Welcome everyone Sandra in Spain - FlamencoI’m Sandra Piddock, and I’m a freelance writer, dividing my time between Spain and the UK. I’ll write about anything that interests and/or challenges me, and I like to focus on the lighter side of life whenever possible.. Read more
latest posts

Remembering Paddy

Paddy has been a major part of my life since I adopted him in March 2014, at the grand old age of 8 weeks, or thereabouts. On 13th March 2019 – almost 5 years to the day after he brought so much joy into my life – Paddy died in the most traumatic circumstances. In his all-too-short time here on Earth, Paddy touched many lives. He even had his own Facebook page, and sometimes ‘wrote’ guest posts on here too.

When the time is right, I will tell Paddy’s full story, so everyone can know what a hero he was. In the meantime, this page is a memorial to his short but eventful life, and a place where I can share my thoughts and hopefully help others as they process the loss of a much loved pet. Paddy was larger than life, and his spirit lives on in my heart. He will never be forgotten by those who knew and loved him.

Paddy is a year old!

[slideshow_deploy id=’645′]

Our beautiful rescue dog Paddy is a year old now. Well, we think he is – it says 15 January on his Pet Passport, so he must be! Because Paddy was abandoned by the canal when he was around 6 weeks old, we can’t be sure of his exact birthday, but our lovely vet Madeleine worked it out to 15 January, so that’s now his designated birthday, and as he hasn’t told us any different, we celebrated yesterday.

He has a lovely new leather collar – black, so he’s all colour co-ordinated – and although he didn’t get a birthday cake, we did get a ham hock, so he’s had the bone out of that. Much healthier for him, and I’m sure he enjoyed it more than a gooey cake.

Paddy is so much a part of our lives that it’s difficut to imagine that we’ve only had him for just over 10 months – we got him on St Patrick’s Day 2014. There have been plenty of laughs, as well as a few tantrums – both from him and his Mummy and Daddy. He can be a stubborn little sod when he doesn’t get his own way, and as we are determined he’s not going to be leader of the pack, that happens quite often.

And he can be a total embarrassment at times – like the time he pulled my chair over at the dog training class when he took off after another dog who had just had a go at him. I was hanging onto his lead, and he was sitting behind my flimsy plastic chair, so neither me nor the chair stood a chance when 25 kilos of angry puppy was on a mission. It was a real ‘legs in the air’ job, and I was so relieved that, just before training, I’d changed from skirt to shorts because I didn’t have any pockets in the skirt for treats.

Mostly though, he’s a total joy, and today we had to smile – yet again – at his antics. I was getting the spare bedroom ready for our visitors, who are arriving at the weekend, and of course, Paddy was ‘helping.’

To make the room look  a bit more Spanish, I put in the musical jewellery box I bought from the Alhambra Palace in Granada. It plays – you guessed it – Granada, and Tony wound it up to see what Paddy would do. What he did was look at himself in the mirror on the box, then watch, fascinated, to see where the music was coming from, tilting his head this way and that. When it wound down, Tony closed the lid, and Paddy immediately tried to open it again to get the music back. We had to rewind it three times before something outside caught his attention and he forgot about it.

Of course, all the most popular media stars issue a set of photographs on their birthday, and Paddy is no exception. I hope you enjoy the slideshow of pictures we took today – particularly the official birthday portrait. I think that’s my new favourite!

Happy Birthday Paddy, and thanks for choosing us to be your Mummy and Daddy. Here’s to the next year together!

Paddy’s First Christmas – just like having kids again!

[slideshow_deploy id=’547′]

I have to say I’ve been looking forward to giving Paddy his Christmas presents, and seeing how he coped with the Big Day. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting much. After all, you don’t imagine an 11 month old puppy getting excited at the thought of Santa coming do you?  And Paddy still wasn’t 100% back to normal following his operation. But he’s an intelligent little boy – or rather big boy – and he does pick up on anything different, so I was hoping we’d enjoy our first Christmas with Paddy.

The first hour or so was spent with his backside welded to the kitchen floor, as he watched me prepare the food for cooking, and hoped against hope there’s be some fallout from the work surface. (There wasn’t – hard luck Paddy. There’s a reason I don’t start on the cava until everything is safely under way).

Then it was time to open the presents. Usually, they sit under the tree, but usually, we didn’t have a dog with destructive tendencies, so this year they stayed safely in the spare bedroom until opening time. Of course, Paddy got to open the first present – a red and green squeaky rattlesnake from Aunty Glenys in Plymouth. We could tell he loved it from the way he threw it up in the air and caught it several times before getting down to the serious business of making each of the 5 segments squeak as loudly as possible. Got a feeling we might have to ‘lose’ this one for a while, if only to save our sanity, but Paddy loves it – just as Aunty Glenys knew he would.

