I am very happy to present this guest post by Di, of the blog pensitivity101. Enjoy!
The Door Dog
by Di of pensitivity101
I’ve been asked to do a guest post for Cordelia’s Mom, so here goes.
We have dogs in common, so I thought that a good subject, especially as Famous Last Words was her post that triggered the invitation.
As a kid, we always had a dog, and the pup in my response was a collie cross terrier. He got his name (“Favour”) for the reason he was acquired, and that was as a favour for an old boy on the site where Dad was working who needed a back door. Dad just happened to have a door that was suitable, so he was a forerunner for recycling really. The old man had no money though, so gave Dad the pick of the litter instead.
I would’ve been about 5 or 6 at the time, and remember that day.
My cousin was staying with us, and Mum had taken the three of us to the pictures. When we got home, she saw this dog under the table and refused to take her coat off as it hadn’t been that long since Mum had walked our previous dog to the vet for the last time.
“Either it goes or I do!” she said.
Mum and Dad didn’t argue, but as Dad made Mum a cup of tea, he explained about the door, the old man having no money, and not wishing to offend him by refusing his offer of a puppy in payment. Mum was adamant and wanted no part of it. The dog wisely stayed under the table and us kids were told to leave it alone.
As Mum supped her tea, she got a little warm and undid her coat, but didn’t take it off. She was saying that she couldn’t cope with another dog and Dad was being unfair to expect her to so soon. The pup moved closer, Mum continued to drink her tea, Dad passed the biscuits, the dog was suddenly on her lap, and Mum was still saying no when she realised she was stroking it. She knew she’d lost the argument, and the dog stayed.
Favour was amazing. He let my sister practice her first aid on him, let me dress him up (though unlike the cat, he refused to be pushed in the pram), and he was a randy little canine. He could sense a potential girlfriend for miles, and went after her. Dad said he must have fathered about thirty pups if markings were anything to go by.
Favour had the postmaster and postmistress eating out of his paw, they insisted he was ‘starving’ and fed him treats whenever they saw him until they realised who he belonged to. He loved being vacuumed, and would guard the cupboard under the stairs to stop it being put away until he was ‘done’. On family picnics, he liked to be tossed in the blanket, or go up on the slide. He’d pinch sausage rolls from fingers that never felt them taken, would leave toffees on the table but walnuts were fair game, and a slice of melon gave him the smile of the century.
If we went to the ice cream parlour on a Saturday, Favour would have his own dish with a scoop of vanilla.
Favour protected us from strangers, and it was hysterical that he’d let people into the house — they could fuss him, feed him biscuits, treats, probably even best steak, but he wouldn’t let them out again!
The lady opposite liked garden gnomes, and came strutting over with one to have a go at my Dad. Our dog had destroyed her gnome, she said. It was her favourite, the most expensive and best of her display, she ranted. Dad was trying hard to keep a straight face, and promised to have a replacement for her the following day. He bought one on a swing, but asked to keep the damaged one. This chewed and distorted lump of plastic (probably an improvement on the original design) was put in the centre of the curtain pelmet over the french doors in the lounge, and if ever Favour did anything he shouldn’t, it was pointed at. The dog would hang his head, put his tail between his legs and take himself to bed as punishment.
Favour lived to be over 17, probably the oldest of my parents’ dogs. He was deaf, almost blind and had few teeth when his time came, and it was several years before Mum and Dad got another. We had all left home by then, and for a while, Mum expected Dad to come home with a puppy to surprise her. He never did, and she got more and more disappointed.
The day Dad did bring a new dog home (a tri-colour rough collie/lassie dog), Mum was so excited, she clapped her hands in glee like a little girl. That dog lived to be 15.
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Top and bottom images by Cordelia’s Mom; gnome image by Di of pensitivity101