|Klefti (left) and Purdey (right) proved to be capable sentinels|
For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, you will know that Klefti, our Greek stray died last summer. The madness of trying to control his energy, while bringing up baby twins, was one of the reasons I started this blog only a couple of months earlier. He was, after all, a wily survivor, a beach dog, with whom we fell so madly in love we had no choice but to bring him back to the UK. We even bought our flat for him, as it has an 80' garden in a desirable part of town.
A surrogate child? No, never. We have always adored dogs. He, Tatty and Purdey came first, and if children followed, they would be a blessing. Dogs are not a dress rehearsal. I always feel sad when dogs are rehomed when people have children. To make a multi-species household work, you have to love your dogs as much as your children (a different love, but a love nevertheless). You need patience. They need love. Sounds familiar? Well, we didn't have dogs to test out what commitment felt like. They just happened. Big Daddy bought Tatty (the Westie) before I met him, but Klefti and Purdey were strays that we rescued; the first in Greece, the second in Ireland.
I stumbled across this picture of our bemused canines 'guarding' our newborns and thought I should share it. When the picture was taken, the babies were about a week old. Magpie is on the left, The Tank on the right - not that you can see very much of them, they are so tiny, cocooned in their swaddle blankets.
Klefti never got to do rough and tumble with the girls, as they were still 'drunken totterers' when he died. We always loved watching him humour kids in the park, play-bowing and showing his teeth in a submissive smile. He was a clown in dog's clothing. The girls would have their very own clown - or so we hoped.
Now that job is left to Purdey, who patiently allows the girls to ride him, stroke him, take his toys and, of course, feed him. I'm not sure Klefti would have been so amenable, ('look, girls, I'm not a bloody horse,' he might have said) but his willfulness and surety of his own mind is what made him so unique, so strangely human.