pup around 11 years ago. We collected her from someone in a car park in Tralee (not as dodgy as it sounds) and sure we were pure pities for her. We went away for a weekend when she was still quite small and gave her to my parents to look after. Unfortunately it happened to coincide with her first heat cycle. She was under house arrest but managed to get out (as dogs always do) where she was greeted very enthusiastically by my parents’ two dogs. Their two male dogs. They all took off up the road at speed, followed by my father on the instruction of my mother, who was under my strict instruction not to let her unsupervised. Dad returned a while later, effing and blinding with our dog held none too gently under his arm. When we called to collect her, the male dogs were in a trailer, she was looking a bit sheepish sitting outside the trailer, my mum was looking a bit concerned that she might be ‘with pup’ and my dad … well it’s a family newspaper so let’s just let that one there except to say the word ‘b****’ may have been used about her in the non-canine sense. Anyway there were no pups and she was booked in for her ‘procedure’ pretty pronto. We didn’t go away for a good while after that.
• There’s a definite ‘bedding-in’ period when you get a new dog for sure. It’s a bit like when you bring a baby home from hospital first. You’re sort of looking at it uneasily and wondering if it’s not too late to change your mind. I remember on one of the first nights home with the six-year-old, looking at her sideways in the pram, and looking at the stairs, and wondering if I’d make it up to bed before my husband so he’d have to deal with this new ‘visitor’ neither of us were too sure what to do with.
• Eventually it all comes good but not without a lot of messy situations along the way. To be honest, the puppy nearly didn’t make it to the end of his first week. It’s taking a bit of time to factor him into the new, and already pretty tight morning schedule, and one morning I was rushing, didn’t see him and stood on him with my full, and considerable weight, wearing a pair of boots, almost double his size. My absolute heart. We were all crying. In my sheer panic it flashed through my mind to call Dr Jason, but thank God the tale started wagging again after the longest three seconds of my life. I wasn’t right for the day I’ll tell you, and he may still have hip trouble in years to come. Only time will tell.
• It took us a good while to settle on a name what with the shared ownership and the fact that most of his masters are under the age of 10. He’s got an unusual grey and white colouring so I was pushing for Wolf. Then I realised that’s what Kylie Jenner named one of her kids so I couldn’t do that to him (imagine the ribbing he’d get from the dogs from over the road? Nah, not in West Cork). I’ve no idea how, but it came down to Donie and Timmy, and Timmy it is. Timmy the Dog (as in Julian, Dick and Ann, George and ……).
• Finally I was really embracing the ‘don’t mow til May’ regime, only to figure out that it is in fact ‘no mow May.’ I had been nurturing quite the crop of dandelions and daisies with pride, but now I’m not too sure. May is still a long way off. Hang it. With a puppy on the loose it could easily turn into a scene from Reservoir Dogs. Long live the bees, and sure if it makes a cut of silage or a few bales all the better.