Five years and 363 days ago, I was still with my two brothers, Billy and Milo and our doggy mum Beth, in Wales. Little did I know that in two days time, my life would change in a very big way.
Mummy had been contemplating getting a dog but she had no idea even where to begin. She was considering what breed would work for her situation. Living in a two-bedroom flat in central London had to be taken into consideration. That meant no BIG dogs. And she’s a little OCD so she knew she would be better off if she chose a dog that did not moult. She was worried about barky dogs that could annoy her neighbours.
She thought long and hard – a daschund? (Wonder if it had anything to do with her thinking so long that it stretched into a sausage dog! LOL!) But she was told it would have difficulty going up and down two flights of stairs with those short little legs and bad for its back. She knew from her sister’s Cavalier King Charles that they would shed way too much for her peace of mind. She even considered getting a whippet because they were daintily elegant, quiet and their colours matched the decor quite well. But those stairs could be treacherous for the fragile legs and besides it would need a good run. She was looking at every little dog she met on the street but she just couldn’t come to any conclusion. She asked friends for their opinions. And they came back with some rather funny opinions … which further confused her.
Then fate brought her to The Olive Branch in Rutland, on a beautiful April Spring day in 2011. That was almost six years ago. The place was full. She and the person she was with ended up sitting in the garden on this very bench. It was a warm April day, and the friend’s black Labrador needed a drink of water from walking through the fields. He borrowed a bowl from another dog owner. The dog owner’s two little girls were playing with a little black dog in the garden where we were sitting. It was a Cockapoo but at that point in time, Mummy had no idea what breed it was. Just before the mother and her two girls were leaving, they came to speak with Mummy and her friend.
They were from London and they lived near Regent’s Park. Immediately my friend pounced on the opportunity to ask if she could advice me on what breed of dog I should get – being also a Londoner.
“Oh, you must get a cockapoo. They’re the best London dogs!” the woman said excitedly.
“Why is that?” Mummy inquired.
“They’re a good size, they don’t bark a lot, they hardly moult. And they’re intelligent dogs.”
Mummy was ticking all the boxes in her head.
“Where did you get her from?” Mummy asked, by then she had decided she was getting a cockapoo – except she could not remember the name of the breed and kept saying – cocker doodle or poo-cocker. She just couldn’t get it right. She also didn’t know anything about getting a dog!
“Oh, I’ve done all my research, I looked at breeders nation wide. You’ll find her on the internet.”
Mummy couldn’t walk back fast enough through the vast fields to her friend’s house to get on the internet. She googled the breeder and found puppies available. And there she saw three funny faces with furrowed brows looking back at her. Me and my two brothers were only six weeks old and we were all apricot with ginger ears. But one of my brothers had white paws. He was called Socks and then became Milo. There was Billy. She overlooked me because she was looking for a Mr. Darcy.Yes, that’s little me!
You see, she had already decided she wanted a “Mr. Darcy” in her life – whatever form he came in. She couldn’t decide which of the two boys she wanted. She sent photos of them to her friends and they told her that they would be quite “big” by the size of our paws. Oh no! Mummy thought – how much bigger will they grow. She wanted a small dog. I think she thought we will always be that size! LOL!
Long story short, her friend told her she was daft to pick a dog because of the name, that she should get a girl. Wanting to please, she put down a deposit for me. Within a day, both Billy and Milo were spoken for and when Mummy asked if she should change her mind when she met me, could she then take one of the boys. But it was too late. Our fate was sealed. She was stuck with me and that’s how I became “Miss Darcy”. I don’t take offence that I was not her first choice because she really didn’t know any better. She was a total novice – and did everything she shouldn’t do when adopting a puppy.
All that is behind us now. That was how our story began. It was all because of that fateful day when the beautiful day meant she had to sit outside at The Olive Branch in Rutland. And there she met a lady with a cockapoo – who told her where to look for one. Was that fate?
May’s comment: “You don’t find love. It finds you.” 🙂
And by the way, The Olive Branch is dog-friendly in the bar area – which is absolutely OK with us.The food was superb and such a pretty place. Just make sure you don’t have a dog that does a runner at every possible opportunity!
The Olive Branch and Beech House is located in the Rutland village of Clipsham.