Wednesday, 14 October 2015

And... I'm back! And this is not a dog-free zone

I'm back, and after such a very long hiatus! I can't believe it's almost a year since I last posted here - the time has absolutely flown by and, although I've missed the contact that blogging encourages, I have mostly stayed in touch with people, intermittently at least, on Facebook.

What's new? Well, not much of significance, life continues along its usual, slightly bumpy path. The biggest change, I guess, is that we lost one dog - darling Molly, to old age - and gained another.

Here's Moll, aged fourteen, four months before she died (with her faithful Pip in the background):


When I took that picture we knew she wouldn't be with us for much longer, and that we would almost certainly have to make difficult decisions. She was a dear girl, with an almost infallible gift for being in the way.

Pip was quite prepared, we discovered, to nobly move up to the position of only child and my Dearly Beloved, wielding the bit of paper that says he's a qualified psychologist, insisted that it would be bad for her to be alone for long. Not only that, he said, but we should get a puppy. It would be harder for Pip, he opined, to adapt to a dog closer in age to herself. All this rather ignored the fact that Pip (aka Princess Sniffy) really didn't wish to adapt to anyone, thank you very much. There was a large element of selfishness on our part in wanting another dog immediately, as Pip has had a longstanding diagnosis of mast-cell cancer - in fact, we've been unbelievably lucky with her, in that what looked like an invasive cancer has proved to be relatively quiescent, and at nine she is a bit arthritic but otherwise quite capable of tearing off after a pheasant.

So although I wanted a rescue greyhound, we found ourselves lurcher-puppy hunting. We just missed one at the local rescue while I dithered, and it started to look as if we'd be in to 2015 and still puppyless. Then in late November - just after I stopped posting here, I wonder why that could be? - I spotted a local ad for lurcher puppies. By the time we contacted the owners there was only one left, despite them only being born on 30 October, a small black bundle with derpy ears:


You know, I don't think my Dearly Beloved would have brought him home if he'd gone to look on his own, I think he forgets that all pups are just little damp, slightly smelly balls, but "It's a puppy..." I said, and suddenly we had to think of names, and wonder how he was going to get on with the cat.

Cuddy, named for our local Saint Cuthbert, immediately adored both cat and Pip, and puppy and kitten embarked on wild games all over the house, while Pip escaped upstairs, behind the dog gate, for a quiet life. By Christmas, puppy was growing like Topsy, and had turned out, despite his initial, diminutive size, to have a Very Large personality. Tigger would have been a better name, he undoubtedly "always seems bigger because of his bounces" and has even managed to make me warm to the Disney version of Tigger, whose "top is made out of rubber, and his bottom is made out of springs". Here is the bouncing boy at ten months:


We knew that his mother was a saluki lurcher, but we had no idea he would turn out like this, nor that the little rat-tail which began to develop a little tuft at the tip would turn into a graceful and silky plume. Nor that he would be the most loving and cuddly creature imaginable.

I had intended, on this first post, to mention the dogs in passing, but they took over. Where Cuddy is involved, that's inevitable. As you may surmise, we are all besotted. Anyway, I think I'd better save other developments of note for another post. And I shall get back to the main subject of this blog, books, very soon, I promise!

By the way, past readers may notice a minor make-over has taken place, but the underpinnings are all essentially as they were.

25 comments:

  1. Lovely post...I would say more but the kitten in my lap so wants to help by chasing the cursor...

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    1. Mine will demand a post to herself after this doggy one!

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  2. Welcome back (and the more dogs, the merrier)!

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    1. Thanks, Cornflower. I hope your dogs are hale and hearty?

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  3. Lovely to see you around again. I would say, truthfully, that I wish Cuddy could come and live at our house, but you know what The Bears are like on the subject of dogs and so all I can say is that he is adorable and I wish he were mine.

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    1. Yes, I really can't imagine The Bears welcoming Cuddy - he comes with very strong teeth and, while I was working this afternoon, attempted to destroy the sofa on the pretence of looking for a bone.

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  4. Lovely to see you posting again! I'm really sorry for your loss, but I'm also glad Cuddy has come into your life. He's gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Ana - yes, we miss Molly, but Cuddy is lovely. I've just dragged myself away from the sofa where he was draped all over me :-)

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Camille - in my absence I've been enjoying reading your blog.

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  6. Welcome back. I didn't realise it had been a year either...

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    1. Time seems to hurtle by these days - sigh.

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  7. Jodi, I'm so glad your back! Love the new look, the banner pic is lovely. Cuddy is fantastic! Looking forward to seeing what Scottish books you've been reading.

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    1. Thank you, Peggy Ann! I'll let you know when I post on Scottish books :-)

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  8. Oh how wonderful to see you! Hi! I am so sorry to hear about your Moll, and glad that you found another dog. Cuddy looks like such a beauty.

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    1. Thanks, Jenny. I still miss Moll, but Pip has gamely stepped up and is now almost always there to be tripped over.

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  9. So glad to see you back again -- although from my sporadic blogging it seems I didn't notice it had been a year :) What a beautiful pup you have.

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    1. One of the casualties of my disappearance was your Postal Challenge, I'm afraid - but you'll be pleased to know I am still sending lots of snailmail, and still have a list of epistolary novels on my TBR list! So thank you for prompting me.

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  10. How lovely to see you back - dogs, books, I don't mind in the least!

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    1. I secretly suspect that most people who read this blog don't mind too much if I talk dogs :-) And there's Loki for the cat lovers.

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  11. It's good to see you back! I knew from Goodreads that you were still reading and now I'm looking forward to reading your posts - I've missed them.

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    1. Thanks, Margaret! One of the things I'm looking forward to is getting back to reading other blogs regularly, too - I've missed yours.

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  12. What a lovely feel-good post about your new puppy, (but sorry about the loss of your dog).
    Since I retired, I've been moving towards thinking about getting a dog. Still not there yet, but posts like yours are powerful influencers.

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    1. We got our first dog when my husband was off work for an extended period - he later took early retirement - and it was the best decision we made at the time. Now I can't imagine life without them. Rescure greyhounds are wonderful companions, with the caveat that they all share a single surname: Houdini :-)

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  13. I love your word 'besotted.' It is perfect. Cuddy is just adorable. I'm so happy for all of you!!! I first heard of lurchers in a Maisie Dobbs book - An Incomplete Revenge. I would like one that was part collie. Looking forward to more postings from you.

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