Pups for fun Part 1
Pups for Fun?…Part 1
“I’d like a puppy for Christmas” said Audrey my new wife.
“Why” I asked “we’ve got Sooty, what do we need another dog for?”
It was 1965 and we had been married for several months. All our savings had been used for the 10% deposit on the house. A 25 year mortgage on a £1,400 ($2000) house sounds ridiculous now. If you had told me that in fifty years time I would be paying almost that amount for a puppy, I would have laughed in your face in disbelief.
My Mums old dog Sooty (see 'A Dog We Had story) visited most days. He was seventeen years old and he came early in the morning and lay around most of the time. We discovered his sight was deteriorating, because as newlyweds do, we changed around what few bits of furniture we had, to find him bumping into the chairs and table.
“My friend Hazel’s dad has some Airedale Terrier puppies” Audrey said.
So, despite my reluctance to pay, what seemed to me a large amount of money £5 ($7) for a dog and not having a clue what an Airedale Terrier looked like, the following Sunday we boarded the bus to visit Ted, Hazel’s dad, fifteen miles away.
We were met at the door by Ted (who looked a little like a terrier himself) and Judy the Airedale mother of the pups. After being welcomed by Ted and being suspiciously sniffed in the crotch by Judy, we were shown the puppies. Audrey chose the smallest female, because it sat on her lap quietly while the other pups played around her feet.
How naive we were in those days. We were getting a choice of pups and we chose the weakest! Nevertheless, we collected the pup a few weeks later, brought her home wrapped in a blanket for the bus journey.
Thus began a fifty year relationship with Airedales.
We named her Fracy (pronounced Frasey) and I thought one day it could be a good way to make some money. and having puppies shouldn’t be too difficult should it?
Fracy reached four years old before we could mate her. Normally a bitch has seasons beginning in their first year. Seasons are three weeks long, every six months and the middle three days are when they are likely to conceive.
Fracy was different, she reached nearly middle age in her life before a season happened.
But when the season came…... we sure knew about it.
The local stud dogs formed a day and night shift system at our front gate!
To take Fracy a walk would be to invite attempted gang rape. Even without Fracy we had to weave our way though the two or three dogs that waited patiently there..
Our car was parked on the street, because we had no garage, and the male dogs would follow me from the gate to the car, jostling each other to be the one nearest my trousers, that had tantalising odours of Fracy’s condition on them
.I made the mistake of trying to fix my car exhaust that was hanging loose. As I lay underneath the car, a little dog, just passing by at the time, or maybe came to take his turn at gatewaiting, began trying to seduce my right leg!
I shouted at him to no affect, as with eyes closed and rear end jerking, he was in a world of his own. I had no alternative but to drag myself out and shake him off.
He hung around waiting for me to return to my position under the car and a couple of his friend/rivals appeared to join the gatewaiting group. So I had no choice but to abandon the project for another day or move to another street to attempt the repair.
The time came to take Fracy to Gerry (Jerry) a local Airedale breeder, to be mated, as the three days she was likely to conceive arrived.
.I hurried out the gate first, to yell at the three dogs that were on the morning shift hoping they would leave. No chance! They moved a few feet in to the street then stood watching in eager anticipation.
Audrey hustled Fracy into the car as fast as she could and I hastily leapt in slamming the door on the crowding dogs. This is how royalty must feel, with the paparazzi !
I quickly started the engine and we set off down the street, with the three dogs in hot pursuit. It was like a scene from Disney’s 101 Dalmations!
Unfortunately the road intersected with a junction after several hundred yards and we had to slow down and stop. So despite my attempt at a fast getaway the dogs caught up with us.
We waited at the intersection for a break in the traffic on the busy main road with the three dogs pacing hungrily around the car. Fracy was watching them through the window, with what I thought was a self satisfied look of a female being pursued by males.
Audrey wound down her window and told them to go home, but of course they ignored her. In fact they tried to climb in through it. She hastily closed it
Eventually we were able to turn on to the main road.
“Oh dear” Audrey said worriedly looking through the rear window at the one remaining dog running behind. “Do you think we should stop?”
“And do what?” I replied “Invite him in to the car? That would be fun.”
The remaining dog was long legged and black, (could have been a descendant of Sooty’s) and despite lolling tongue, looked good for miles. Fortunately we got through the traffic lights on green and picked up speed to leave him behind. I watched his receding figure in the mirror and felt a male sympathy for him.
How many times in my life had I chased a girl to see her disappear in the distance?
To be continued
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