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Crossing the line

We have a new puppy. I’ve been keeping this under my hat for a couple of weeks because I wanted to see how she would settle in. Our big Ibicenco, (an Ibizan greyhound) who we rescued back in February (and named Peter Crouch because he is lanky and kind of beautiful in a really strange way), needed a friend.

We didn’t exactly go out and look for another dog, around here you don’t have to look very far for one, we just waited until the right time and the right dog came along. At least we thought we did.

Abbie Clancey (well what else should we call Peter Crouch’s girlfriend? At the time Monica Mint wasn’t an issue) came into our lives about a month ago. She is small, totally black haired, a little wiry around the jowls and completely mad. She is chewing everything: so far she has worked her way through two buckets and spades, the saddle on Gidg’s bike, three pairs of shoes (including a brand new pair of Birkenstocks which had been posted to us by Mr Birkenstock himself – another day, another column), the new storage box and bench that we bought for our reorganisation of the house, a Chinese decorative umbrella and stand, a sofa and a laptop cable.

The destruction of the laptop cable was by far the most devastating for me. We had been watching a movie on the pc in the garden and had left the cable out there over night where the dogs sleep. Bad move. Oliver woke me on Sunday morning with the solemn words “I think you have a bit of a problem” before handing me three separate parts of cable. Panic stations: I partly make my living using a computer, and not having one was a bit like having a limb amputated.

So it was straight onto trusty Facebook to ask around for help. It wasn’t slow in arriving: soon I had many suggestions and offers of help to either source a new cable or fix the existing one.  There was also an observation from one of my Facebook mates (who know all about Abie Clancey’s arrival in our house, and consumption of our furniture) that perhaps our new puppy had a bit of Labrador in her and therefore this might go on for a couple of years, lord help us and her.

The amazing thing about Facebook is that you are ‘friends’ with people that you may never have met, but that doesn’t make you any less kind towards each other. Some people like to maintain their online distance and just observe other people interacting on Facebook, whilst others get stuck in and strike up a conversation. And so, we crossed the line from online friends to real ones as Carole and William helpfully offered a solution to my power problems and gave me their phone number and we had a real conversation on a real phone!

If nothing else, puppies have always been good icebreakers.

(first published 10 August 2010)

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