Exciting news. We might be expecting. I say might because I haven’t done a pregnancy test yet. I thought about doing one then I thought, what the hell, I will leave it to fate. If it happens, it happens. If not, I will look on the bright side as it will save me a lot of bother.
Actually, it was the other way around, if I’m honest. My first reaction was total panic, then I thought, if it happens I will look on the bright side. It will be nice to hear the patter of tiny paws around the place.
Oh, didn’t I say? It’s Cydney who might be expecting. Not me. Lordy, no. I’m well past that. But Cydney is in her prime. I haven’t had her ‘done’ yet as I had been hoping to reserve the option of perhaps letting her have one litter to preserve her impeccable bloodlines.
But romance never goes according to plan and I’m afraid to say it wasn’t a working cocker she had an amorous encounter with. It was a fluffy white Maltese.
And before anyone complains that this was irresponsible, let me tell you, it was nothing to do with me. Quite the opposite. I had taken Cydney out for a walk on the lead as she was in season. I was in close control of her. I had no intention of letting any old Tom, Dick or Fido have a go at wooing her.
Despite my best efforts as a chaperone, however, Cydney has caught the attention of a pushy little Maltese who is walked in the park every day by a woman who also has a fearsome-looking Doberman and a jet-black Alsatian. Those two terrify the life out of me. But the little Malty is friendly enough. Too friendly, in fact. Even though we try to give the threesome a wide berth, the Malty always runs over to ‘ask Cydney out for dinner and a movie’, if you will allow me to put it that way.
Cydney has told the Malty several times that she couldn’t possibly go on a date with him because she had to stay in and wash her hair. But over the course of several weeks, the Malty won her over. The smooth-talking rake.
A few days ago, as we skittered across the Common trying to avoid him, the Malty ran over and I’m afraid to say Cydney said, ‘Well, all right then, if you take me to the Wolseley...’
As she was on the lead, I managed to pull her away. We made our way around the park and the three dogs disappeared from sight. The park was deserted, so after a little while I decided to let her off the lead for a quick rummage through the undergrowth.
Within seconds she was gone, streaking across the grass at top speed running towards ...oh no! ...the Malty had given his owner the slip and was running at full speed towards her.
It did feel a bit like the theme tune from Brief Encounter should be playing. I gave chase, but before I could reach them I witnessed ...well, a brief encounter.
The owner of the Malty got there before I did and could have done more before finally stepping in. She was laughing her head off as I approached gasping and screeching ‘Is he done? Is he done? Has he been done?’
As she put the Malty on the lead she said, ‘No, he’s not neutered,’ so calmly and smugly that I can only conclude she had allowed it to happen maliciously. But that’s another story. I couldn’t get to the bottom of why she hadn’t intervened sooner because the Doberman was looking on menacingly and the more I shouted at her the more he growled at me.
‘Cydney Susan!’ I admonished the spaniel as we walked home. I only use her middle name when she has gone way too far. ‘How could you? And with a funny-looking thing like that!’
I rang the vet but he said there was not much to be done. ‘How long did they...?’ he asked. ‘Three, four seconds max,’ I said. ‘Hmmm. Unlikely, but it’s always possible.’
I was furious for hours, but then I decided to look up a picture of what, in theory, the result of the encounter might look like. I once made a joke in a book I wrote about a stupid woman with a fancy crossbreed she called a Cocker-Malti-Poodle-Dor, as if you ever heard of anything so ridiculous.
But as it turns out, there is a designer dog arising from a Cocker-Malty assignation. It is called a Silky Cocker. And it is the cutest little thing you ever did see.
‘Cydney,’ I said, as the spaniel looked up at me beseechingly, ‘I may be able to forgive you.’