Don’t Let A Dog Change Your Life, They Said

And you can’t call your dog Thelonious. A story of how our puppy came to be

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Thelonious on the beach. Copyright David Rosam

Dogs and Dave

I’m quite severely asthmatic. At my worst, life-threateningly so. I have had it all my life. I also love dogs, something I discovered in my 20s, after years of avoiding them.

Then we found out about poodle crosses

They’re hypoallergenic, we were told. The idea is the poodle in the cross makes the dog unlikely to trigger asthma attacks. I remembered decades ago, a small black poodle, typically caked with cow poo from herding the bovine monsters, that lived on my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Ayrshire. I didn’t remember reacting to it.

Choosing a name

A dog-naming session fuelled by a bottle of wine, one evening, had me considering some left of field ideas. He (or she) wasn’t going to be called Buddy (or any of the others in the UK Top 10 dog’s names). Imagine calling your dog back and getting 26 salivating hounds vying for the solitary treat held between your tender outstretched fingers.

You can’t call a dog Thelonious!

‘Thelonious is a great name for a dog!’ I said. ‘You can’t call a dog Thelonious!’, retorted my wife. It became a running joke as I continued my canine allergy testing. I referred to the dog that we were, by then, going to purchase as Thelonious.

Of course, a dog changes your life!

Why the heck would you want one, otherwise? Is it an accessory? A security device? Something to produce manure for the garden? A persistent source of noise to annoy the neighbours? Something to feed your leftovers to, in a fit of societal guilt over food waste?

Why does he make me laugh?

Thelonious makes me laugh. Just by being him. When I’m feeling fed up with the world, a bump from the wet nose and a nuzzle can’t help but raise me from the depths. How can you not laugh at his walk? A kind of tippy-toed, waddly, crab motion with more athleticism than that picture gives him credit for.

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Can’t a chap have a bath in peace? Copyright David Rosam

He gets an introvert talking

There’s a reason I work on my own. I like it. I have many introvert traits, and am unlikely to talk strangers in the street. Try keeping yourself to yourself when you have a fluffy, teddy bear of a cockapoo on the end of a lead.

And he has a fan club

There are the friends who want to look after him and walk him. The neighbours who fret when they don’t see him. And the kids who call out to Waffle Doggie, when the programme is on one of the children’s TV channels.

SEO, digital marketer, writer, herder of cookbooks, photographer, audiophile and jazz nut. Aspirant polymath.

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