Revisiting an old post today from the weekly Life’s a Journey series which reflect on life’s journey, old memories and family stories (see below for more info).
We were in the car. I was, at a guess, about 7 years old. Mum was driving (as per the norm) and my aunt was riding shotgun. I remember it SO clearly…
“Where are we going mum?”
There was an air of excitement about the journey, even though I had no clue about the planned destination. I think it had been badged as a ‘surprise’.
“OK”, said my mum. “What is it that you want more than anything in the whole world?”
I pondered this for a millisecond, my seven-year-old brain whirling with the knowledge that I had been banging on about one particular thing which I desperately wanted for months. I had sustained a relentless nagging which I seriously doubted would ever actually pay off. Could it really be that? Wow, I really had better parents than I had thought!
“Is it a……hhhorse?” I ventured, tentatively.
“Ah. No.” The reply, accompanied by a stifled snigger, spoke volumes. It had been too much to hope. Probably some crabby relative we’re visiting or something equally boring.
“Try something a bit smaller.”
Oh well, in for a penny…..“A…dog?” I offered.
Had my mother really just agreed to buy us a dog?! I leaned forward between the two front seats and screamed (this was the pre Clunk-Click-Every-Trip era) and planted huge kisses on both womens’ cheeks.
This was the day that Folly, the Terrier cross-breed entered our lives.
She was small & black, with a curious ginger beard and a white throat. She had only half a tail – an unfortunate case of mistaken umbilical identity by her mother at birth. She was a beauty, much loved, gentle and loving, and she was our constant companion for about 7 years until her sad demise in 1981. She gave us 7 delightful puppies (an unplanned pregnancy!) in around 1978, which crawled all over each other in the garden shed like little mice. My brother and I adored and named them all, and begged to keep one. Sooo not happening.
In the intervening years, pets have played a huge part in my life. There was:-
- a Guinea Pig named Suki
- a pair of gerbils (Bubble & Squeak – don’t judge me, the names don’t get any better as you read on…)
- a scruffy mongrel dog, Sam, whom I inherited from a scruffy mongrel boyfriend. He simply like me better. Who wouldn’t?
- a hamster called Scratchy, and
- a fierce (and also inherited) English Bull Terrier called Sweep (another case of love me, love my enormous vicious killer dog).
All of the above sadly departed.
Latterly, as children arrived, pets made a resurgence. So much so that my life is now dominated by furry friends and I am a veritable Doctor Dolittle. Owning a pet is the icing on the cake of childhood, is’t not?
Meet, respectively :-
a) Dandy & Rosie, our Border Terrier brother and sister (we went for one and came home with two. I am weak).
b) Tarzan, the Siberian puss – yes, again with the stupid names.
c) Pancake (what?! It’s flat-shaped!) the vegetarian lizard – in a bid to finally satisfy my eldest’s unquenchable thirst for animals to ignore and for mummy to feed & tend.
We are critter-lovers, I cannot deny it. They bring a degree of joy and fun to our family life which is irreplaceable, along with a degree of chaos which I could well do without.
Other posts in this series:-
Week 1 – My earliest baby photo
Week 2 – Old School Portrait
Week 3 – Earliest Writings
Week 4 – Bestest Friends
Week 5 – Teenage Crushes
Week 6 – First Movie Memories
Week 7 – The Song You Snogged Your Hand To
Week 8 – Homage to Grandparents
Week 10 – Tying the Knot (again)
Week 11 – Blue: Girl Guide Uniform Shambles
Week 12 – Cuddly Companions
Week 13 – A Rope, Some Pals and Jelly on a Plate
Week 14 – Pink NHS Specs, 1975
Week 16 – The Lo-Tech Times of Childhood
Week 17 – Rollermania!
Week 18 – Old Teen Magazines
Week 19 – Becoming a Parent
Week 20 – First Parent-less Holidays