I want a dog. Hang on, let me rephrase that. I really want a dog.
But the world is divided into cat and dog lovers, and my husband stands firmly, vehemently, in the feline camp.
It’s me or the dog, he said, when I kept bringing the subject up. Really, I thought, is this the hill he wants to die on? It’s a shame really, as it was quite a good first marriage.
Everyone and their dog seems to be getting a dog, or has already purchased a pup during the long months of lockdown.
As a result, the number of calls to animal behaviour specialists has soared. Pets have become aggressive and attention seeking, competing for their owners’ time now they’re not confined 24/7 to their homes. Although I think we’ve all become a bit needy, haven’t we?
Charities like the SSPCA are bracing themselves for a huge deluge of unwanted four-legged former friends when the cute phase is over and people realise what a huge responsibility they must now shoulder for the next decade or so.
“A puppy is for life, not just for lockdown” should be the animal campaigners’ new slogan. It’s a full-time job bringing up a new pet if you’re going to do it properly.
A friend at work has just got a bordoodle, a half Border collie, half poodle, bundle of gorgeousness.
Alice comes into the studio exhausted having been up half the night with the “screaming” Pebbles. I keep forgetting it’s not a baby, and am appalled when she talks about the cage training.
Mind you, I know many children who might have benefited from a bit of that. Not my own sweet little pups, I mean, daughters, of course.
I know from experience how difficult it can be. When we were kids, my siblings and I hounded our mum to get us a dog. Eventually, broken and brow-beaten she capitulated and brought home a beautiful golden cocker spaniel. But Jake’s angelic appearance masked some nasty habits.
He was appallingly behaved. I took him out for a walk once and he relieved himself on the leg of an unsuspecting man standing having a chat. And he ate everything, and I mean anything, in sight. Disgusting.
By the time Jake was two, we’d lost interest in him and so when my brother’s birthday came around, me and my two sisters gave Hamish our share of the dog.
I’ve joined a couple of dog-walking charities to try to assuage the longing I feel and I’ve made some dear little friends. Big shout out to Jessie, Cody and my running pal Bracken. What incomparable canine companions they are. Although I wish Jessie would stop wearing the jacket with “Anxious” emblazoned on the side. Does he have no confidence in me?
But it’s not the same. Perhaps the solution would be to apply for an unusual job that’s just come up at a law firm in London. They’re looking for a Private Assistant Dog Walker to walk the boss’s pampered little pooch. And the salary is £30,000 a year. Where do I sign up?
Rona Dougall presents Scotland Tonight on STV
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