The next Paddy Present was a pack of fancy dog treats from Aunty Bev and Uncle Alex, who are spending Christmas and New Year in Jersey. So of course, there had to be a break in proceedings while he checked they were suitable for consumption. Even though it was Christmas though,  he still sat down and did the ‘Paw, Paddy, now other paw’ routine we always have for treats. He’s a good mannered little boy – and a bit of a show off into the bargain!

Next up was our present – and I went for the colour-co-ordinated option. I bought him a furry skunk, which matched his coat perfectly. That was a big hit too – later in the day, when he needed a nap, his skunk was the companion of choice. While Paddy tried to decide whether he wanted to play with the rattlesnake or the skunk – and tried unsuccessfully to carry both around at the same time – we opened our own presents.

Normally, I’m well organised for the Present Undressing. I have a bag ready so the discarded wrappings go straight into it, and don’t clutter the floor. However, this year I was so keen to see Paddy open his presents I forgot all about it – and I’m so glad I did! Just like many little kids, Paddy decided that the wrapping paper looked even more fun that the presents, so we had a chaotic interlude while he chucked it, chased it and chewed it. We just sat back and enjoyed the show – after retiring the gifts to a safe distance, of course!

When our friends Jim and Joan arrived for lunch, there were more Paddy Presents, in the form of his favourite biscuits, along with some doggy choc drops. And Paddy helped Uncle Jim to unpack them so he could sample them. Not too many though – we didn’t want to spoil his lunch! Like us, Paddy sat down to Aberdeen Angus beef, turkey crown and smoked gammon. Unlike us, his Christmas dinner vanished in about two minutes flat.

We did try to include him in the Ceremony of the Crackers, but he ran off with his and chewed it up. Not only that, he took exception to our hats as well, and removed them. Obviously he didn’t want us to look like idiots in the photos! Then it was off for a walk with Uncle Jim. I have to say I was a bit miffed that he asked Uncle Jim to take him for his Christmas Day walk, but then again, I’m here all the time, and it did give me chance to relax with a large Bailey’s over ice.

After his walk, Paddy settled down for a nap with Skunk. Little man you’ve had a busy day – but a very enjoyable one, and we were all so pleased to be part of Paddy’s First Christmas!

Maybe we ought to have called Paddy Hitler!

[slideshow_deploy id=’512′]

If you’re wondering about the title of this post, let me refer you to a popular wartime ditty concerning Hitler, his henchmen, and their – er – dangly bits, sung to the tune of The Colonel Bogey March. While Paddy is mercifully free from any tendencies towards warmongering, world domination or genocide, we found out today that, just like Hitler, he has only got one cojon.

Paddy is part Labrador, and he’s rather boisterous. Make that very boisterous. The boy bounces around like he’s permanently on elastic. Our lovely vet, Madeleine, and his trainer, Alex, have been saying for a while that it would calm him down if we had him neutered. Being a rather over-protective Puppy Mummy, I’ve fended off the Evil Day for as long as I can. However, Madeleine, Alex and many of the puppy books, magazines and websites advise that it’s best to get the job done before the dog is a year old, and as Paddy is now 11 months old, I couldn’t put it off any longer.

Needless to say, I spent a sleepless night worrying how he would cope with it all. When he trotted off happily with Madeleine, I should have been relieved, but I felt really guilty. Paddy thought he was going for a ride in the car, which he loves, and instead, his treacherous Mummy delivered him into the hands of a torturer hiding behind a smile. Or at least, that’s how it seemed to me, and I cried buckets all the way home.

My mood wasn’t helped when Madeleine phoned shortly afterwards to say that only one of Paddy’s testicles had descended, so it wasn’t a straightforward castration. The other one had to be removed from his abdomen, or there was a real danger that it could turn malignant at some stage. Cue more tears, which were only fully halted when Madeleine called back to say that everything had gone well and Paddy was now recovering nicely.

When we collected him late this afternoon, I thought she might have been a bit optimistic. Although he raised a valiant wag of the tail, Paddy was obviously on another planet – Planet Paddy, where everything was suddenly different. He could hardly get to his feet, and it took us two or three minutes to walk the 50 yards to the car. Carrying him was not an option, as he now tips the scales at 32.5 kilos – that’s around 5 stones in English money.

