April 14, 2010


We had quite a number of pets over the years as I was growing up, and one of my earliest memories was the time when I was about 3 years of age and our new puppy had gone missing. I can recall standing out on the footpath in front of our house, clutching my sister's hand and calling out piteously "Astro! Astro!" while my little heart was breaking.

It was an early introduction to loss, but my young heart soon mended. 

Peanut, the Canine Casanova
In later years there was Peanut, a brown mutt of mixed heritage with the heart of a lion, and an eye for the ladies. A skinny, terrier-sized dog, he would go missing for a week or two at a time, usually romancing some female in heat within a 25km radius. I'm sure his descendants probably number in the tens of thousands by now.

After his excursion, Peanut would arrive back home as if nothing untoward had happened, occasionally with a wound from another male dog that probably resented his prowess with the females. Yes, Peanut was a Canine Casanova. 
Despite his small stature, Peanut would stand up to any dog, as long as it was larger than himself. He wouldn't bother with the smaller dogs - it was almost as if he felt they were beneath his dignity. 

Even if a dog the size of a pony turned up, Peanut would menace it with his entire 40cm height, hoping fervently that the bigger dog wouldn't take him on. Oddly enough, in 99% of cases the bigger dog would back down, and after that Peanut would proceed to strut around as if he was the king of the world. "Yep! That's right! I'm the dog!"
Despite his occasional run-ins with bigger dogs, being shot with slug pellets numerous times, suffering distemper and being run over by a milk truck, Peanut lived to a ripe old age still confident in his ability to rule the world ... and the ladies. 

Presently I have two dogs that are also terriers, but as different in temperament from Peanut as they are from each other. Scout is the Crowd Control Police-dog of the household, while Rachel thinks life revolves around eating, cuddling and sleeping. Preferably all three can be accomplished at the same time.

Scout the Crowd Control Police-dog
Scout's main mission in life is to control anyone else misbehaving, even the human beings. If she feels we are being too boisterous, she will tell us in no uncertain terms what she thinks of our childish behaviour. 

Naughty cats must be dragged down from wherever they are climbing, especially if they are on the screen door. Any insects entering the house are not to be tolerated and she will immediately go on a seek and destroy mission.

One of Scout's not-so-secret passions is for squeaky toys. The more they squeak, the more she wants to punish them for being noisy. I think when she gets to heaven God will have an entire room filled with the noisiest toys imaginable for her. ©

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