The phone rang. “I’m bringing home a puppy, we don’t have to keep him but he needs to go to the vet” Clive said.
Oh dear, I thought, Oscar (our beloved cat) hates dogs, we won’t be able to keep him.
I organised puppy milk, and the loan of a puppy cage and rang the vet to ask if we could take him straight through and then waited for Clive’s arrival.
As soon as I picked up the tiny brown and white trembling fluffy bundle, (one of three found dumped at the side of a road before being rescued by my husband Clive, who had been working on a site nearby) I couldn’t help but love him. I named him Jasper, a fatal mistake according to my sister, as once named they are a member of your family and they will definitely be staying,
The vet thought that Jasper was probably 4-5 weeks old and he was very dehydrated and had ticks, fleas and worms. The vet asked if we were keeping him and what treatments we wanted him to have; “Everything” was my response, as I knew in my heart that he would be going nowhere.
After a few days he settled in and soon became a happy, healthy, boisterous puppy.
We attended puppy training when he was about 3 months old, and a lady with a rather magnificent Rottweiler puppy asked me; “what is he?” Jasper’s breed is often the topic of conversation, as in certain lights he looks a bit Jack Russell, and at others times a bit Spaniel or Collie, and when he has his annual groom he definitely has a bit of Corgi about him, so who knows?
He loves his treats, in particular the handmade dog biscuits from Branching Out (plus the occasional small piece of cheese) so we called him our ‘Snackadoodle!’.
His absolute favourite place is on his blanket which is strategically positioned in the centre of the sofa between me and Clive, perfect for a romantic night in for three!
I entered him into the ‘Cutest Crossbreed’ Category at the Camelot Creature Comforts Fun Dog Show last year and he was awarded fourth place. The prize was a blue plastic rugby ball shaped toy which was perfect, and for Jasper it was like winning the top prize!
When Jasper found us, I didn’t quite know how we were going to cope having a dog, as Clive and I both work full-time and have many commitments outside of work, but we do manage and we love him to bits and couldn’t imagine life without our little Snackadoodle now.
I’ve met some lovely people around the village since we’ve had Jasper as I’m always out walking with him. I also realise how important it is to be a responsible dog owner and always make sure that I have doggy poo bags tied on the handle of Jasper’s lead as it is so easy to forget to put them in your pocket.
It’s great having a dog but I appreciate that not everyone feels the same about animals, and no-one wants to have to negotiate a pile of dog poo on the pavement, even if you own a dog yourself. We’re running an awareness campaign at the Parish Council and have posters that residents can put up in their street if they have particular issue with it. It is also worth pointing out to dog owners that they can put their dog poo bags in any ECDC waste bin and do not have to only use the dog poo bins that are placed around the village.