Tuesday, 25 October 2011
They claim they are deprived children because they’ve never owned a pet. Well, apart from a sickly goldfish in a polythene bag that my daughter won at a fair. It swam listlessly round its tank a few times, survived less than 24 hours and she never clamoured for another.
But dogs are different. Over the years they’ve come up with a host of arguments about having a puppy in the house. They’d call it Coco and promise faithfully they’d be in charge of feeding, washing and taking it for walks. My daughter’s stance isn’t at all convincing bearing in mind that we live in Oxford and she’s just moved into a student flat in Shoreditch, but still.
Deep down I know (and I reckon they do too) that there’s one person who’d end up on 24/7 dog duty - and that would be me. Several friends whose children faithfully promised to take sole charge of the family dog report the novelty wore off within weeks and then they were lumbered for life. Katie, a Lancashire pal who’s admittedly grown fond of her children’s Labrador, reckons the dog’s far more trouble than a baby. So far the puppy has chewed gaping holes in the sofa and Katie’s Nicole Farhi jacket, howls if she’s ever left on her own and as for training – hmmm, let’s just say there’s quite some way to go.
I still feel mean for not agreeing to my teenagers’ dearest wish though. And I wobbled a few years back when I discovered my son sadly herding a gang of snails (all named, of course) into a little enclosure outside the back door.
“I’m never going to have a pet so I’ve decided that these will have to do instead,” he said morosely.