Things I like part five - Daniella

With Daniella it was love at first sight. Which sounds ridiculous, but it's true.

Long before the bloke and I got back together he would send me the occasional email telling me bits about his life. And I would do the same. But of course it was only the good parts - the bits that made me sound extra fun and just that little bit wild.

After all you don't want to tell the person who once made your stomach tie up in knots (and still did a little) about your moments of self doubt. The times when you really scratched your head and looked at the years stretching off ahead, wondering where they would take you.

One of these emails came with a picture attachment. "I've got a cocker Spaniard," wrote the bloke. "Take a look at my bitch Daniella."

After I'd had a little chortle to myself about the Spaniard/Spaniel confusion I opened the attachment. The bloke's brown eyes hit me like a brick. But before I could start to dwell to much on the ghost of relationships past, I looked at what he was holding in his arms - the cutest white little dog I'd ever seen.

After I'd decided that she seemed to be smiling, I stopped to check out the bloke's messy Seventies-style kitchen. Then I started to think about who would have taken the picture. Not for one minute did I ever think that I would one day make dinner in that kitchen. That I would effectively walk right into that photo.

But I did, and Daniella was part of the bargain. All of a sudden I was part of a ready made family of three. Constantly picking white hairs off my clothes, out of my shoes, and even out of my own hair.

By rights, she should have hated me, an intruder stealing away attention. Because of me she was instantly demoted from sleeping in the bed to her own basket on the floor, and was banished from the furniture. But she didn't.

Maybe it was because I took her on nice long walks, unlike her master. Or maybe it was because I made said master happy just by being around. Or maybe it's because - for all I love her - she's really not that bright and couldn't connect my arrival to her new rules.

There were new rules for all of us, after all. I couldn't play the radio really loud in the morning - you can't really do that in a duplex apartment to your poor sleeping partner at 5.30am. He couldn't play the TV really loud till the early hours of the morning - you can't really do that in a duplex your partner who needs to get up at 5.30am.

Deep fat fried anything wasn't on my menu. Salad wasn't on his. We found a middle ground - as eventually did, both habitually and culturally I think. And Daniella was there through all of it.

I like her for this and more. How she barks in her sleep when she'd never dare do that in real life. For the way she'll bustle happily up to any living creature she finds in the street - where it's a rotweiller or an angry mangy cat. How she's so loving with the bloke's nephews, even when they pull her ears and poke her in the eyes.

There is nothing bad about my dog and all the memories I have connected with her are good ones. How many things or people can you say that about?


  1. Lovely post. We would love to get a dog but we are not allowed where we live.

  2. and a picture of daniela?

  3. Thanks Mr EW - my constant commenter!

    Anonymous - there you go. Hope you like her.

  4. Our first dog was a golden cocker he died last year sadly.
    Do you mind me asking how you met your bloke? xx

  5. Oh, I love her! I read this before you posted the picture. I have had cocker spaniels all my life. A loving breed. This cheered my day, seeing her! Thank you.

  6. Wildernesschic: Ah, so sorry you lost yours. we dread the day it happens to us. I've had the experience before but the bloke hasn't. It's going to hit him hard I know.

    Wild Celtic: They are just big softies, love them so much. Glad you like little Danni! x

  7. Oh and i met my bloke in a bar in London, in what seems like some other life now. I will have to write a post on it at some point soon! xxx