We love animals in this house, despite not having any – because when I say house, I mean first floor flat, so no garden and not quite enough space to accommodate any more inhabitants. And then there’s the fact that me and Daddy-O both work. And commute. So it wouldn’t be fair to have pets, which is a shame, because Tibbons is animal mad. Like me, dogs seem to be his favourite; whenever he catches sight of one he exclaims “Ba!” and a grin breaks out on his lovely face, his eyes lively and alert – he is ready to play! And desperate to get over to said dog. Or cat, goat, sheep, bird – he loves them all!
We were fortunate therefore that the villa where we were staying on our recent holiday had a family dog who had the free run of the place and frequently joined us on our terrace. It wasn’t long before we were firm friends – I think the family who own and live in the top part of the villa probably got a bit annoyed with us, Boo would frequently seek us out, or follow us on our walks into the village and we would have to drop him off at the family taverna where they would call their daughters to come and collect him! We tried taking him back ourselves but he would not be persuaded. It was heartbreaking on our last day when he ran after the car as fast as his little legs would carry him as we drove off – the sight of him slowly fading in my rear view mirror, I felt quite sad. I would love for Tibbons to have the experience of having a pet – that companionship, a pure, loving relationship that often provides children with their first lessons in responsibility, commitment and, eventually, in handling loss. But for now, Tibbons will have to make do with his near life-size dalmatian soft toy, Geoffrey. Lovely as he is, I can’t help feeling it’s not quite the same thing.
Do you have pets? How do they get on with your children, and your children with them? Tibbons was really gentle with Boo, which was a pleasant surprise as Geoffrey doesn’t benefit from quite the same treatment, and nor do me or Daddy-O!