From Pup to Pawfleet: A Potted History
May 1st 1997
The UK held its collective breath as the Labour party won their first election for too many years and a Collie-cross pup was born in a rescue shelter in Scotland. One of these events changed life for many people. The other changed life for a privileged few.
An old dog called Susie stole a roast chicken from the dinner table and ate the lot, bones and all. Inevitably she was very ill. Nursed back to health, one teaspoon of water at a time, for the following three weeks she was a happy and loyal dog, with a shiny coat and an aroma of roast chicken. Then one evening she didn’t come in from garden patrol. She had found a place deep in the garden borders, hunkered down and quickly succumbed to old age and excess.
The house was so quiet, the remaining pup so lost and lonely, his roomies so pensive and unsure.
The week after Susie’s departure, Roomie 1 went on holiday to Scotland. On the way home, she made a visit to a shelter in Dumbarton. She made a decision. Then she drove back to Yorkshire to discuss things with Roomie 2, before packing a crate in the car and driving back to Dumbarton the next morning. She swept in, scooped up the pup, put him in the crate and drove back.
An opened front door, a shout for some help, hands in the crate, the pup was scooped up and thrust into the outstretched arms of Roomie 2.
That pup was me. Unbeknownst to everyone at that point, Roomie 2 was to become my guardian, playmate, teacher and companion for a long and happy fifteen years.
My name is Mosey. And this is my story – Pup to Pawfleet in seven steps.
Step 1 (1997)
Chew excessively. Screech when left alone. Rip up slippers. Bite noses. Scratch legs. Break into kibble. Grow unexpectedly quickly. Turn temporarily black and tan and appear to be a German Shepherd pup, despite everyone knowing Border Collie heritage. Freak out Roomie 1 until “Return to the Shelter” is uttered.
Step 2 (1997-1998)
Turn puppy eyes on Roomie 2. Wait to hear “Rescue dog stays. I’ll take responsibility”. Become doe-eyed, adorable and obedient. Behave impeccably in the presence of Roomie 2’s parents. Earn third place rosette at puppy classes. Become inseparable from Roomie 2. Discard number from companion human’s description.
Step 3 (1998-1999)
Accompany Roomie to new city. Continue to be marvellous. Go to work with Roomie. Go on holidays with Roomie. Climb mountains, walk canal paths, ride trains, be a running companion. Be forgiven for eating pay cheques. Be forgiven for eating 3lbs of raw carrots and pooping orange cubes in the house. Perform ball catching feats for park audiences. Find pup playmate in park, thus providing Roomie with new human friend. Look so adorable neighbour teenager asks to play, providing Roomie with a whole family of new friends.
Step 4 (1999-2006)
Be understanding when Roomie embarks on new path. Go with Roomie for Christmas break to Roomie’s parents. Stay behind when Roomie goes home. Become family dog. Discover The Beach. Learn trick with paw from small human. Master the art of plastic bottle crushing to help with recycling. Become two-home pup after Roomie moves near to parents. Enjoy arriving for ‘daycare’ at Roomie’s parents’ house. Greet Roomie in evening by jumping and squealing and racing back home. Carry on being magnificent.
Step 5 (2006-2012)
Teach Roomie’s human companion how to “do” dog. Spend several years training him. Learn to speak cat. Squash urge to chase cats. Live happily with cats. Several cats. Make like still a pup. Fool everyone. Bear arthritis and heart failure with good grace and exuberance. Perfect inappropriately-timed sighing. Maintain ability to hear can opener. Perform cat dish cleaning duties. Improve sniffing techniques to compensate for cataracts. Become noxious gas generator. Allow occasional lapses of control and behave outrageously.
Step 6 (2012)
Learn to tweet. Find Twitter friends. Make friends with a famous cat. Become the cat’s sidekick. Go on adventures. Dance. Speak French. Write poems. Draw pictures. Make fezzes. Become part of a virtual family. Chase a rabbit. Join a team. Help found Pawfleet. Go on missions. Play. Laugh. Live.
Step 7 (September-November 2012)
Offline – Admit to being old. Slow down. Ask for help. Look deep into Roomie’s eyes. Say thank you. Say I love you. Say goodbye.
Online – Undertake an Epic Journey. Take time to visit friends. Exchange gifts. Go on one final Pawfleet mission. Save the day. Hold paws. Say thank you. Say I love you. Say goodbye.
My name was Mosey. And this was my story – Pup to Pawfleet in seven steps.