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Walking Miss Daisy

Daisy is our Bulldog who we sort of adopted last year; we didn’t actually decide to adopt her, she just inexplicably insinuated herself into our affections and then suddenly she was a permanent addition to our household… much to the surprise of our incredibly large miniature twin Yorkshire Terriers, who, up until then had had the household organised the way they wanted. Suddenly they had to rethink and there wasn’t a plan B. Eventually they settled for plan C, which was basically to present a united front and show the grit and stubborn determination that Yorkshire Terriers are famous for in the face of adversity. Well that was the plan, but giving in was a lot easier, so they did!

Our Terrier twins are highly trained to a degree of instant obedience, which has to be seen to be believed. As nobody has actually seen it you don’t need to believe it. Each day we would set out in the fond belief that we were taking the dogs for a walk when in fact we were taking the equivalent of English football hooligans out to charge round the English countryside ignoring anything vaguely like a command and generally behaving like unguided cruise missiles. Quiet blokes walking gentle black Labradors would see these brown warheads hurtling towards them followed in the very far distance by a couple of extremely out of breath dog owners trying to pretend they had nothing to do with the warheads and were only out bird watching. Fortunately we had a fairly good working knowledge of basic first aid, enough to patch up the bloke in the ditch and we knew his dog would come back eventually…probably. Of course, just to compound the embarrassment, the twins would come and stand obediently beside us looking on with concerned expressions and making sure that everyone knew they were our dogs.

They were distressingly sexist as well. Scattering the male population into various ditches and hedges was OK and cool. Women were different! Women got the cute treatment. They do really great cute.Having worked on it since they were puppies they can now do it to Oscar winning standards. I used to have this fantasy of them going up to receive their trophies for Best Actor and Best actress and making a speech (with suitable pauses for tears of emotion) and thanking us for supporting them throughout their careers and having faith in their talent and ability. I used to, but the tablets have cured that.

Anyway, all that was before the arrival of Daisy. I remember the first time I took her for a walk and being stunned because that was what she did…. walk! Not only did she walk, but also she walked with me. Men with black Labradors had nothing to fear (by now they had taken to throwing themselves into the ditch just to get the whole thing over more quickly), Daisy simply nodded politely and strolled on her way after enquiring after their general health and remarking on the weather. Women used to a full blast of cute had to suddenly get used to a brief glance as Daisy went by. Wildlife began to return to the area, birds started to singing and flowers bloomed. This sort of behaviour had a catastrophic effect on the twins. They had lost their street cred. People didn’t take them seriously anymore. They made a few half-hearted attempts to terrorise elderly men with poodles and eventually hit rock bottom when they failed to startle a blind fifteen-year-old spaniel. So they just gave up. Now, they tag along politely on either side of Daisy, admiring the countryside and benevolently on any passing wildlife, but I know that they are biding their time, that a plan is being formed and God help Prestwick when it is!

J.D.