For such a long time he had wanted a dog. Not a cat. Not a rabbit. Certainly not a guinea pig. It had to be a dog. And not just any dog.
"I want a golden retriever!" Mr 10 begged with imploring eyes.
A majestic golden retriever with a glossy coat, melting, mischievous brown eyes and boundless energy. They could play and lollop and frolic and have so much fun! Mr 10's eyes shone with such grand visions.
But there would be poop, I reminded him. LOTS of poop.
"I'll clean it up!" he insisted.
Mickey Blue Eyes and I looked at each other nonplussed. We were slowly warming to the idea of a dog. Mr 10 had his heart set on it. But we weren't convinced about a golden retriever.
I'm not really a fan of gigantic horse-like dogs. Or tiny little over grown rat-like yappers. But I do like some dogs.
Wise, warm-hearted dogs who are fiercely loyal and full of character. Like Samantha, the sausage dog we had when I was a child. She was like a human trapped in the body of a bandy-legged, rotund dachshund. She was amazing. I wanted Mr 10 to have a dog like that. A furry best friend.
We scanned the Internet looking for just the perfect pooch. There were many tears of frustration from Mr 10 who wanted it all to happen NOW. The idea of being able to save a dog from death row at the pound appealed to Mick and I.
Accordingly, we set off one afternoon to check out the possibilities. Upon entering the pound we were greeting by a cacophony of raucous barking. Menacing mutts the size of Mexico roared their indignation at being behind bars.
Mr 10 and 6 promptly burst into tears. Meanwhile, Mr 13 had wisely waited in the car. He wasn't as keen on the dog idea. Eventually we were able to coax the boys to have a further look at all the cages. It was very dispiriting. The dogs were all obviously unsuitable. Although I felt awful seeing them all locked up like that at the same time I would have been fearful of them being let out.
We returned home with a dejected Mr 10. A few weeks passed. More Internet searching ensued. This led to discovering Sydney Dogs And Cats Home. One Sunday Mick took Mr 10 and 6 for a drive there.
A few hours later Mr 10 came bounding into the house.
"Mum, we have a dog!" he was beaming. He led me outside and there she was. A beautiful and gentle fox terrier. She wasn't a puppy, but she was wise, loyal and full of character. He named her Cookie.
It seems like it was meant to be. Now she's part of our family. She's a bit of tart in that she loves everyone and anyone. An extrovert dog in an introvert family. She'd be completely useless as a guard dog. She'd welcome any thieves with a wagging tail and be excited to meet new friends!
She sits at the back door, gazing in with her mournful eyes. Other times, when I walk past, there she is, head tilted, expression quizzical. Yes, dogs DO have expressions.
The funniest thing is her antics in regard to Henrietta our pet parakeet. She bolts down to her aviary in the backyard in her headlong fashion. Reaching the cage she tenses, ready to pounce. The hairs on her back stand up as she lunges her little fox terrier frame frantically at the cage, eyes never leaving Henrietta.
Henrietta is totally unruffled. She saunters down from her perch to the edge of the cage and proceeds to taunt Madam Cookie.
"Hello!" she chirps, chest proud. Cookie hurtles higher up to the cage, incensed.
"Hello!" Henrietta keeps mocking her.
It's like watching the cat and mouse shenanigans of Tweety and Sylvester and hilarious viewing.
Cookie would indeed relish the opportunity to have Henrietta in her clutches. Funnily enough, she never barks at her. She just keeps lunging at the cage repeatedly. Despite the fact that this pursuit never pays off, she is quite persistent in her efforts, our little Sylvester,.. I mean, Cookie!
Afterwards she will bound back across the grass to Mr 10 and rest her paws on his legs, tail pulsating. She is happiest in these moments.
She snoozes on the back porch throughout the day, waiting for her beloved boy to return home from school for cuddles and play. They already have an unbreakable bond. I'm glad they have each other. Having a dog was such a comfort to me as a child. I love to think of Mr 10 having that same comfort.
It's also good finally having another girl in the family, even it is only a dog!
And yes, Mr 10 cleans up her poop. Someone has to and it might as well be him. He has to learn, doesn't he? Ahem. Besides, I've cleaned up enough poop in my time.
Cookie will be a part of our family for many years to come. When she finally goes to doggie heaven we'll most likely adopt again. It's good to have a furry friend.
Linking up for The Lounge.
Do you have any pets?