If you’ve ever read any of my ‘Tales From Anywhere’ books you’ll have guessed that I am a bit of a dog nut so I thought it only fair (any excuse to write about dogs!) to tell you a bit about my real life doggies, seeing as they have featured, one way or another, in what you have read. I love my dogs…so here’s a little potted history for each of my little Furry Friends!
Soho was the original Furry Friend and was taken from us six years ago. He is deeply, profoundly missed, but we know we’ll see him again in just 5 doggy minutes, over that Rainbow Bridge. Until then sleep well with the Angels, my dearest friend.
Soho was dog of truly humble origins. He was born on a farm somewhere in Essex of a Jack Russell mother and unknown father. His appearance was often likened to that of a wild boar. Soho became a father in 2007 after forcing himself upon Piggy (one of our Jack Russells, in the pic above) in a brutal act of doggy rape in the front garden of our then house in Spain. He showed no aptitude as a father, displaying absolutely no interest in his offspring whatsoever. A typical man. The swine! Soho’s special skills were barking very loudly, rolling, stealing food and smelling bad. He was an extraordinarily good-natured (discounting the doggy rape) and friendly dog who loved everybody and who would always be there for you in a crisis with a wet nose and a licky tongue. He was a dog whose heart was positively overflowing with love. Soho, also known as “Bob,” “Donkey” and “Stinky,” touched many lives, bringing grace, beauty and reassurance where often there was little to be had.
Soon after his passing, Soho’s unique qualities were recognised by Greater Powers and he was entered into a fast-track Beatification process. Soho was recently officially sainted and is now known as St. Donkey of Soho. Soho lived in Essex, London, Barcelona, Sitges and then London again. He currently lives somewhere over the Rainbow Bridge.
“When a dog comes into your life, he comes to teach you about love. When he leaves, he leaves to teach you about loss.”
Lesson learned, my friend, lesson learned.
The next Furry Friend is Piggy. Piggy is a Jack Russell. Much like Joan Crawford she is a star, a legend and a mother. Piggy’s full name is Piggy Lawson-Brown. She was born in the Czech Republic of unknown but certifiably Jack Russell parents. Tragically her place of birth was a rather nasty puppy farm and she was never given time to form proper bonds with her parents. This may account for the mental health issues she has suffered in later life and her rather poor parenting skills. Piggy’s special abilities are ball chasing, biting, looking gorgeous, drinking champagne and eating quantities of food so prodigious in quantity that she swells to the size of a ripe medicine ball. She is the proud owner of an extensive range of “Hullo Kitty” accessories. Piggy is a mother (to five beautiful puppies to whom she gave the minimum necessary care) and a grandmother. She is also known as “Pigster,” “Pigette” and “Pee Pee.” Piggy has lived in the Czech Republic, Barcelona, Sitges and London. Whilst she is a very pretty girl she does have (as mentioned earlier) some mental health issues. To be blunt, she is as mad as a hatter and prone to launching into uncontrollable frenzies of biting at the slightest provocation. She is particularly fond of biting human children and needs to be carefully restrained in their presence. Piggy’s ambitions are to travel the world and (for some reason) to have more puppies.
Now we come to Doreen. Doreen is a Dachshund. Doreen was born as the result of a historical accident (it’s far too long and complex a story to go into now but it involved Adolf Hitler, the Nazi invasion of Russia and her Great Great Great Great Great Grandmother Wilhelmina, who in her time was one of pre-war Vienna’s leading socialites) in a humble peasant village in the north-east of Spain. Despite her lowly origins, Doreen is a Dachshund of noble, no, aristocratic, lineage. This fact is borne testament to by her full name which is Doreen Von Teckel Dupont Rothschild Fitzjames Stuart De Alba. Doreen’s special talent is singing. Her You Tube debut attracted more hits than that of Susan Boyle. Her songs are particularly noteworthy as they are exclusively about pork pies (which she is extremely partial to). Doreen was an excellent, and much-loved, aunty to Piggy’s 5 puppies, whose rearing she took on single-pawedly when Piggy abandoned them the moment they were weaned off the teat, in favour of biting, eating, chasing, drinking Bollinger and dusting her “Hullo Kitty” accessories. Doreen has lived in Spain and London and pays frequent visits to her ancestral estates in Lower Saxony and Bavaria.
After Doreen we come to Chelsea. Full name, Chelsea Elsieworthy Roady Lawson Brown. Chelsea is the love child of Soho and Piggy. She had a tough puppyhood with an absent, disinterested father and a manic mother with a very short attention span. If it had not been for her Aunty Doreen, she might not have made it through. Chelsea was by far the ugliest of Piggy’s 5 puppies and nobody wanted to adopt her. So we kept her. And what a good decision that was for Chelsea has blossomed into a beautiful girl, she has become gold. She shares many of her sainted father’s attributes, including his big heart, and is a constant and wonderful reminder of his beauty. Chelsea’s special skills are guarding things (old socks, ripped shirts, you know, that kind of important stuff…) and jumping. Like her father, she is also an accomplished thief. Unfortunately Chelsea has inherited her mother’s mental instability and is bi-polar, flicking from peaceful serenity to mad, hysteriosis nervosa in the space of 2 or 3 minutes. Chelsea has very odd eating habits, being inordinately fond of strawberries, cherries and apples. She has lived in Spain and London and her dream is to bring peace and love into the world, to become the new face of L’Oreal and to own a grocery shop specialising in the sale of soft fruits.
Last, but by no means least, we have the most recent addition to the family – Misty (also known as “Bunny O’Bannion and “Tulisa”). Misty is another Jack Russell. Misty is a simple, down to earth, kind of a girl. Like her step-Grandfather, Soho, she was born on a farm. Unfortunately whilst at that farm she was badly bullied by chickens, for which reason she has developed a passionate hatred for all birds and flies into a raving, snarling frenzy at the sight of one. Misty, though, has not forgotten her farming heritage and recently announced her plan to plow up our back garden and plant a crop of potatoes to provide cheap raw materials for a chain of fish and chip shops which she claims (we are skeptical about this) she has joint ownership of with Doreen. To this end Misty has requested that we buy her a tractor for her birthday and expressed a desire to attend agricultural college. Misty is only three years old so has only lived in one place besides her birth-farm – she shows little interest in travel and claims she is too busy with agricultural matters to bother with such a frivolous activity.