Puppy Love

It’s been a very busy few weeks in our household. Hubby is working 7 days a week right now and the kids are constantly doing stuff at school – end of term lovely stuff – stuff that makes me feel guilty when I don’t show my face. This week it was all about the Christmas Choir and the merry troop of kids, the lovely, yet disorganised teacher and far too many keen and enthusiastic parents traipsed from a local care home for the elderly to the local pub (no one listened), the local cafe (they were given a marshmallow apparently) and finally the neighborhood funeral director’s. They like that one the best as every year he gives them a small selection box of chocolates. Quite right. Bribery I find is the only way with children.

The other big news in the last week is we have a puppy.

I know. I am mad.


I have wanted a dog to complete our family for a while but Hubby needed a lot of convincing. Anyway, about seven weeks ago he warmed very slightly, saying perhaps he could be convinced. That was all I needed, within 24 hours I had found a breeder and dragged a worried-looking Hubby to see a litter of 2-week old Labrador pups. Deal done. I had to strike while the iron was hot, before he had chance to back out.

We picked up our bundle of mayhem last Friday and surprised the kids. I don’t know how they were so shocked as I have not managed to keep it to myself at all and have told all the mums at school I can, all my friends, family and work colleagues. They were all fab though and managed to keep our little secret.

He is adorable, but over the last few days I have had wobbles and have wondered what the hell I have done. I mean…..is three children, a husband, a business, a very poorly mum, a blog, a weekly volunteering spot and regular band commitments not enough?

I tried to tell Mum on the phone the other day – well every day actually since we got him – but she doesn’t understand. She just goes quiet and I’m not sure whether she’s walked away or not. There is a small part of me that is desperate to tell her the news of our new arrival. That part of me that still needs my mother’s approval on things and her advice. I want to hear her tell me I’ve done the right thing and that all will be well. I wonder if I will ever get used to not hearing my real mum answer me when I speak to her. I hope not.

She was in my head earlier today when Mabel and I dashed to the supermarket to get food for a lovely Sunday lunch tomorrow with my brother and his family. I had a very large, over-flowing trolley and chose a check-out that had a man in front of me with only a few items. That was my first mistake.

I was not even half way through getting the food on to the conveyor belt before the check-out man sat smiling at me waiting for me to hurry the f**k up and get everything on. I remember thinking how my mum would be so disappointed in me as I started literally throwing items on to the belt, not caring whether the frozen stuff was together and whether the bread and eggs were being crushed by the cereal boxes and milk. It just got chucked on willy-nilly. That was my second mistake – being rushed by the very lovely smiley man sitting waiting for me and watching my frantic behaviour. Mum would never have been flustered in this situation, I thought to myself. Even if she’d have made Mistake One, she’d have remained calm and put the things on the belt in the right order; the wine together, the meat together, the veg together, the bread and eggs last with the household cleaning stuff all together too. She’d have been rolling her eyes at me, laughing at me and taking over, forcing me to step back and watch how a pro does it. I wasn’t even close to achieving my mum’s calm, serene and ordered method. I hate to admit it, but I even had to remove my coat after five minutes as I was over-heating and starting to sweat with the pressure and the sheer intensity of my manic unloading!

There was a young girl at the end of the check-out in a uniform who asked if I’d like help packing. I almost screamed in delight at her, but managed to remain calm as I asked her if she was in the Girl Guides. “No,” she scoffed at me.”I’m in the Scouts.” Third mistake. Showed my age. I tried to laugh off my idiocy by making small-talk about how the Scouts now take girls and boys then, and isn’t that lovely. She packed about two items for me and I rewarded her with a pound coin. Good work if you can get it.

My mum was also in my ear as I watched the young Scout pack my frozen items, “she’s not doing it right,” she said to me. “Best just to do it yourself, then it’s easier to unpack at the other end.”

Alright Mother, but too late now, I’ve already committed and I’m actually drowning in foodstuffs here, so any help is welcome. Even if it is only fish fingers and frozen green beans.

She was right though, unpacking was a bloody nightmare.

She was always right.

I miss you, Mum x


2 thoughts on “Puppy Love

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  1. Hi Sarah, I have seen a lot of stuff about animals being good for those with dementia, so perhaps when your mum meets Woody she will find his presence soothing? Once he has calmed down from his puppy phase, at any rate! Have you seen that Unforgettable.org even sell ‘puppies’ (toys) that ‘breathe’ for those with dementia to have on their lap and stroke? My parents never had cats or dogs, so I don’t think my mum would take to it – though it might get her to sit still. The restlessness element of the condition is definitely apparent in her, though she has always been a fidget – in many ways, Alzheimers just seems to have exaggerated some of her existing personality traits. Thanks again for sharing your family’s story with us.


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