The Lovable Pets In My Life
First there was Mickey. He was a mixed breed, but what kind of dogs his mother and father were was anyone’s guess. He was brown with big, flopping ears that were pretty awesome. Dogs with little ears prick them up, but big floppy ears stay flat on either side of a dog's head unless they are running, then they fly all over the place. Mickey's ears were COOL! They defied the laws of gravity and stood straight out on either side of his head when he heard a noise. They looked like the wings of an aeroplane and he looked like he was about to take off. But in case you’re wondering, no, he couldn’t fly – he didn’t have super powers. I adored him but have to admit that he was no oil painting. That said, he was loyal and would defend me with his last breath, pulling his lips back in an angry snarl when anyone came along that he didn’t like. What more could a six-year-old want than a furry Guardian Angel?
Next came Dicey. My dad came in from work one day and a little black and white furry head popped out of his coat pocket. He worked in a coal-fired power station and a stray cat had sneaked into the turbine hall and given birth to a litter of kittens. He decided to bring one home for myself and my brother. It was the most adorable kitten, which immediately got the name Dicey because of its numerous black and white spots that made him look just like the dice you would throw in snakes and ladders. As time went by, this tiny bundle of fur grew and grew until he got pretty huge. In fact, he was so tall, he would stand on the front doorstep, stretch up, lift the door knocker with one of his paws and bang it repeatedly demanding to be let in.
The next furry arrival to our home was Rusty. Unlike Mickey, Rusty was beautiful AND posh. He was a pedigree Beagle and had a very long, fancy name, like he should have lived at Buckingham Palace. We didn’t like it, so we called him plain old Rusty because he was rust coloured - with some black and white thrown in. Well, he was born in Newcastle. His long soft ears felt like velvet when you rubbed them. Rusty was a character with a capital C. Beagles have a great sense of smell and you often see them at airports with security staff sniffing for illegal food and stuff. They have lovely natures and are very popular pets. His nose was more or less permanently on the ground sniffing. How he didn’t rub it away on the pavements and roads, I’ll never know. As a pup, he often tripped over kerbs and crashed into lampposts when he was following an interesting smell. One day he flipped over a piece of wood and a dozen newborn mice ran out between his legs. They were blind and ran around helter skelter in total confusion. They must have been terrified. But Rusty was even more scared. He squealed like he'd confronted an angry rhino and ran for the hills with his tail tucked between his legs.
My last dog, Pernod, was a cross Whippet. I got him from a rescue shelter. I say "got him" but he really “got me”. I was looking in the cages, my heart torn not knowing which dog to pick because I wanted to take them ALL home. When I came to Pernod (he wasn’t called that at the time), he grabbed my finger in his mouth and wouldn't let go. It wasn't a bite, more like a handshake. If that wasn't a sign he wanted me to take him, the pleading look in his eyes won me over. He was only a few months old, had been found all alone on the streets and didn’t have a name, so I took him home and called him Pernod.
Goldfish aren’t as cuddly as dogs or cats, although I couldn’t say for sure because I haven’t tried to hug one. If you have, let me know how it feels. But we had so many over the years, that I’ll give them a mention. Every June a huge fair comes to my home town of Newcastle. When I say huge, I mean gigantic. In fact, it's Europe’s biggest travelling fun fair. It has got bigger and bigger ever year and this year there were over 300 rides, food stalls and attractions. It began in 1882 and tens of thousands of people go there every year for the white-knuckle rides, to stuff themselves with candyfloss and toffee apples and play games.
My favourite game was Hook a Duck. Dozens of plastic ducks floated around a circular water trough. The bright yellow ducks have metal rings on their heads and you use a pole with a hook at one end to capture a duck. All the ducks look the same, but some have a number underneath, which you can’t see, and you can only win a goldfish if you hook a duck with a winning number on.
That's about it for the moment about my pets, but I’d love to hear about your pets and anything they’ve been up to. Drop me a line …
You can read a sample of WOOF - A Boy's Best Friend HERE
Have fun reading. Bye for now.