I guess you could say we are a dog family as far as pets go. None of us has any particular dislike of any domesticated animal but we just like dogs. When I first met PIL she had a pet German Shepherd dog named after Fred Flintstones pet dinosaur, Dino. As was so often the case when we first got together we had sacrifices to make and unfortunately PIL had to leave Dino behind.
After a few years and with children to tow, we decided to get another dog. Getting another German Shepherd was a bit of a no brainer to us and we ended up getting a puppy from a breeder in Kent. Even as a puppy he was huge. We saw both his parents when we got him and they were enormous. Being a long-haired GSD added to his size. The kids named him Dodger after the dog in the Disney movie Oliver & Company thereby continuing a trend of naming our dogs after cartoon characters beginning with the letter D.
Dodger grew into a magnificent dog with a fantastic temperament, especially around the children. Then when he was 12, we noticed a very sudden change in him. Literally in a matter of days he lost all his energy and was obviously seriously ill. He had cancer and it was everywhere inside him. A family friend who is also a vet ran through the options with us but she said it basically boiled down to having him put down to stop him suffering. So on the 16th September 2009 I drove him to the vets surgery. The whole way there I was telling him that everything would be fine, that his family would make him better again and he would be back to his old self. I was lying to him the whole way. Once we arrived we were seen almost immediately and the vet gave Dodger a lethal injection and he slowly slipped away. Then she gave me a big hug because I had burst into tears.
Over the years the subject of getting another dog came up from time to time but was never pursued. Then in the summer of 2013, the subject came to the fore. Everyone, except me, wanted a dog again. Greg used the excuse that it was his 16th birthday soon and showed me pictures of dogs on the Battersea Dogs Home website. There was one particular mutt he wanted to see at the Homes satellite branch in Kent. The tribe went to have a look-see without me. They were full of it when they got back and my earholes were bent constantly for days. Eventually I succumbed and off we went. But we went to the main Home in Battersea, south-west London. Oddly enough, the borough I was born in. Battersea Dogs Home has all kinds of dogs. Hundreds of them. They have pedigree dogs, mongrels, dogs with great temperaments, dogs with awful temperaments, dogs whose owner could no longer look after them, abandoned dogs, dogs that had been subjected to appalling cruelty. Each and every one of them was looking for a new home and I wanted to take each and every one of them home with me! Oh bollocks. I’d had been completely and utterly seduced. So, a few days later we drove to the satellite branch in Kent and got the dog Greg was after.
He and his brother had been abandoned as pups so there was some doubt about him. Battersea thought he was a staffordshire bull terrier/labrador cross with some lurcher thrown in for good measure and they thought he’d been born in February. They’d taken care of all his inoculations, he was in good health, stroppy, a bit aggressive, had abandonment issues and was absolutely perfect so we took him home. Greg named him Dexter. PIL and I were happy with the choice of name. We thought he was named after the character in a cartoon Greg loved when he was little – Dexter’s Laboratory. Smashing!
We were wrong. Greg was 16. Cartoons? Ha! He was far too mature and sophisticated for cartoons. No. This Dexter was named after Dexter the TV serial killer. Good grief but it was too late. Dexter was now Dexter and nothing could change it now.
Dexter is nearly two now. We decided his birthday will be on 1st February each year. He is now a lovely dog with a fantastic personality – absolutely barking mad, affectionate, loves walkies, loves rolling in fox poo at every opportunity, will chase sticks and balls for ever, digs holes, steals clothes from the laundry basket, chases his tail for ages, hates getting wet and the postman. He is lovely and I am so glad we have him at home with us. Dino and Dodger are still in our thoughts and no doubt at some stage in the future we will have only memories of Dexter but they will be good ones and until then we intend enjoying every moment.
Have a lovely day
More Dick soon