Crushed Diaries

A blog for Young Adults

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Walking The Dogs

I used to take Honey and Sophy for long walks round Regents Park, which is a good fifteen minutes from where I live. Us three always used to go by foot to the park (we never caught the bus), but I didn’t mind as I knew that walking on the pavement was good for the dog's toenails. There were dogs of all shapes and sizes in the park, and Honey and Sophy used to know them all. They all used to run towards each other, wagging their tales and barking, except Honey and Sophy didn’t bark much – they were too refined! I used to know all the dogs’ owners in the park. Paul McCartney has a house nearby, so he was always there walking his sheepdog. He was nice and friendly and always smiled at my dogs and I always used to smile at his dog, who seemed nice but was not nearly as delectable as my whippets. Paul even asked a friend of my mum’s to go with him someplace in the country so they could run their dogs around there, but my friend’s Mum was an old fogey who didn’t realise he was a Beatle so turned down his invitation. She thought he wanted to get off with her, which was ridiculous as Paul was young enough to be her son. I even got friendly with an old gangster in the park – well I didn’t know if he was a real gangster, but he wore knuckle-dusters, and had huge Great Danes which he said guarded his house day and night.

Mum loved our whippets so much, she even raced them outside London. She had quickly dumped her dreams of showing them at Crufts dog show, when she was told that their ears stuck up too much. They weren’t pedigree enough. Honey and Sophy loved racing, and so did Mum, as she was the only lady who raced her dogs. All the other whippet owners were men who wore caps, drank out of hip flasks, and rolled up their cigarettes with a vengeance. Yes, it was great having dogs as you always had a wonderful excuse to speak to other people who had four legged best friends. Mind you, the owners never looked at each other, but just looked at each other’s canine pets all the time.

After Honey died in his dog basket during the night (I still can't bear to think about it), Sophy got a bit peculiar and hated being left alone in the house by herself. She used to cry and cry until one of us returned to give her another bowl of water and a doggy chocolate drop. All the neighbours used to complain about Sophy’s crying but there was nothing we could do about it.

I used to look after some black lurchers (they were a cross between greyhounds and whippets), who belonged to some friends who lived up the road. Once I even slept in their house while they were away. It was bonfire night, so I went out to a fireworks party, but felt very worried about leaving the lurchers alone in the house, especially as I knew that the eldest dog hated fireworks. In fact, I had a intuition that something was wrong, so I left the party early and hurried back to the house. My worst fears were realised. The police were outside. Apparently, the dogs had gone berserk and had somehow managed to set off the alarm bell, which had been ringing since I left. They were so relieved to see me and I was so relieved it wasn’t a burgulary – the police had come in with me to check that nothing had been stolen, I cooked a filet steak which was festering in the fridge, and gave it to the dogs for their dinner. I then fed them both loads of doggy chocolate drops and allowed them both to sleep in my bed. Luckily, they weren’t sick. After the owners came back, I bumped into them in the street. They were with the lurchers who jumped up all over me and cried and sobbed when the owners led them away. I used to love those lurchers, but they weren’t nearly as adorable as Honey and Sophy.

Copyright: Frances Lynn, 2006


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