For the first couple of hours after we got back, he never moved an inch, even when I walked past him with a plate of chicken and chips for Tony – I was far too distraught to eat! I did consider calling Madeleine, as she’d said to ring her if there were any problems, but Tony said he didn’t think the fact that the dog didn’t fancy a chip counted as an emergency. Men are so unfeeling over these things, aren’t they?

About an hour ago, he seemed to liven up a bit, and asked to go out. I took him for a short walk, and he seemed to enjoy it, and demonstrated that his plumbing was in perfect working order after the surgery. And when we got back, he had a drink of water, and managed to eat some nice lean ham which I’d bought specially for the occasion. Tony had the idea it was for his supper, but I soon put him right on that one.

Now, though, Paddy is pacing the room, not knowing what to do with himself, and looking at me with those big, soulful brown eyes as much as to say ‘What the feck is going on here, and can you make it stop?’ So, once again I’m in floods of tears, and feeling guilty as hell for what I’ve put my baby through, even though I know it had to be done, and he’ll soon be back to his normal self again. Who’d be a Puppy Mummy?

My big, brave boy – or maybe not!

Paddy - still nervous after his Hare Brush, and trying to conceal himself under a cushion

Paddy – still nervous after his Hare Brush, and trying to conceal himself under a cushion

Like all dogs, Paddy loves his walks, and being 30 kilos of boisterous puppy, he needs lots of them. We have two walks where he bounds free around the orange groves or the waste ground near our home, and then there are two quick ‘constitutionals’ morning and evening solely for download purposes.

Saturday’s constitutional was going very well. The tank was emptied, the departure lounge was cleared, and Paddy was enjoying the obligatory sniffing session on the way home when things went horribly wrong in his little world.

As he was investigating a particularly interesting smell on the edge of the waste ground, something came out of the bushes and boxed him squarely on the nose. The ‘something’ was a paw, and it was attached to the biggest hare I have ever seen. The hare then turned tail and fled,straight down a steep bank to safety.

I had visions of Paddy following him, and me flying through the air with the greatest of unease. I failed physics at school – I’m a creative not a scientist – but even I know that a dog lead and choker chain are not particularly effective as a parachute. And with 30 kilos of excited pup in  front of me, I could already hear the ambulancia sirens in my head.

As all this was speeding through my brain, in the same way that a drowning man allegedly sees his life flash before him, Paddy did indeed take off, and I was both astonished and delighted to find I was still on terra firma, even if I was going fast enough to catch Lewis Hamilton on a good day. You see, dear reader, my big, brave boy was scared out of his wits, and instead of chasing the hare, he was heading for home, and I was in the slipstream.

When we arrived at Piddock Place, instead of sitting in the courtyard for me to take his lead and collar off, Paddy scratched the front door frantically and hollered for Daddy to let him in. Then he bolted under the table and lay there anxiously, his big brown eyes swivelling around the room in case that vicious hare – who should have picked on somebody his own size – was in hot pursuit.

It took around an hour to coax him from his hiding place – he wouldn’t even come out for his favourite treats. It was only when our friends Bev and Alex arrived for lunch that he was persuaded to abandon his self-imposed sanctuary and join the real world once more.

When it was time for his run in the orange groves, Paddy couldn’t be persuaded to go past the scene of the crime, so we had to make a detour. And two days later, he still won’t go that way. I’m beginning to think his pet passport tells lies. In the space for the animal’s sex, it says ‘Macho.’ Now, my dog is many things, but as the Close Encounter With A Hare Kind proved, he definitely isn’t macho!

It can be a dog’s life when you’re living with a puppy!

Sometimes Paddy is adorable - at other times, he leads me a dog's life!

Sometimes Paddy is adorable – at other times, he leads me a dog’s life!

No matter how much you love your four footed friend – and Paddy is very much loved – there are times when I could cheerfully murder him, and a couple of months ago, I very nearly did. Within the space of a week, he committed three major misdemeanours. His behaviour forced me to bring Vodka O’ Clock forward by a good couple of hours, and seriously consider getting rid of either the husband or the dog. In fact, it’s still under consideration. I shall tell you the sorry tale of our Semana Most Shocking, when I finally realised that Paddy needed to be educated.

It all started when I was cleaning my teeth one morning. That can take a while, because I am have two sorts of teeth. There are the ones that Nature blessed me with, and there are the teeth that are like stars, because they come out every night. It was while these teeth were getting a scrub up that Paddy jumped at me, taking me completely by surprise. In case you’re thinking ‘Lucky lady – I wish my other half would do that,’ I should remind you that Paddy is the dog, not the husband, but I digress.

