Blackwatertown has a post about the relationship between people and their pets, which got me thinking about our wee Mutt.
Many moons ago a dinky dog wandered up our street and into our hearts. She was a stray, and when she hadn’t been claimed after a few days, the Brother and the Old Man went to rescue her from being put down. Herself came home from work to find a new family member, and the men of the house grinning guiltily. Mutt had us all wound round her little white socked paw before long.
The Brother was a would-be macho teen at the time, and decided to call this pretty, precise little thing ‘Rambo’. The name made it into bureaucracy- a dog licence was needed- but didn’t last. Nobody else could bear to use it. And so Mutt she was.
Pomeranian dogs have a reputation for being snappy, yappy, cross, small dogs. Mutt was only small. She didn’t know that however, and happily squared up to anything she felt to be intruding on her space- horses, cows, pigeons… The large animals looked at her with some disbelief, while birds and cats appeared to tease her unmercifully. She never quite grasped the limitations of a full length window and would get wildly frustrated as next door’s cat slank back and forwards in front of her, out of reach.
Mutt loved the snow. She’d rear up on her hind legs and flop down, sending skiffs of snow up round her face- a delight to watch. She hated water as much as she loved snow- bath, sea or rain were to be avoided at all costs. Wet, she was like a drowned rat and had to tear off round the garden at speed, drying herself through sheer speed, and along the hedge.
Mutt would have been totally useless as a guard dog- each new person was a friend, to be greeted with waggy tail and an opportunity for petting. An intruder would have been licked to death, or, if he’d any food, been able to lure her away while he went about his nefarious business.
The Old Man was her hero. She’d trail after him and he loved it. She was baffled when he got too ill to be able to tolerate her lying on top of him, but she made do with the rest of us. When Herself spent a lot of time in Spain, Mutt came to stay with me for weeks at a time, adapting to a tiny terraced house with no outside space, but a real fire and a park within easy reach. A real fire and a park made up for a lot. When Herself came back, Mutt nearly exploded with joy, bringing a tear to the driest eye.
When Herself went to live in Spain, rather than just visit, Mutt got a new home in the country with family friends. Land to run round and a range to lie in front of. A little bit of doggy heaven, before old age finally took her there. We were all badly hit by that. She was one of us and she was gone.