But, coming back to Britain was just the beginning of another chapter in our lives - and especially in my case because, now I was working from home, I finally had the time to concentrate on writing. I finally had the opportunity to follow my dream. And being at home all day also gave me the chance to fulfill another dream of mine - to get a dog! We'd had a dog when we were kids, but it had been my mum who'd looked after him really. And now I wanted one of my own. I'm actually one of those women who doesn't have kids so I think I just wanted something to care for really, and if it couldn't be a baby, why not a dog? After looking after my sister's West Highland Terrier while she was on honeymoon and then crying when I had to send him back home because I missed him so much, we decided that maybe the time was right to get one of our own. I was a bit concerned about the cream carpets in our relatively new house but I'd decided to try and not get too anal about that - if I wanted this dog then I was going to have to learn to deal with the fact my cream carpets probably wouldn't stay cream for all that long. But it did give me the odd sleepless night and cause us to invest in a steam cleaner for those all-too-common "little accidents" that were bound to happen.
|My dog Archie - Not a big fan of that raincoat...|
So, scanning the local papers one Friday morning we found a kennel that was selling a litter of Westie puppies and rang them up to enquire about the dogs only to find that they'd sold fast and they only had one male puppy left! And I wanted that dog! We'd ideally wanted to go on a Saturday to pick up a puppy (I make that sound like a trip to Asda - it's so far from that!) but the man on the other end of the 'phone said he couldn't guarantee that the dog would still be there on Saturday. And he couldn't "reserve" him for us. So hubby hurriedly re-arranged that morning's appointments and we drove like Lewis Hamilton to the kennels, half an hour away. And when we arrived there, and I saw another couple heading towards the building where the dogs were (I could hear them!) I suddenly morphed into Linford Christie and overtook them, skidding into the building like Speedy Gonzalez without brakes! No way was anyone getting that dog, except me! And the second I laid eyes on him I knew he was coming home with me. Mind you, in hindsight, I should have realised why he'd been left 'til last, the mouthy little bugger! But cute as anything, I was in love right from the off!
So, handing over £300 (we're going to the rescue centre next time!) we took him home. And the first thing he did was pee in the hall, and that's pretty much all he did for the rest of the day - pee! And we'd brought him home totally unprepared, ofcourse, because we had been planning to go out and buy all the stuff he was going to need before we actually brought the puppy home. But best laid plans and all that...
Hubby had had to go back out to work, we had nothing in dog-related at all, not even any food! And I was left - literally - holding the puppy, mainly because if I put him down he'd just pee again! So, I spent the rest of the afternoon putting newspaper down in the hall, runnning outside every 5 minutes to let him do his stuff, and frantically try to find out on the internet what I could feed a puppy when I had no dog food in the house!
By the time hubby got back home later that evening with a car full of everything a puppy could want I was beyond shattered! I could have slept on a washing line!
|Best when he's asleep!|
It also took 3 days to find a name for the dog. The poor thing mustn't have known where he was that first weekend with us calling him one thing, then deciding that didn't sound right so calling him something else. We decided on Archie, finally, sometime on the Sunday afternoon. And from that day onwards Archie became part of our family. We all settled into a routine, I (eventually) stopped being so paranoid about the slightest bit of dirt on my cream carpets (a colour I would not have picked had I known we'd be getting a puppy!) and I soon realised that puppy training pads were the most amazing invention since Sky+! But I love my little dog to bits, even if he does have a mouth on him, hates the postman, and has a strange fascination with the cupboard I keep the pans in. He's spoilt rotten (because I don't have kids - I've got to spoil something!), and I can't think of a life without him now. He's my little companion on the days when I'm locked away in my office writing, (office! Ha! It's the back bedroom, and it's getting re-decorated in the colours I want before Christmas!) he's always there for a cuddle, and he doesn't care if I look crap because I can't be bothered to put mascara on. He also can't answer back, and that's always a plus point.
So, that's me. I've followed Take That round the country in my (not very) mis-spent youth, trained in the Performing Arts, worked as a Media Technician (so I should be more technically minded really, shouldn't I? It was a long time ago...), got married in The Gambia, lived in Tenerife, and came back to the UK to follow my dream of becoming a writer. And I've got the dog I've always wanted. Blimey! When you put your life in a couple of sentences like that it's quite startling! But it isn't over yet, is it? No, in my opinion I''m just getting started, there are loads more chapters of my life to come and I'm quite intrigued to see how they turn out. Because, even though I'm an author, this is one story I can't write the ending for. I'll quite happily leave that up to fate...