I am the proud owner of two rescue dogs. One is easy. The other is the opposite of easy.
One likes to come to work. The other cannot be trusted in the office because she has a fear of men and people wearing hats or sunglasses. We don’t have a lot of men working at Mamamia, but we have enough to make it problematic when she bails them up and starts barking at them like a lunatic while they’re sitting quietly at their desks.
Let me back up. I’ve had a lot of dogs throughout my life. We were a dog family. I grew up with English Springer Spaniels and then my father, in the most out of character action any of us can remember, fell in love with a small fluffy puppy at the local pet store one day when he’d dropped in to buy dog food.
This was years before puppy farms were a thing and it was unusual for a pet store to sell animals larger than a fish or a bird. This puppy wasn’t any kind of fancy, designer mixed breed. The pet store owner didn’t really know what he was a mix of. He was just cute and then suddenly, unexpectedly, he was ours.
Our next dog was another purebred, a German Shepherd, and then when I was 19 and recovering from a bad breakup, I decided I needed to be loved unconditionally and went to the RSPCA to adopt a stray puppy. “If you think you’re leaving that dog here when you move out, you have another thing coming,” barked my mother, who was extremely unimpressed that I’d done something so irresponsible.
A year or two later she had another threat: “If you think you’re taking her with you now that you’re moving out, you have another thing coming.”
It would be quite a long time before my life allowed me to get another dog. I was married with an eight year old and the time was right. We went to the Sydney Dogs & Cats Home and fell in love with a rescue mutt called Harry who was already 18 months old.