As though the twins weren’t keeping us busy enough, we decided to add another two members to our busy household.
We had gone to meet V, V & v a while ago and the twins took to a giant teddy bear there. So one day last week Amit said he’d like to get a couple of dogs for the twins. He meant stuffed toys, but I thought he meant the real thing. And of this simple misunderstanding, was a crazy idea born. We both got carried away with the thought of real dogs, and set about working out how it could be done.
On Monday, Saturday seemed very far away, but however slowly, time rolled inexorably on, and at last Saturday was here.
It’s never easy leaving home with the kids, but it’s so much more difficult on a Saturday morning, when you’re feeling tired and short of sleep, impatient, eager, just a bit tense, and in a hurry to get somewhere. Despite everything, we managed to leave home by 11, and reached the animal shelter, CUPA, by noon.
Of course, we had had other dreams: a golden retriever, maybe even an Irish Setter. Maybe even a pair! But in the end I think we always knew we’d end up picking up a mongrel pup from somewhere.
I’d been to CUPA once before, four or five years ago. That time, I’d been captivated by one particular dog, whose sweet brown eyes followed me everywhere. I’d also been shocked to see many amputee dogs, hopping around quite happily on three legs. This time, I was prepared for the amputees, and hopeful that we both – or all four – would be similarly captivated. But we were shown a small collection of scraggly mongrel pups, with nothing much to distinguish one from the other. There was particularly frisky pup, a few months old – but he was apparently “boarding” there, not for adoption.
Amit wanted tiny pups, but the staff there encouraged us to go for the bigger pups, perhaps not entirely sure that the tiny ones would survive. The one Amit liked looked particularly weak, small, and lacklustre.
I had decided that on the whole females would be better, so we picked two girls, not from the same litter. One was small, hairy, snub-nosed, and flop-eared, light brown in colour. The other was larger and older (about three-and-a-half months, we were told); she had the face of an Alsatian, with a long, thin, pointy snout and sharp, pointy ears. She looked intelligent and eager. Her expression, more than her looks, reminded me of Cassie. She was terribly thin, but her coat was sleek and black.
The first pup, the smaller one, we were told, had a skin infection and they weren’t confident of curing it, so they asked us to pick another. We looked around, but there wasn’t much choice. Amit firmly wanted two, though – one for each girl, he said. So in the end we took that girl’s brother, apparently from the same litter, instead.
There was some paperwork, then inoculations and de-worming, which we had to pay for, and then we were done. Altogether, we spent about an hour and a half at CUPA, which was not too bad.
I would have held the pups in the car on the way home, but Amit voted to keep them in the back of the car. It was a long drive, perhaps their first, and at least one of them was sick on the way. But we were home by a little after 2, and now we were six.