Last week I got a rescue dog, because apparently I felt I didn’t have enough things to look after. I think when you’ve been a mother for 5 years, your resistance to a sad pair of brown eyes is very limited; and also, you have forgotten everything else you used to do except look after things.
The bonus of having a pet is that you can name it. I found the whole naming of children thing to be the most exciting aspect of parenting, and whenever I hear of a new friend who is pregnant, I won’t sleep for days because I am busy naming her child for her. My friend Harlo and I considered setting up a business, naming people’s children for them. We could present prospective (pregnant) clients with a shortlist of names, tailor-made for their tastes, industry-approved by us. I still think this is the best business idea we’ve ever had (although to be fair, it’s not as good as any of the ideas for reality tv shows we’ve come up with). It’s lucky the dog we got this week had such sad brown eyes, because he came pre-named and that was nearly a deal-breaker for me.
His name is Digger, a name given to him by the rescue shelter, which I thought was a bit of a gamble. It’s like giving a dog the name Chewy, or Barker, or Childbiter and hoping someone will put their hand up and take him home. They need to up their marketing department. As it turns out, Digger is very well-named which leads me to believe the joke is on us. Digger also likes to sleep on my head at night and perhaps even on my face, because I keep waking up and spitting out dog hair. By 6am the entire household is in our bed, it’s ever so cosy. I have to take Digger with me everywhere too, because he has severe separation anxiety and does helicopter-propellor spray poos up the wall when left alone.
The truth is I love him, though, and I think when your kids are 5 and 3 you find a little bit of extra room to love something new. It must mean it’s getting easier. And as soon as it gets easier, it’s important to make it more difficult again. I’m outside all the time now, with the kids running alongside the dog in front of me – it makes me feel I’m raising them right. Funny how a dog can make you feel peaceful about that for a minute. Digger is the closest I’ll ever get to relating to people with 3 children; except if I’d had a 3rd, I’d at least have got to name it.