We hear stories about love at first sight, but it's not really the thing a mature woman thinks about much though...

I was at a friend's place, he had four litters of puppies and being on holiday with a girlfriend, we were there on a jolly - gone to play with the puppies. There was a litter of blue merle puppies in a run and one was very similar to my wonderful MUFFIN. I rattled my keys and the merle puppy grabbed them and ran off with them hotly pursued by its litter mates. That's when it happened. Robert came out of a kennel and walked towards us. I looked up at him and I immediately felt the jolt - like I had been struck by lightening. It was like an electric shock. I gasped and felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, there was a burning in my eyes as I felt them fill with water. I had never experienced anything like it in my life. I told myself to play cool. Blink back the tears and look at the merle puppies. I heard my girlfriend talking to Robert but it was as I were in a dream. My mind was swirling, I could feel my heart pounding and I could barely breathe. I had to look at Robert again to check out this mind blowing feeling. I looked up and reeled again, I was hooked. His coal black eyes were smiling at me. I knew in that instant that I had to make him mine. No that was not right, I sensed he was already mine, but I knew he was spoken for, I had to use my womanly wiles to take possession of him. I had met Robert at an obedience show the day before. He told me about a special puppy he had just bred. The dam, a black and white show border collie, had been shipped out to Australia to be mated to bring this unusual colour into the country. Robert was delighted that he had one golden bitch and one golden dog in the litter. The bitch was going to a breed person up north and Robert was keeping the dog himself. I was not at all interested in all this breed stuff, so had not paid much attention to this conversation yesterday. Now, however, looking at the golden puppy with coal black eyes in Robert's arms I could only think one thing - 'Robert was keeping him.' But I had to have him! He lay in Robert's arms like a rag doll, I watched in my dream like state as Robert put the golden puppy on the lawn, it collapsed, like a rag doll. My girlfriend was asking Robert sensible questions about the puppies, she knew the requirements for a working dog. She tried to get it to play but it just laid there looking serene. 'Not a working type of dog,' she observed.

To me all ideas of puppy testing were irrelevant now. I did not care what he would or would not do - I just had to have him. The conversation from yesterday just kept circling in my mind, I could not contain myself anymore, I opened my mouth and the words came out, "Robert, is he for sale?" Robert held the golden puppy close to his chest and lovingly caressed its golden coat, he looked at me long and hard. I held my breath it seemed forever while Robert considered my question. I am not the sort of girl who does impulse buying, nor the type that sees something unusual and like a spoilt child wants to have it. But here I was standing holding my breath waiting for an answer as though my life depended on it. Finally Robert opened his mouth and I watched as if in slow motion he voiced the words, "To you Anne, yes." Yes, yes, yes! I did not care about the puppy tests, I did not care that it did not want to play, or walk, or do anything except hang like a rag doll, I could have him! I loved him instantly, totally and unconditionally and he was mine! My Golden Wonder.

The sensible thing to do would be to go home and get my puppy cage to take him home in. The sensible thing would be to check with my other half before bringing home another dog, the sensible thing would be to buy the merle puppy that ran off with my keys. But my heart was ruling the day, and there was no place for 'sensible.' The Golden Wonder was loaded onto my girlfriend's lap and I drove quickly away before Robert could change his mind. Arriving home I walked into the garden holding my special prize close to my heart, my other half looked on in astonishment. His face worked through disbelief, helplessness and then acceptance.

The first wee in the garden came with no trouble, "Busy-busy, good boy." Now to settle him into his new bed, his cage being placed in prime position in the dining room. He must be tired after exploring his new garden and meeting his four new canine companions. Vet-bed, cuddly toy and chewy bone, what more could a puppy ask for? I closed the cage door on my precious rag doll and sat nearby to relax with a cup of tea whilst he went to sleep. Well that was the plan, however my rag doll had different ideas. My darling Golden Wonder had landed himself firmly into my life and I was just beginning to discover what an amazing box of tricks was before me.

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