Ever since we announced we were getting an English Springer Spaniel we’ve been bombarded with comments like “Oh they LOVE the water”, “Ooo they LOVE the dirt and mud” and “They are such water dogs”.
Gavin and I were like “really? Our dog hates anything to do with water”. Or so we thought. Until very recently you couldn’t get our dog in the water for love nor money. He would tiptoe around puddles, pulling and pushing so that his little tootsies didn’t touch the water edge. If you threw his ball in the water (even at the very edge) he would give you a disgusted look and walk off spitefully. Rain was not his friend, he would refuse to go out of the door at the slightest hint of rain.
We wondered what was wrong with our dog, was he sick? A fake? A cat? All Springer Spaniels loved the water they told us. We finally came to terms with the fact that we would have a substandard dog in terms of swimming and stopped judging him for it. Until a couple of weeks ago when our little boy finally bravely took his first steps and then first swim in the water. Now he did this with dignity, with caution. He was testing the temperature, the speed of the river and the depth. He would not jump in, he was too clever for that.
I’ve mentioned that Loki has an unusual obsession with tennis balls and we found out in this instance that he WILL do anything for his ball. We gradually threw the ball further and further out onto the river. Every time he would gingerly retrieve the ball, going a little deeper every time. Until finally, he was swimming.
We are so proud.
Loki’s brand new satin collar from kitsch collars in ‘green leaves’. Fits him a treat and looks lovely against his coat. He (and I) like new toys.
Loki makes a new friend and shares his bed, very kind. Meet Katie, a retired racing greyhound.
Now that you’ve seen a glimpse of what my lovely dog likes to do when we’re not in the flat, I thought I might tell you a bit about him.
Loki was born on the 23rd of November 2010, his mother was called Brandy. We picked him at 4 weeks old and decided on him due to him constantly trying to bury his head under my legs to (what seemed like) escape. We validated our choice when he was put back with his litter where he clumsily climbed over 5 of his brothers and sisters to reach the warm of his mother.
We went to pick him up on a freezing morning in January where we wrapped him in a stary blue blanket that smelled of his mummy and took him home. And that was it, we had our dog.
- Any paper based item. Actually come to think of it, I’m not sure if this is a dislike or a love (you’ve seen the result of him being left with a magazine… You decide).
- Hairdryers and hoovers and anything that makes a similar noise.
- Knowing that he is going to be left alone. We stupidly got a very intuitive and intelligent dog who realises when we are leaving him. This results in, what I like to call ‘his teenager strop’ in which he stalks about with his ears down, sulks in his bed and plays really obnoxious, loud music (not really the last one but I know he is thinking about doing it).
- Not getting the leftover milk from our breakfast cereal. If Loki does not receive his ration of muesli-y milk, he will shoot you a look that very clearly says ‘fine then, I’ll just slobber my pigs ear all over your bed later’.
- Tennis balls. Eating them, finding them, stealing them, chasing them, sharing them and sleeping on them. Loki has a six sense for balls, finding an average of 3 unowned tennis balls a week. He is what is known in the biz as a ‘ball thief’ and is best known for trying to fit two tennis balls in his mouth at once because he can’t decide which one he wants.
- Sleeping on my face is one of Loki’s favourite pastimes. As soon as Loki hears a quiver of awakeness in the morning that’s his q to saunter up the bed, place his stomach over my face and fall back to sleep with his head on my pillow.
- Loki likes to eat flowers. I am 100% sure he does this out of spite as he only eats the flowers that belong to the angry lady upstairs. He will slowly make his way over to the flower bed, sit right next to the biggest and most colourful flower there, glance up at me and chomp a flower head, whilst still looking at me. Stupid clever dog.
I hope you have enjoyed my introduction to Loki, the ball stealing, flower eating English Springer Spaniel. I promise there will be plenty more ‘Marley and Me’ style blog posts to come.
Fringe magazine didn’t last long – naughty doggie