Have you every tried hanging on to anything when around 30 kilos of puppy launches itself in your direction? It’s nigh on impossible. The teeth flew out of my hand, making a perfect arc in the air. Paddy took off after them and caught them before they hit the marble  floor and cracked. Pity they didn’t, since  I could have got Tony on the case with the super glue. Paddy raced off with them, and proceeded to remove the teeth until all that was left was the plate. What’s more, he ate the evidence of the crime. Tony did say that if I waited for them to emerge, he’d glue them back on, but for some reason, that idea didn’t appeal.

So it was off to the dentist, and the Receptionist was very professional. She didn’t even smirk as I related my tale of woe – or at least, not until the other people in the waiting room started to titter. Then it was open season, so much so that the dentist came to see what all the hilarity was about. A dentist’s waiting room is not normally a place of laughter, but it was that day!

I was still working on the Mona Lisa smile which I’d need for the next few weeks when Paddy caused havoc again. Just like the stars – and the recently deceased teeth – I am also out at night. Late at night, on the terrace when it’s cool, catching up on the writing while the world is quiet and calm. However, my personal quiet and calm was shattered when Paddy mounted his Great Escape. He loves to sit on the garden wall, and watch the world go by. At 2.00am, there isn’t much world going by, so he  pushed through the cypress hedge that separates our garden from the next one to see if there was some action going down. There wasn’t, so on he went, finishing up three doors along in an unoccupied property.

I tried to encourage him to come back to me, but  he was panicking a bit. I  headed along the terrace with a ladder and his lead, and I was half way up the ladder when I realised the major flaw in the plan. The Policia Local patrol all through the night, every night, even though Algorfa is a – mercifully – crime free zone. Since they hadn’t been around since I waved to them from the terrace an hour ago, another drive by was probably imminent. Calling the dog a name I never even realised I knew, I took the ladder and the lead back home and waited. And waited. And fell asleep on the sofa.

By 4.00am, when Paddy finally made his way home, he was chastened by his adventure, and wanted to be with Mummy, even though he knows the bedroom is off limits, so he forced himself in there with me. I can’t remember when a male of the species last forced his way into my boudoir. Pity this one had four legs and a tail. Anyway, Tony was not impressed, especially when Paddy stretched his considerable length diagonally across the bed and refused to move, even for his favourite treats.

So the husband was grouchy, and ‘our dog’ suddenly became ‘my dog’ for some reason. We were both blamed for the Great Escape, and were still being treated like naughty school kids 24 hours later. When the husband said ‘Either me or that dog has to go,’ it was very tempting to go and start packing – and it wasn’t the dentistix and the squeaky toys I was thinking of.

They say bad things come in threes, and Paddy’s obviously heard that old saying, because the next thing he did was to go out in the garden and separate Tony’s burgeoning blackberry bush from its pot. It was a cutting from the main bush, and it was enjoying life in its nice big pot until Paddy found it. One minute it was there, the next it was gone, and although we hunted high and low for it in our  small garden, it appeared to have left the building. The next day, the mystery of the missing blackberry bush was solved. Those of a nervous disposition may want to look away now.

It appeared we were featuring in a remake of Alien when Paddy  started to whimper on the terrace – his gaze transfixed by a mysterious object that was emerging from just beneath his tail. All of a sudden, the penny dropped, presenting a great opportunity to get my own back on my dastardly dog. Reaching for a wet wipe, I grabbed the end of the blackberry root – for that was what it was – and gave it a good hard tug. Then Paddy became a locksmith and made a bolt for the terrace door and the safety of the lounge.

He cowered in the corner, with his rear end tucked safely into the angle between the master bedroom and the guest bathroom. And I didn’t feel in the least bit guilty. Does that make me a bad Puppy Mummy? Probably, but I can live with it. Anyway, by the end of that traumatic week,  I knew that the process of Educating Paddy needed to begin in earnest.

Paddy’s particular powers of persuasion

[slideshow_deploy id=’271′]

Here  at Piddock Place, there is an atmosphere of disruption and disarray, and nobody is feeling the effects of that more than the celebrity of the household, Paddy. He’s becoming something of a social media star, and the fame seems to have gone to his head, because all of a sudden, he’s become a bit of a demanding diva. When he wants something he wants it NOW.

