I've just taken my dog Crispin over to stay with my son Adrian for the weekend.The dog was over joyed, not just because he loves my son but the house is where he used to live before I moved here. He knows every crevice, every crack, what time the postman comes, its his old territory from where he used to forge out every day to walk the cliff paths or to play on the beach.
I havn't asked if my son is planning to take him to the pub but Crispin is equally at home there, greeting old friends and wagging his tail hopefully at any new ones.
We are slowly reaching the realisation that when Crispin dies we wont have another animal, ever. Our cat went last week and Crispin will be 14 soon. When he pops his clogs we shall have no pet family left. My husband's children bought him his last kitten and may well try to do the same thing again but the bottom line is that any young dog or cat we take on is going to outlive us in all probability. Sad but true. Also we go away alot so it wouldn't be fair on any animal until our wandering days are over.
Adrian told me earlier that they are thinking about getting a dog. His partner says she'll think about it if he gives up smoking! Sounds a brilliant idea...a win win situation! I told him it was a small price to pay for the wonderful gift of a dog.
What sort of dog was the next question. A springer spaniel!!! A hard choice for your first dog but wonderful! Our Springer, William was balmy, utterly, gloriously balmy. We had him in North Wales where he had an entire mountain side to explore and run and dig in.
I would love to be the Grandma of another Springer....but not its mum!
He was hard work! He also had what they call in America, a rage syndrome. He would be happy curled up on your knee, at peace with the world when suddenly he would go stiff and start growling.
The only member of the family he never bit was me so on those days I would take him up the mountain till the vets closed!
In the end he had a brain tumour and had to be put to sleep....
That's not going to happen again I am sure. I would love to have another springer in my life, even if just as its nan!