Daphne Ledward, Garden Planner, Gardener, Author and Broadcaster

Muffin's Blog

Muffin gets an unwelcome Xmas present     by Mr Muffin

January 2012

One Thursday afternoon, about two weeks before Christmas, John and Daff went out for the afternoon.   Nothing unusual in that, although often we’re given the choice of whether we want to go with them or not.    I knew they weren’t going down the Patch, as they would have taken the big car and we would have gone too, so I wasn’t too bothered as just riding about for no special purpose is not my idea of a fun afternoon out,  especially when I’m generally banged up with Mr Paddidog, who’s not a barrel of laughs at any time, and Smelly Sally, who, when she’s not peeing the bed, is emitting the most nauseating, sulphurous farts – Daff says she smells like the south wind used to do here when Whittlesey Brickworks was in full production.

We assumed they weren’t going far, as they hadn’t left any lights on.   As it got dark around three-thirty then and they generally made sure we could see what was going on if they were going to be later than that, we thought they’d only be gone a short time.

When it had been dark for some time and they’d still not reappeared, we began to get a bit uneasy.   Suppose there’d been an accident; would anyone know that there were five hounds home alone?   Anyway, we needn’t have worried, as they turned up eventually, and that’s where the trouble started.

They weren’t alone.   Hopping along behind them was a little girl, about 9 months old, full of her own importance.   Now, I can just about cope with little girls these days, although there’s only ever been one lady in my life, but this one was more than any poor crippled dog could manage.   She was a fawn lurcher – not even a pedigree, and she’d only got three legs!   Whatever next for 2011, I thought.   First Tom Barnaby, the most in-your-face greyhound imaginable, then this apparition.

It seemed she’d come from our vet’s.    She’d been seen to be dumped from a van down a quiet country lane and the witnesses had taken her to the dog sanctuary nearby, from where she was transferred to our veterinary surgery, which is also used by the sanctuary, as she had a broken left elbow.   Our vet pinned the break and she was readmitted to the sanctuary, but when they took her for a check-up, the pins had all come loose and they had to cut her leg off as they couldn’t mend it again.

It was apparently at this point that our vets decided that she needed a home that understood sight hounds, would look after her properly and give her a lot of love, and who better than John and Daff.   After all, if they could love Tom Barnaby and Smelly Sally, they would be bound to love a three-legged urchin.   So it was mainly their fault that this thing descended on us.

“We’ve got you a little sister for Christmas,” Daff told us.   But we didn’t want a little sister.   If John couldn’t let me have Sandy last year, as far as I was concerned, there was no room for any more dogs.   I’ve got a brother, anyway; he lives in Banbury and I’m not really bothered whether I see him or not.   He does send me a Christmas card, though, which is the only one I ever get.

Stupid Tom immediately fell in love with her.   He never leaves her side; if she goes out he goes with her, and when she comes in, he comes back in, too.   AND he started to pee all over the house, just to let everyone know he’s the boss (he says) and he’s got a girlfriend.   Between his barking and his weeing, he’s just about sending John and Daff round the bend.   I knew he should have gone back to Fen Bank once his new floor was finished, but nobody listens to me, even though I’m invariably right.

Of course, my poorly feet have paled into insignificance now she’s arrived.   Hardly anyone notices my toes and gives me sympathy now but everyone ohs and aahs when they see her hopping along.   Discit’s not pleased, as Faune, as she’s been called, insists on sleeping on John and Daff’s bed with her, so she’s taken to lying right down at the bottom and sulking all night.   Poor John and Daff have to take her to the vet’s every other day so her wound can be redressed (think of the cost of diesel!) and we all had a rotten Christmas because part of the cut started to turn all bad and stinky and she had to keep visiting the emergency surgery.

The worst thing about her, though, is that she’s bright, and that is really worrying as before she came, I was the brains of the family.   She’s hyperactive and cunning (full of hybrid vigour, Daff says, which I think is a term usually used about tough plants) and I dread to think what she’s going to be like when the bandages come off.   We shall see, I fear.  

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