LETTER: Considering the pros and cons of pet ownership

A reader discusses getting a dog.

Jack Russell terrier enjoying life
Jack Russell terrier enjoying life

I have seriously been thinking of getting a loyal companion, a soul mate, totally devoted to me, one that doesn’t answer back, obeys my every command, and I can take out without any moaning, complaining, or changes of mind. Her indoors thinks I am losing the plot, as she says “So what am I then, a paid slave or what?” There’s no answer to that, only that when we step out, at some point along the way, I am going to get an earhole full of grief.

Back to acquiring a devoted pet. I was thinking of a DHMM, Dog, hound mutt mongrel, of some description, modal or make. It all came to a head when out the front, snow shovelling the drive, a lady walked last with a hound on a lead, one that I had never seen before, it looked like a lurcher, it was she said, when we got talking about all things canine, a Podenco, a hunting dog from Spain and the Canary Islands. She said that they were very gentle with children, and fiercely loyal, just the job, for me, and the grandchildren.

Perusing the interweb, it tells me that they need lots of exercise, are good rabbit hunters, and require a good-sized yard or garden to run around. That’s us out then, as our garden would just about exercise a gerbil. I decided on something smaller, a Jack Russell is about my size of dog. I put this proposition to the boss, and got the standard response “I’m already living with a dog, you”. I take that as a no then. I am resigned to the fact that the only pet, if you can call it that, is Fred, the very large, quite scary, multi-eyed hairy eight-legged arachnid, that lurks under the TV cabinet, and emerges at night to hunt God knows what. He is going to be our only pet for the foreseeable future.

My dreams of a slow walk along the towpath of the rural and photogenic Essington and Wryley canal, on a warm summer’s day, sporting a panama, in T-shirt, shorts and sandals, and on the end of a lead, my loyal companion, Eric, the Jack Russell, diligently fending off footpads, nerdowells and scallywags, one can but dream. Back to reality. The snow won’t shovel itself, and as I scoop another load onto the grass I ponder the answer to life the universe and everything. I come to the conclusion, that the answer is not, as some would say, 42, but canine, I have seen the future, and it’s dog-shaped.

Tony Levy, Wednesfield

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