Years ago when I was seeing Debs and living in London we bought a dog. Ever since I had first know Debs she was obsessed with dogs, her family in Ireland had a small dog and it was ‘hers’ and when she came to London she missed it very much. She use to stop people in streets and pet their dogs and she would always look at me with that sort of look people look at babies with, that wide eyed ahhhhhhhh.
She was living in Nurses accommodation and sharing with three other nurses and pets naturally weren’t an option but she would see people walking their dogs across the playing fields and call me to see special ones and go all dreamy….so Debs liked dogs…the first year in London her best trip was to Earls Court to see the Crufts Dog Show, she went around stroking all the dogs and then owners got annoyed because then they had to re-comb them for showing later. In particular she liked Sheltie dogs, sort of small Lassie dogs and use to dream of them, yeah substitute children..
So one day when she needed some serious cheering up, some serious distraction I suggested she get a dog at last. We were sharing in Mitcham in a ground floor flat and she really needed something to distract her, so we talked about it and how to manage it and all the ramifications and possible problems but from the moment I suggested it I knew she would have one no matter what the issues..
So we looked in the local papers and looked in Loot ( like Craigs list) and eventually found a Sheltie in East London. I had no idea about that side of the city so we called them on the phone, it was still available and they were very willing to get rid of it for nothing – good home sort of thing so we jumped on about three trains and eventually arrived at this train station in the middle of some very very run down sprawling council estate, I was pretty concerned about our safety but Debs was determined to get that dog ..
So we walked miles and eventually found this block of flats where the family lived, the flat was on the sixth floor and the lifts didn’t work or and there was the smell of pee everywhere, not a good sign but I found the door, rang the doorbell and this…..well, this ‘thing’ opened the door, I think it was a woman, she was huge, dishevelled and smoking and as she was opening the door she was shouting and swearing at some teenage kids running around….
I told her we had come for the dog and she told me to come in and get it, it was tied up on the outside balcony and I was welcome to it, she wanted to get rid of it as they had a new huge monster dog and didn’t want the small dog any longer, it was about one year old and looked scared shitless..it was very thin and unkempt and cowered away from me when I approached it. The house was a disaster zone, the doors were chewed, the carpet stank and had never been hovered and there was clutter and junk and rubbish everywhere.
I gave the woman twenty quid for it and got out as fast as I could, Debs was waiting outside and it was like love at first sight, her eyes just opened up and she was beaming. We got out of there ASAP and back to the train station and home with a great sense of relief.. There was a real sense of “rescuing” that dog from there…
Debs was SO excited and happy, she washed him and fed him and combed and brushed him and it was like every Christmas in her life rolled into one for her
She was working the next couple of days and so was I so in the morning it was walkies at 6am, please do a pee and then he had to stay in the flat, we locked the bedroom door and the living room door and left the kitchen and bathroom and hall open for him to mess around in, he had loads of toys and food and water and a huge doggie basket for him to sleep in……
We went to work and hoped he would be ok but when we come home we were in for a shock……he had went crazy and chewed his way through the doors, there was some sort of honeycomb cardboard holding the door together and he had sat there on his hind legs and scraped and dug at the doors until he had destroyed them, then he went into the living room and peed everywhere and chewed just about everything..disaster zone..and Debs looked so..like so concerned that I was going to get angry with her, of course I didn’t but I thought, shit, we need a flat with a closed off garden…
So Debs took the next few days ‘off sick’ and looked after Honey fulltime, of course she was in her element and just so happy, I had never seen her so happy but then she had to go back to work and I was at work and the same thing happened, we went to work and came back and the place was destroyed, most of the furniture was chewed to bits and the carpet had holes dug in it and there was shit everywhere.
We were in a quandary, Debs loved him but the dog was completely untrained and needed a house with a garden, she was so happy and yet so sad and I started looking for a garden flat.
We had Honey for almost a week when one day I was at home doing things and Debs had taken Honey for a walk. She took an awful long time I thought but eventually she came home but with no dog and crying floods. I thought OMG, fearing the worse I asked what happened, has she run away, has someone stolen her, have you just lost her?? What???
She looked at me very guiltily…
She said she had given Honey away to a stranger…
I said WHAT!! And then she explained..
Whilst she was standing outside Sainsburys about to get some shopping she realised that she didn’t want to tie Honeys lead to the rails incase someone stole him, and as she was wondering what to do a woman of about 40 came along and stopped and petted Honey.
She started chatting to Debs, she lived nearby and had two Sheltie dogs herself, she adored them and her kids loved them as well and she started telling Debs all about them and was obviously an expert on the breed.
She had a large house with a huge garden (you can see where this is leading…) and at the end of the garden it lead onto a park and then common ground and then she said to Debs that one of her dogs had died two weeks ago and the family really missed him and her one son in particular was really distraught about him
So Debs said that she would love to have a setup like that but we only have a small flat and she felt terrible trying to keep Honey inside all day by himself, didn’t mention the fact that he had trashed the flat…probably not wise so the woman invited Debs down to see her house and her other dogs and Debs was thrilled, yes of course she’d love to and off they trotted to the woman’s house, it was only about 20 minutes walk away.
And they got there and Debs saw the huge house, the huge garden and the other Shelties and the kids playing with the dogs and she looked at the woman and thought about it and then just asked her outright would she like to have Honey and of course her kids were all over honey and having great fun and the woman said that she would love to but was Debs sure?
Debs heart was breaking but she knew deep deep down that it was for the best so she put on a brave face and said yes, she was sure, so they let the kids carry on playing with Honey and she went back into the house. The woman was thrilled to have Honey and so were her kids and she told Debs that she could come and visit anytime she liked and take Honey for walks and play with her and Debs left and came home crying floods of tears..
I gave her a big hug but for about two weeks afterwards she was sooo sad, she at long last had a Sheltie and after six days she had given it away..
The thing is, the way I looked at it was that Honey was living in absolute squalor and totally unloved and unwanted by that family that we bought her from, we had honey for about a week to clean him and feed him up and then handed him over to a really nice family with big house, large garden, great kids and two other Shelties for company, he went from one extreme to the opposite in the space of a week and basically The Universe had said, “Look at this poor creature, how on earth can I get it from here..to here” and obviously The Universe used Debs and I can the means to effect that end, we were the conduit for it’s plans, the crappy family were happy to get rid of Honey, Debs was thrilled to have a Sheltie even if it was only for a week, the new family where absolutely thrilled to have a replacement for their own Sheltie and of course Honey was exactly where she was meant to be, in a kind, happy loving home..isn’t The Universe very clever…