We never knew poodles were so absorbent. Regular readers of the blog will remember that Lily has paid a couple of unscheduled visits to our pond in the past, but dealing with her weed-bespattered, dripping little form was nothing compared to the epic drama of dealing with a similar incident involving Snippets yesterday evening…
I watched the scene from the kitchen window and was powerless to intervene as she, being curious, jumped up onto the stone edge around the pond and then, with a leap of unsurpassing insouciance and elegance, launched herself innocently into the water which, judging from her reaction, was not quite the medium she had been expecting. Nothing daunted, however, she swam valiantly across the pond and hauled herself out on the far bank – by now liberally festooned with an assortment of weed and leaves, and her fur weighed down by an extremely large sample of pond water.
After a bath in Lily’s usual hot-tub (aka the utility room sink) we then had to repair to the bathroom for specialist intervention with the shower hose – it turns out that poodle fur is very resistant to releasing anything it has captured, so poor Snippets had to endure a good deal of hosing and rinsing until the last vestige of pondlife was exorcised. As we had already discovered, poodle fur is also astonishingly absorbent and three bath sheets were required to dry her – even then we needed another towel for her to sit on during the evening as she continued gently with her dehumidifying process in front of the fire over the next few hours.
She seemed quite content throughout with all the fuss – we’re just hoping she doesn’t decide to increase her possibilities of an Oscar nomination through further performances.
After the sad loss of Hugo earlier this month, we’ve certainly noticed a feeling which I can only describe as “less dogness” in the house. Hugo had a big spirit, and although he was sleeping for 23½ hours out of every 24, he was still very much present. Even with the four other canine members of staff we were left with a space; a vacancy, if you will…
Of course, the laws of physics state that nature abhors a vacuum. We should not have been surprised, therefore, when a candidate obligingly appeared this weekend to audition for the Hugo-shaped space in our lives…
Snippets is a black and white poodle – at first glance resembling a small, rotund and anxious-to-please sheep, she has a perpetually wagging tail and a pair of dark, liquid eyes under a cascade of ringlets which serve to give her a distinctly rakish air. Lily and Poppy came with us to the kennels to collect her and hardly batted an eyelid at the sudden appearance of this woolly little being who was lifted into the back of their car without so much as a by-your-leave.
Within a few hours of her arrival, Snippets was becoming a part of the team. Despite being summarily removed from her old environment and placed somewhere with absolutely no familiar frames of reference, she seemed to take everything completely in her stride. Showing her round the house, she had no hesitation in trying out the sofas (and the beds!) for comfort and sat down by the Aga as if greeting an old friend.
It’s interesting how like Hugo she is in some ways… the shape of her face, the expression of sweetness in her eyes, certain little quirks of character which are starting to emerge as she relaxes into her new home, and even her size all serve to remind us of our absent friend.
Snippets is a very good fit for that Hugo-shaped space in our home and our hearts, and it seems as though, like all of us, she is exactly where she is supposed to be.
I’ve spent a lot of the last two weeks studying and researching so I can add exciting new content to my courses later in the spring. (Bruce Lipton’s book The Biology of Belief is just incredible, and if you haven’t read it I can highly recommend it!) I enjoy sitting at the kitchen table to read and study; there’s a lovely view out over the garden for the times when I want to stop and contemplate something and, of course, the kettle is handy…
The canine members of staff also appreciate my kitchen study-time. They do have the difficult decision to make of whether to sleep on my knee, on the bench next to me, in the dog bed or on the rug in front of the Aga, but after a bit of shuffling they seem to cope with that. Theo makes particularly good relaxing noises from time to time and Daisy will do one of her famous squeaky yawns… Poppy snores and Lily’s feet twitch as she dreams…
Yesterday afternoon I was working at the dental practice. The morning had been spent in study and I had left everything on the kitchen table to await my return. John was first into the kitchen when we arrived home and he discovered a strange little object in the middle of the kitchen floor… which turned out to be a tiny metal spring, amalgamated with a piece of chewed plastic – the mortal remains of the propelling pencil I had been using to make my notes.
I’m not sure what was so attractive about the pencil (although it was pink, which seems to be Theo’s favourite colour) but fortunately the other items on the table had escaped relatively unscathed; I had to re-write the top page of notes (slightly torn) and my bookmark was discovered in the dog bed, but the textbook and the rail tickets which had arrived in that day’s post were untouched…
I suspect a Theo/Lily joint venture here; they both love to indulge their wanton curiosity. Their motto seems to be, “If it smells of you, we want it; if it’s crunchy, we will eat it and if you leave it where we can reach it then it’s ours.” Theo has in the past demonstrated a talent for stealing things from the kitchen table (usually unguarded food, particularly after a dinner party) and Lily loves to chew crunchy things (recent casualties include an adaptor from a favourite lamp and my mother’s hearing aid, and previously a pair of John’s glasses – no squeaky plastic toy is safe). Together, mother and son, they make a formidable team!
Theo and Lily’s Teachings:
...and the Canine Members of Staff