The reason for the disruption and disarray is partly Paddy’s fault. The grass in our garden – you can’t really call it a lawn – has always struggled to look nice, and mostly failed, despite the tender ministrations of our gardener Sam and Tony. When 30 kilos of puppy is doing The Wall of Death  around the palm tree, fig tree and olive tree at 90 miles an hour, even the most verdant lawn is going to suffer, so our miserable  patch of stubble didn’t stand a chance against those thundering paws. As a consequence,  we’ve decided to do away with the grass, and go for pebbles and a patio, and we’ve got the builders in this week.

That means the garden is totally off limits to Paddy, and it also means Mummy has to take him for at least four walks a day to give him ample opportunity to do the necessary. Luckily he seems to have a bladder the size of Murcia, or I’d never get settled for long enough to do anything. He is very aggrieved that he is not allowed in ‘his’ garden, and he shows his displeasure by finding ever more ‘in your face’ ways to tell me he needs to ‘go.’

His last constitutional is just before I go to bed, and as I’m a night owl, that’s some time between 1.00 and 2.00 am. Just as an aside, I would never dream of going out alone at that time, even with a dog for protection, in the UK, but I feel perfectly safe here. Anyway, because his last pit stop is so late, he’s not eager to empty the tank in the morning. That suits me just fine, because I need at least two mugs of tea before I can function at the most basic level. However, last night Nature called Paddy sooner rather than later, so he was in Crossed Leg Mode this morning.

Well, I did my best, I really did. I told him that once I’d had my first mug of tea, we’d go, but that wasn’t good enough for my boy, who gave me his own version of ‘Do you know who I am?’ by impersonating a parrot and climbing on my shoulders. A 30 kilo parrot on the shoulder of a 70 kilo writer is not a comfortable or practical option, so I gave in gracefully and left my tea to go cold so Paddy could do what he needed to do. Luckily – or maybe not – Tony was around to capture it all on camera. Enjoy!

Paddy the Phantom Paper Pincher

Paddy - well into tissue ripping mode

Paddy – well into tissue ripping mode

We’ve been pretty lucky with Paddy. He’s not really destructive, but he does have a penchant for paper, and he’ll purloin it given half a chance. One of his favourite tricks – and one he’s perfected over the months – is taking tissues from pockets, but he’s also happy with serviettes if he can get his paws on them.

Soon after we brought him home, I had quite a scare. We’d had friends around for supper, and we’d had to retrieve serviettes from Paddy’s jaws on more than one occasion. Next morning I was inspecting Paddy’s downloads for signs of anything untoward. I’ve got over that now, but I was a very anxious Puppy Mummy in the early days. What I saw sent me scuttling indoors to phone the vet. There was blood in that there poop, and blood in poop is Not a Good Thing, especially for a 9 week old puppy.

Luckily, in my haste to get to the phone, I stepped on something. It was a red serviette – or rather part of one. Suddenly the Mystery of the Bloody Doggy Doings was solved – Paddy the Phantom Paper Pincher had struck again.I gave the rest of the red serviettes to my friend and bought yellow ones, but obviously Paddy didn’t like the taste, because from then on he didn’t eat the tissues and serviettes he pinched, he just ripped them to shreds.

We often call him the Artful Dodger, as he can whip a tissue from a pocket without anyone realising until they see the shredded paper at their

Look what I just snaffled from Daddy's pocket while he wasn't looking!

Look what I just snaffled from Daddy’s pocket while he wasn’t looking!

feet. But he’s getting more brazen now – if there isn’t a corner of tissue poking out of the pocket, he’ll come up to you, tail a-wagging and lean into your side. As you stroke him, he nuzzles into you, and you think ‘Aaah – what a cute, affectionate boy he is.’ But you’re wrong, he’s pure evil, and he’s intent on taking your tissue and tearing it to shreds. He’s perfected the art of easing it up from the depths of the deepest pocket, usually with his nose but sometimes with his teeth.

A friend of ours thought she could best him by stuffing her tissue down her ample bosom, but Paddy managed to work his way in there too. Truth be told, I’m not sure who enjoyed the experience the most. Let’s just say it happened more than once, and protect the identity of the guilty party, shall we?

Paddy’s preferred routine is for you to chase him around the house and garden, vainly trying to rescue your tissue. He likes it even better if you offer him one of his favourite treats in return for your now very soggy tissue. Because you’ve fallen for the puppy eyes and the cute way he shoves his bum in the air in his ‘chase me’ mode, you’ll probably cave in and give him a treat, or even two or three. But I am impervious to those charms. He gets no treat-tissue swap from me. Well, not every time, anyway!

