Friday, August 29, 2014

My lad and his pride and joy

A few months ago, I recorded that my son had asked for a dog for his birthday, and that I had put my foot down and firmly told him ‘no way’.

I was wise enough to realise that my role in life is to pay the household bills but otherwise stay as quiet as possible and that the only local decision I am allowed to make is when and where to take a dump. And I predicted in the piece that when I returned home from London the following Wednesday from my weekly four-day stint playing my part in keeping the world free by battling for the Truth To Out as a member of Her Majesty’s Press (Puzzles and Tea rounds), there to greet me would most certainly be the puppy I had insisted would never, but never be a pat of our household. And so there was.

Russell, as my son has called him, is a Jack Russell - Russell, geddit - and is a lovely little thing. I soon realised, of course, that my wife also wanted a dog in the house (I’m obviously not enough for her on that score) so the deal was done long, long ago. I must admit I like dogs and I like cats.

My objection to us acquiring a dog is that they are not like some ten-a-penny object which can be bought, broken and tossed out on the same day, but a living thing which deserves as much care as, well, a young child. I kept insisting that a cat should be the answer if we were to have a pet. Cats are simple: after the initial house training, you feed them, and that is about all the care they need. They don’t need to be walked, look after their ‘exercise’ themselves, don’t slavishly run up to you for a bout of affection every 30 seconds and generally are the kind of pet this pragmatist prefers. But it was not to be.

So below is my son and young Russell.

He is still in the early stages of being house-trained and I for one still don’t recognise the signs he gives out when he needs a pee, but generally he has settled in well. He is not the sharpest blade in the box - what dog is except those trotted out on daytime TV who can perform some stupid trick with a box of tissues and a jug of water? - but he has real character and I have taken to him.

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