The phone rang. It was 8pm and ten days before Christmas. We were in the middle of supper.
It was the Doodle Trust and they had a cockapoo that needed a new family within the next week. Were we interested?
It had been so long since we’d registered with various rescue charities that it wasn’t on our minds at all and I’d presumed it just wasn’t to be. I didn’t know what to say. My mind raced. We’d kind of moved on from having a dog. The lady was clearly on a train and the reception wasn’t good. I was afraid she would hang up.
We had various trips planned in the run up to the 25th, none of which were conducive to a dog tagging along.
The lady asked if she could visit within the next few days to see if we liked the dog and check the allergy situation? (Dear Daughter and I are allergic to cats and dogs, but poodles and poodle crosses are often good for allergy sufferers as depending upon their coats, many of them don’t moult/produce much dander).
We were pretty busy in the run up to Christmas. But we don’t have anything here for a dog!
The lady said not to worry, she would bring along everything that was needed. They’d drop her over for ½ a day and we’d take it from there.
So, before we knew it, she was here. Two days later the doorbell rang, and a bundle of little energy called Bessie charged into the house. Along with her brush and comb, a ball, some salmon fish treats and 5 poop bags.
Four hours flew by. I could hardly keep up with her. We set up various ‘bed’ areas for her on rugs and blankets, but Bessie made straight for the sofa...
This little lady knew where she wanted to be. Within an hour, she had explored the entire house and was lolling luxuriously on Dear Daughter’s pristine white bedspread (somewhere no one in the family had ever previously been allowed to sit).
She did circuits of the garden, met the Admiral, played ball, watched TV and had a few quick naps. But most of all, she liked having her coat brushed by Dear Daughter and curling up on the sofa.
Her foster Mum arrived to pick her up at tea time; we waved goodbye and sat down, mute; the little whirlwind had gone. We decided not to discuss whether or not we wanted to give her a forever home until we’d slept on it. So far so good re the allergy situation, as neither myself not Dear Daughter had any reaction, but we’d wait until the morning just to be sure. This was too important a decision to rush.
Next morning, I started googling dog beds and I spotted Devoted Doctor wandering around the garden boarders checking if there were any holes in the hedging.
We didn’t say anything, as I think we were both nervous that the other one wouldn’t be keen, but it was an implicit understanding that life wasn’t ever going to be quite the same again.
I just wasn’t sure how Dear Daughter would react. She eventually came down to breakfast.
‘How did you sleep? I asked. ‘OK’ she said and promptly burst into tears! ‘What’s the matter?’ I asked. ‘I just miss Bessie’ she said.
It was at that point that I realised little Bessie had already become part of the family and that Santa Claus had brought us all something quite special and unexpected this year.
By Christmas Day we would have a new member of the family and we were all determined to give her the happy home that she deserved.