If you’ve ever wondered what a cat-lover’s dog looks like, here she is. Meet Tully, my lovely dog (now who would have thought I’d put those five words together in a sentence?).
She’s a bit of a mixed breed – I think her mum got around a bit. Several vets have asked if she has some Corgi in her. Well. Royal connections? Hmm…
Tully has taught me that not all dogs bite (I once nearly lost a leg to an Alsatian with big teeth), and that some dogs can be cute. Plus, they’re awful handy to have in the kitchen when you’re cooking dinner. There’s no sweeping up of crumbs or binning leftovers when there’s a dog around (you won’t catch a cat eating scraps off the floor in a vegetarian kitchen). In this picture Tully is getting stuck into a corn-on-the-cob.
The best bit is that Tully takes me for a walk even when I’m not really in the mood. Me: It looks like rain. Tully: You have a waterproof jacket, let’s go! And I invariably feel better after a walk, even on rainy days.
The second best bit of being a dog owner appeals to the mad cat woman in me – in our house, Top Dog is feline. Three moggies lord it over one medium sized dog, who could easily eat them for breakfast (lunch and dinner too, there are three of them). And she never seems to mind.
Rescued dog Tully has inspired a good few poems over the years, and she’s very patient when I have to stop mid-amble to jot down a flash of inspiration. The only time her patience expires seems to be when I pick up a camera. There are dozens of photos of her just disappearing out of shot.
And just for the record, I still have the leg that the Alsatian got at. He seized my calf as I ran away after finding him still on guard duty in the pub I worked in as a student. The landlord had forgotten to lock him up at the start of my shift and only remembered when he heard my shrieks.
Rather oddly perhaps, I still quite like Alsatians. I admire their loyalty, intelligence and physique.
And all those big teeth.