Dog Blog

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Toby, the English Pointer

Can we have another dog?  I asked Husband as I was cooking him a nice dinner and he was sipping a cold cider.  ‘No’ came the predicted response.  ‘Why not, you know how much I love you?’ I pleaded. ‘We have one great dog, Toby and we really don’t need another one’.  I did.  I LOVE DOGS of any shape or size.  My brother was allergic to them when I was growing up so we had to live in a dog-free zone and I vowed to have a dog-filled adulthood.  When I retire I want to have six dogs and foster a few more from the rescue centre. I might have to rehome Husband though.

When we lost our last faithful Flynn 2 years ago I did extensive research into dogs suitable for families and made a short list.  I then spotted a photo of an English Pointer which, speaking as an interior designer, is the most beautifully designed dog, so elegant, graceful and stylish.  I then read about the temperament of an English Pointer. ‘Highly strung, sensitive, difficult to train, requiring extensive exercise’.  I forgot all this and we got one. Toby.

Now Toby needed a friend but this was going to be a mini dog as I could not fit two Toby- sized hounds in my car. I researched cockapoos, schnoodles, cavachons, jackawawas , labradoodles, puggles, jugs and malitipoos…  In the end of I settled on a miniature schnauzer ‘robust, friendly and highly trainable’.  My  husband likes big dogs, to compensate for his lack of height, and his perfect dog is a Great Dane, so a mini schnauzer was going to be a battle….

Text to husband ‘Shall we go and have a look at the Puppy before or after I have cooked you a fantastic lunch on Sunday xxxxxxxxxx?  No reply.  Next text ‘Does your car need washing on Sunday? You know how much I love you xxxxxxx.’  No reply.  Next text ‘Will you answer my sodding texts please?’ No reply.

Sunday came and Puppy was not mentioned.  ‘Where are you going?’ Husband asked as I grabbed my car keys at 4.30 pm.  ‘I am going to Harlow, Essex’.  ‘Why on earth are you going to Harlow this afternoon?’  ‘To look at the Puppy’ I murmured.  Hugh pause.  ‘Do you want me to come with you?’  Pause. ‘Yes please’.  At that moment I knew we were getting the Puppy.

The mini schnauzer was so cute, like all 8 week old puppies, but Husband was not convinced.  ‘He looks like a rat’ he observed on the way home.  ‘well he is small with German origins and he comes from Essex, just like you’ I replied helpfully.

The next night we had a family supper to discuss dog names.  The short list was as follows::









Ratty (Husband’s contribution)



Husband would only consider the name ‘Ratty’, and Son wanted ‘ Schweinsteiger’ or ‘Frimpong’ as these are his favourite footballers. He also liked ‘Merlin’ but I wasn’t keen.  In the park can you imagine saying ‘Have you seen Merlin? He seems to have disappeared.’


Son with Frimpong

Discussions went on into the night with no agreement.  The next evening we reconvened.  We finally agreed on ‘Zac’ (small and German) but with the caveat that his full name is ‘Zac Merlin Schweinsteiger Frimpong Webb’ and Husband will call him ‘Ratty’ regardless. Great.

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