Paddy’s peculiar sleeping positions

[slideshow_deploy id=’181′]

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the number of contortions Paddy can perform in  his sleep. Most of them look so uncomfortable you wonder how he can possibly sleep like that. More than once he’s fallen off the sofa or a chair, landing on the marble floor or the tiles on the terrace, often on his head with a hard thump. Makes me wonder if there might be some truth in the old saying that where there’s no sense there’s no feeling, because it never seems to bother him. On the other hand, he does seem to be a very intelligent dog, so maybe he’s just a hard headed boy.

I’ve taken to keeping the camera with me at all times, so I can catch his sleeping positions at any time of the day or night. These days, he’s not camera shy, like he was when he first came to us. by the time you’d lined up the shot, he’d moved out of the frame, usually to come and investigate the wrist strap dangling enticingly from the camera.

Now, he’s a seasoned poser, and whenever I subject our friends to a slide show of the latest Paddy pics – which is pretty much every time anyone calls around – he likes to sit on one of the terrace chairs and admire the latest collection. I haven’t actually counted the number of photos of Paddy we’ve taken in the 7 months since we brought him home, but it’s probably into four figures now.

So, enjoy the slideshow, and maybe let me know which one is your favourite. I’m pretty spoiled for choice, but I think I’d have to say the one where he has his paws over his face. On a ‘Aw cute’ scale of 1 – 10, that one has to be an 11!


Paddy’s Day – March 17 2014

Teddy - soon to become Paddy. Our first sight of him on the K9 Club website

Teddy – soon to become Paddy. Our first sight of him on the K9 Club website

Monday, 17 March 2014 was the day I fell in love, and the day my life changed forever. It was the day we collected our puppy, Paddy, from the K9 Club in La Marina. Ever since we’d settled in Spain, I’d wanted a dog, and knowing how many animals needed homes, I wanted to adopt a rescue dog. Tony was dead against it, because, as he rightly said, a dog is a tie, and in any case, we were human aunt and uncle to our friends’ two dogs. We saw them every day, and looked after them when their owners went on holiday.

I’d resigned myself to living a dog free existence, but then our friends decided to return to England, and although I tried my hardest, they insisted on taking the dogs with them. I assured them the dogs would be better off with me in the country of their birth – I mean, after eight years of going ‘el woof’ when a stranger walked past the house, or when they met other dogs on their travels, how would they cope with the doggy lingo in England? But all my pleas fell on deaf ears, and our friends and the dogs departed for pastures newer and greener.

One Sunday, soon after they’d left, we were relaxing in the sunshine in our courtyard, and Tony said, ‘Have you still got this week’s papers?’ referring to the local free English language newspapers. I did still have them, and I asked him why he needed them. He said the words I thought I’d never hear: ‘Because we’re going to choose a puppy for you.’

I went into the apartment, cleaned out my ears with cotton buds in case I’d heard him wrong, then checked the level in the whisky bottle to make sure it wasn’t the booze talking. The ears yielded no wax, and the whisky bottle appeared to be at the same level as the previous evening, so I went back outside, complete with free papers, and asked him if he meant it. He did, so we looked through the adverts. Quite honestly there were about a dozen dogs I could easily have taken in, but nothing actually leapt off the page and said ‘Mummy, take me home with you!’

So we went on the various websites,and there we had our first sight of Paddy – or Teddy, as Kayla at K9 had called him. He was between 6 and 8 weeks old – they couldn’t be sure, as he’d been abandoned and left to die alongside the canal behind the kennels. When Kayla found him while she was walking some of the other dogs, he was covered in mud, freezing cold, and whimpering feebly. His brother, who had been abandoned with him, was dead, and Teddy wouldn’t have lasted the night. Kayla took him back, bathed him, and let him sleep with her, because he was so tiny she was afraid the other dogs would hurt him.

As soon as we saw Teddy, we knew he was the dog for us. He reminded us of our Border Collie, Patch, who lived to the grand old age of 17. So we arranged to collect him the following day. As we discussed names for him, we decided we’d like to give him a Spanish name, and we settled on Pedro. However,  when we saw the date on the receipt for our donation to the K9 Club, we realised it was St Patrick’s Day, so what else could we call him but Paddy?

I’ll be sharing Paddy’s adventures, trials and tribulations with you, and I’m working on an e-book called Educating Paddy,  so this is where I shall blog the book into existence. Fasten your seat belts, because sometimes life with Paddy can be a very bumpy ride!

Photo credit: K9 Cub