Our lovely little Jack Russell passed away on St Patricks Day 2011. She was almost three and was fiercely loyal and protective of the kids. As is usually the case it was only when she had passed away that I realised how attached I had become to her. It was very odd to open the door and not find her galloping towards you with her tail wagging wildly from side to side. Her little mistress my lovely daughter was devastated at the loss of her first puppy. Tears flowed for hours.
I swore I’d never get another dog. I just couldn’t cope with the upset! Then my lovely husband arrived home to tell me about a lovely Beagle pup that needed a new home. He was after going through a rough time when his owners split and was living in an apartment. Our garden would be perfect for him. I had my reservations but eventually agreed. Lewis came to stay and we fell for him instantly. Until it was bedtime! My doors will never be the same again. When Lewis wasn’t the centre of attention he had formed the habit of chewing whatever was close at hand. If he was left outside a room he tried to scratch his way in! He lasted a week; my lovely husband couldn’t take anymore. It was either Lewis or him. Lewis had to go. We did manage to rehome him with a lady who specialises in Beagles. Of course there were lots of tears at the hand over but the lady assured us that the disruptive behaviour would almost certainly continue for a year or two more, so we let him go.
Again, I promised anyone who would listen that there would be no more dogs in our house. Last Friday as we waited to collect the children from the school bus a cheeky little terrier came bounding up to us. You know the type, lots of character. I rubbed behind his ears and his belly while my lovely husband was looking around to locate his owner. I joking suggested bringing the little fella home. My joke was not received well. The bus arrived and the dog vanished. So imagine my surprise when a friend of mine told me she has had two strays hanging around her house for the last couple of days. Yes one of whom is my cheeky terrier.
All this talk of dogs has reminded me of the crazy canines we had when I was a child. We had a beautiful red setter that my Dad took in because she was too nervous for her owner to show. I remember him telling us stories of her jumping into his arms while out walking if a bus drove by. While she may have been afraid of buses she would stand guard at the foot of my pram when my big sis was about after witnessing her push the pram of the footpath one day. When we moved to Navan she was rehomed in Wicklow and went on to have lots of beautiful pups.
Another crazy pup was Patch, he used to terrorise our neighbours. Hoping the back well when he’d spy their backdoor open and chasing the lady of the house into her bathroom. The poor lady had no English and Mammy Byrne didn’t know what the shouting was about. Needless to say patch had to go. A lady turned up to collect him and put him in the boot of her car. My sis and I thought this was the height of cruelty. In hindsight it was the safest place for him!
We didn’t have another dog for quite some time after Patch. Mammy Byrne wasn’t exactly a dog lover so I’m sure she wasn’t too impressed when my Dad arrived home with the tiniest little puppy ever. Wendy was a miniature Jack Russell. Tiny with a huge personality. She would sit on the hearth surveying all before her and she seemed quite sane. Mammy Byrne soon warmed to her. Until the day we had a visit from a family friend. This particular person would arrive every now and then out of the blue and stay for a while before disappearing as unexpectantly as he had arrived. On the occasion in question the visitor was recuperating from a recent illness. She was sitting quite comfortable in front of the fire when in rushes Wendy from the garden and before anyone knew what was happening she had settled herself on top of the visitors head. After a moment of stunned silence we realised that our poor visitor hadn’t noticed that she had a small dog perched on top of his head! Even as Mammy Byrne tried to coax Wendy down he just sat there absent mindedly staring into space. Mammy Byrne got the cheeky pooch of its new perch and deposited her in the garden for a while.
Every time getting a dog is mentioned in my house I have flashbacks. I don’t think we’ll be rehoming the cheeky terrier. God knows what he’d turn into!!