29th June 2007
On the scale of ‘bribes for young girls to accompany their parents to a foreign country’, I imagine a pony probably scores a maximum 10, with the promise of long walks in the woods and clean country air more like a 2. We tried with the ‘puppy bribe’ (8 or 9).
It worked, and the girls have waited very patiently for me to come up with the goods. Now the waiting is over, their dog-shaped good-behaviour star chart has been completely filled up with gold and silver stars and, after a long search at animal rescue centres, pet shops and in the free-ads at the vets, I was able to bring home a fluffy puppy.
It was a bit of a struggle for me to choose the right type of dog. I had so many specifications and conditions which had to apply; medium size, good with children but not a Labrador, intelligent, male, not white (my wife’s peculiar request), preferably Italian, not long haired, not smooth haired, easy to train, not a scary guard dog etc.
However, if you put all that into Google, you actually come up with a Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian truffle-hunting dog. And that’s what we’ve got, and his name is Tartufo, born 22nd April 2007.
I paid for him, but he may as well have been a rescue dog; over 200 blood-sucking ticks on his back (the most the vet had ever seen on one animal), a cist on the back of his neck and one of those ‘misty-blue’ eyes you see on old dogs – not very appetising. However, he did come with a bag of truffles the owner had collected that morning, found by his mother.
It’s a lot like bringing home a baby – no idea quite what to do with it – but so far it acts much like a baby too, sleeping a lot and eating a lot, nothing else.
The stupidest thing I did today;
Fell in love with a stupid, tick-ridden dog which, unfortunately, looks a little like a poodle.