I never wanted a dog.
I just knew I would be saddled with parenting that hound, and end up loving it too much. As if it was the fifth sibling to my human brood. I knew I would be the one cleaning the lawn of daily deposits, sweeping up mounds of earth, fur and small dead creatures brought in for closer examination on the entrance hall rug. I dreaded the daily howl that would come just before five, signalling an urgent desire to 'be walked'. As if.But they nagged and moaned and pleaded.
Those inglorious basterds!
So, when my sister in law offered us one of her labrador puppies, I knew my number was up. We fetched him when he was ten weeks old ( a month later then suggested) and he travelled home queasily in a cardboard box. Mr Nielson better known as Sid, insisted that he live outside. By day two, Sid had compromised, and that darn hound took ownership of downstairs. My mother named him Baxter, because my childhood dog was called Actor and tradition is tradition after all.
Madam our tabby cat tried to adapt. But. Alas. After several unfortunate encounters, she took to the second floor with relief. Sometimes she sits at the window in our bedroom looking down at Baxter at play in the garden and she remembers the good old days. Poor girl. Four years later, her cat box is still in our once upmarket bathroom. At night, when we hear her 'up to no good' in the litter box, Mr Nielson likes to remark upon the 'wildlife' in the en suite! Madam likes to walk over us at night. But that is another story.
In the meantime.
It is just as I imagined it.
Everyday the floors get swept up, like some Japanese hair salon! Piles of thick, straight black hair fall from that dog as if to taunt me. Open a kitchen cupboard,and there in the middle of your finest pot, damning evidence of a single straight, thick black hair!!
Everyday, large deposits are left for me to discover and retrieve from the front lawn.
Everyday, Baxter sits at the bottom of the stairs, and cries like a baby till you take him for a walk.
And everyday, I just love that darned dog more.
Don't tell the others but he just may end up to be my favourite child!