I’ve wanted a dog for years; we always had animals in our family home growing up. As well as our own pets, ours was that house in the neighbourhood that all the strays would call home too. At one point I remember the tally was two dogs Grizzly and Pepper, six cats Spider, Strawberry, Tubby, Amber, Diddley and Pineapple, one rabbit called Mr Browny Bright Eyes, oh and a terrapin called Freddie. Plus we would always look after dogs and cats whilst their owners went on holiday.
It probably didn’t help that my brother Oliver and I also regularly brought back goldfish from the local Fair, newts from the local streams and frogs from a neighbour’s pond. We would usually be told to take them back from where we got them from much to our disappointment.
A girl at school who lived on a farm had a cat called Molly that had a litter of kittens, she told me there was two left that weren’t vouched for. I asked at home if we could take the kittens and bring them to live with us, my request was duly denied with the reason that the house was already full to bursting with pets! I thought I’d take matters into my own hands and naughtily phoned their farm house pretending to be my Mum saying we’d happily take the final two of the kittens off their hands.
When they brought the kittens over my parents obviously found out what had happened but after a fuss eventually agreed to have one. The evening we got him nobody could find him for hours and the whole family helped look everywhere, when he finally showed up he was covered from head to toe in cobwebs – hence he got his name – that was Spider! It was like living in some sort of animal sanctuary and I loved it.
Whilst at the moment I just have Teddy, the future definitely has more animals in it and lots of kids too hopefully. I love the idea of a lively household, something like in Home Alone the movie, except more rural (and I wouldn’t accidentally leave my youngest behind when going on vacation).
They say that dogs pick you not the other way around. I remember meeting and holding Teddy up for the first time last year, he was tiny, a few weeks old and he fell asleep in my hand. I knew he felt content in my company and went with my instinct, so picked him.
The first night he came home I was up all night listening to see of he was okay and kept popping him outside for bathroom breaks. The first few weeks were tiring, toilet training and house training, trying to teach Ted not to chew shoes or furniture through positive reinforcement.
We are well beyond that now, he was a fast learner and he is as good as a dog can be. He has a wonderful temperament and still has his cheeky moments – one Saturday morning I wanted to treat myself so I made my favourite ‘Breakfast Butty’ smoked bacon and Burford Brown Eggs on a whole meal roll with lashings of ketchup and white pepper.
Moments later my friend Emma called for a quick chat and was outside at the front of the house. I popped out for literally 4-5 mins leaving the sandwich on the table. When I returned there was no trace of the sandwich only instead some yolk on Teddy’s face and a look of sheer content, he’d wolfed the lot – little tinker sneak! Like I said he still has his moments – he demolished the insole of one of my Emu slippers and shredded my favourite shoes.
Now when I get home there’s never a puddle on the floor, a shredded letter in sight or a roll of toilet paper dragged through the house, but instead the warmest unconditional loving greeting, I feel very privileged to have him. Thought I’d share some of my favourite Teddy moments. Watch this space for a new addition!