Puppy love

When I was 17, my mum got a puppy as a leaving gift from work. We called him Casper. My sister was initially underwhelmed. She’d been yearning for “a real dog”. When my dad got home from work and saw Casper asleep in my lap, he said: “I hope that’s a toy.”

My dad didn’t approve of pets, he thought an animal’s place was “in the bush”. He insisted Casper go back. Much weeping and begging followed. Dad relented and said the puppy could stay, but only if he lived outside.

The puppy was too little to live outside yet, so Dad let him sleep in the laundry. A week later, the puppy was allowed downstairs in our house. A week after that, the puppy was also allowed upstairs, but not on the beds. A week after that, the puppy was allowed anywhere he damn well pleased.

Casper had Dad wrapped around his little finger. He could do no wrong, even when he rolled on dead seagulls at the beach.

Casper lived to the ripe old age of 14 years and 8 months. He died after surgery to remove a rotten tooth. I’d left home by then. My parents were devastated. They never got another dog, but my dad is pretty besotted with my sister’s schnauzer, Sooty.

Casper changed my dad for the better, totally melted his heart. I think pets change everyone for the better, don’t you?

Tell me about your favourite childhood pet.

2 thoughts on “Puppy love

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  1. It would have to be my Dad (is this a Dad-thing?). He doesn’t “like” cats, yet, when our original two Siamese cats died, it was he who bought the new kitten (and brought it back to Newcastle from Taree.). And he totally adores our cat Morwenna.

  2. My dad was anti- animals! To the point he let our mouse go (a magpie got it soon after). I had Cepha the cat and Nero a black dog when I was little and we lived with my grandparents (I’m sure my uncle named them). When I left home I rebelled and became a cat lady for a few years, then had a gorgeous ridgeback cross mastiff called Jasmine (as in Alladin) when Jack was little. He went to my XSIL after Jack died and we moved to Sydney. We now have a little white ball of fluff called Bear and a rather pissed off 6 year cat called Solomon. My dad was softened now too. He thinks Bear is cute and lets my sister take her dog out to work with her!

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