Yah boo hiss.
Today, it’s my birthday; & for the fourth year in succession, Tony won’t be here to celebrate with me as he has been scheduled to work “down route”, so the airline terminology deems. But never mind – because we’re going to a party….
Well, when I say “we”, I don’t literally mean the “Royal We”; in fact, it’ll be just Brynn & I. And it’s not my party; it is in fact, his. We’ve been invited to (of all things) a Christmas Party, for local pups; however I think it’s a great idea as it means he’ll get to socialise with lots of other dogs for the first time since leaving his littermates.
It’s a busy day, & feels most unbirthday-like; no cards & no pressies, although I did get a beautiful floral display from Tony, who ‘phoned during a brief spell on the ground to wish me Many Happy Returns. But, admittedly, I suppose I’m getting to that ‘certain age’ when I’d rather start to forget just how old(er) I’m getting!
Anyhow; the Puppy Party was well worthwhile. I spent much of the morning getting Brynn used to wearing his canine car harness, & sitting quietly beside me in a moving vehicle; after all, he hasn’t travelled since coming home other than for the occasional trip to the vet for his necessary vaccinations. The afternoon was spent hurrying to Food Centre Wales to pick up a substantial consignment of gelato for Saturday’s Christmas Fayre in Pembroke; & then, after doing the evening chores, we made our way to the party.
Brynn was nervously quiet en route; & certainly, with sleety rain battering the car & a fierce wind, causing me to squint with grim determination through the sweeping blades of the windscreen wipers, it felt neither Christmassy nor even the sort of evening to be going anywhere at all, other than tucked up in front of the fire with a good book & a glass of something suitably festive.
But it was well worth it, for Brynn’s sake – & I’d certainly recommend such a thing to the owner of any young &/or inexperienced dog in need of socialisation. Many qwners appeared almost as excited as their puppies; & not surprisingly, as they were treated to a fine array of drinks & nibbles, as were their dogs. First came a ‘meet & greet’ session, where the pups were let off the lead & encouraged to meet each other; playing with a huge pile of dog toys which had been left in the middle of the room for them while their masters & mistresses enjoyed a glass of wine & a chat. And goodness, it seemed as though every breed, size & shape of canine, was there; from tiny terrier & bichon frisé puppies, to a sturdy rottweiler-cross, who spent every opportune moment attempting to completely engulph a rather alarmed little Brynn.
Next, it was time to play some games: first of all, the doggy equivalent of Musical Chairs, where the puppies had to sit on command; the last left standing, was ‘out’. Having already practised this at home, Brynn did brilliantly – especially considering he had the novel distraction of other excited puppies bouncing & barking all around him. The next game was a bit like apple bobbing, with a treat placed in a bowl of water for the dogs to try & grab. Needless to say Brynn gobbled his immediately; calculating in a trice that all he had to do, was push the treat to the side of the bowl to secure it in his mouth.
After another socialisation period, more games were played: one of which was fascinating to watch. Four cups were placed on the floor; underneath one of which, was hidden a small sausage. The cups were then moved around & the dogs encouraged to sniff out the tasty treat. Brynn carefully watched the first two puppies attempt to find the snack; & then as soon as it was his turn, trotted straight to the second cup & retrieved his prize. However, before coming back to me he carefully nudged each of the other pots over & checked underneath each one – just in case. What a clever (& greedy) little chap!
After some more fun & games it was time to go home. Brynn was even given a present – “not to be opened before Christmas Day” – & then, unfortunately, returned the compliment by leaving his own unique gift….a hearty splurge of diarrhoea, all over the floor. It appeared that the whole evening had been a bit too exciting & overwhelming for him, poor little chap – although he’d clearly enjoyed himself by the speed with which his tail had wagged the whole time. However, needless to say he was again fairly quiet (& also, alas, very smelly) during the long drive home.
But ulitmately for me, my birthday ended with a lovely meal, cooked for me by our dear friends Janet & John, who’d invited me over for a celebratory supper. It was all the more delicious for their kind companionship; & salved the sorrow that I hadn’t been able to spend the day with either Tony or with any of our family.
But ho-hum, that’s life; in truth, we seldom get what we wish for…..but when we do, it makes it all the more special.
So please, feel free to join me in an indulgent slice of birthday cake…..