I like nice surprises.
A text came through as I was standing on the platform waiting for the train."Meet the newest member of the family. Roxy." Along with the text, a photo. This black faced, white bodied spoodle puppy.
I called my sister straight back.
See, along with losing my niece six months ago, the family had to have their wonderful old Golden Retriever, Bozley, put down in October. It was a double whammy. Bozley was a magnificent beast and very much a part of the family.
Bozley - He really was the greatest, even if he was a tad stupid.
Then Maggie the Cat came along. There is a bit of a story to this one. My folks live in the country. Feral cats are a problem and my stepdad has the tendency to deal with them like foxes. This means they're shot on sight. My stepdad is a good shot. Feral cats are awful and he's quick and efficient at disposing of them. They don't suffer and they don't terrorise the wildlife if they're dead.
Anyway, this black and white contraption turned up on my parent's doorstep on day. She was very friendly. My mother told her to shoo and to watch out for my stepdad as she's end up wearing a bullet. The cat was persistently friendly, but Mum stayed strong.
The cat had obviously been dumped by some heartless, irresponsible arsehole.
Half an hour later Mum finds my stepdad out on the back porch feeding the cat some ham and letting it sook all over him.
To cut a long story short, this tearaway cat with attitude was taken in, taken to the vet, fixed up, wormed, vaccinated, micro chipped and given to my niece. As my niece passed away in December, she's now the family cat and has been wonderful in helping the family heal - even if she is a tearaway with personality to burn and a fondness for climbing in the pelmets and sleeping in the china cabinet.
Mistress Maggie - on guard as always.
So now there is Roxy. The call to my sister ended with the words, "No Roxy. Leave it! Don't bite that!"
That's a puppy for you.
Needless to say, I've booked a flight home for the middle of next month to go and meet the puppy. The flight was booked as soon as I got out of my nine-o-clock meeting. One friend asked why I was travelling in July after being adamant I wasn't going to travel during that month (I've got a few bills on)
But it's a puppy!
And yes, I am that shallow and easily pleased.
Looking at the date, the puppy is a godsend. My niece passed away six months ago tomorrow.
I'm hoping that Roxy will help to keep my sister's family strong tomorrow and for many years to come. She looks pretty cool.