A couple of weeks into the whole "Stupidly broken my foot" thing now and I can honestly say I am going a little stir crazy. I don't do sitting around staring at a variety of different electronic screens all day very well. I am definitely a potterer by nature so this imposed rest for most of the day is sheer torture.
Shouldn't complain really because it could always be worse. They could of put my foot in a pot cast and that would have been an absolute nightmare! No baths or showers without lots of fannying about with plastic bags and tape. That I have been spared so no it could always be worse and to all those people out there in pot casts I salute you!
But I have had a large amount of, a little bit painful, time on my hands. What could I have done with that? Turns out that puppy training seemed like a good idea...
Before we get to that let me give you a bit of the backstory. We are a dog family and it has always been that way. For me a dog is an integral part of that family make up and for ten years or so we had possibly the best dog that has ever walked this earth spend her days with us. Molly was a cracking pup. She wasn't little by any means being a Boxer Rottweiler crossbreed but she was as clever as any dog I have met in all of my days and I am pretty sure she knew it.
Molly was the family dog for my children as they grew up and left one by one. She was that canine constant also my faithful companion. For most of her ten years she did not leave my side. When I was outside she was outside. If I was sat on the floor she was laying next to me. If I was sad she would turn herself inside out with worry and try to cheer me up. She doted on all of us but seemed to literally be in love with me.
In short she was fantastic.
When we moved house I literally walked her to the top of the driveway and told her that the kerb was her line and she was not allowed to cross it. She never did without an invite.
She got poorly last year though with Cancer and Arthritis and as soon as she was in serious pain, howling one night did it for me, I took her to the vets and said goodbye. There was no way I was going to have her treated extending the suffering, she was far too good for that.
I thought it would be a fair while before another pup would come along. We were going to get Molly to train one for us but we left it a bit too late really. She would of been a bit jealous we think in her later years so we left her her pack in the shape it had always been.
Then I broke my foot.
I sat playing on the tinterweb and just glanced through the puppy section on a website. Then I started thinking about what I would want the next dog to do with us because we are entering a new chapter in our lives the Wife and I. The kids are all but gone and we have started planning on what we want to do next and this involves a lot more being out and about.
I have built a campervan and intend to use it so I didn't want a dog that would be too big. I needed whatever comes along to be able to go where we go. It needs to be able to sit under a dinner table in a pub as well as keep up with us walking over them there hills.
"Having this broken foot will give me the time to train it" I thought to myself quietly talking myself into it. I asked the Wife if she was ok with this and she just grinned from ear to ear and said "Of course". After a couple of months without a dog teh house seemed just too empty.
I felt a bit guilty like I was cheating on Molly but life goes on. I knew that a pup would also fill my days and help to keep me sane so the hunt was on.
After much looking with dogs that had all sorts of strange names that made no sense to me, Google was my friend at this point because I literally had no idea what was going on, a pup popped up I liked the look of.
So we made a phone call and set off to see if we liked her.
Just a quick note on these "Designer" dog breeds. Who are folks kidding here? They are mongrels! Don't get me wrong there are some lovely looking pups out there but by giving them a daft breed made up name surely cannot justify the crazy expensive price tags they command?? Is it me or has the world gone mad?
Anyway we went to see these puppies and I am not going to sit here and write that I liked the look of them and after careful consideration chose the best of the bunch. Nope what happened was we turned up and a puppy chose me. I picked her up and she just snuggled straight up and in under my neck. I was hooked. Then another family walked in behind us and my first thought was "You cant have her. She's mine"
So a crazy amount of money changed hands and I ended up with a "designer" dog that cost far too much money...a Cockerpoo. Seriously that's not even a good breed name it sounds like someone is taking the mick. WHo the hell would fall for that??
Anyway we brought her home with the faint nervous aroma of rotten eggs permienting the car, I blamed the dog, and brought "Clara" into her new home.
She seemed to like her new home and she soon settled in. The chaos of a puppy in the house started a couple of days later. Ten years is a long time to forget how much goes into that initial training and with that I have that broken foot.
"Get a puppy" I thought. "It'll be fun" I thought.
There are more toys on the floor than an army of toddlers could leave when passing through. There's squeaking from toys and baby talking voices coming from the females of the house that made me think I had missed the birth of my first grandchild. The pup wakes up when it's time to sleep and sleeps when it's time to get up. It pee's where it feels like it and the smell of it's poo is like nothing I have ever experienced. I should give the military a call so they can weaponize it!
She has started to bark at the ghosts in the house because there's nothing there that I can see and she is stuck by my side for the best part of the day demanding play and dropping her guts at regular intervals making me gag.
I think I may be just a little bit in love.