I was reminded of a funny story when we were out with David & Rosanne for dinner here on Saturday night. We started chatting about our beloved dogs–for which there are many around here; the McDonnell’s are huge dog lovers and we have plenty of space so they are very happy pups. Our conversation immediately began to focus on the weekly antics of Ted, our quirky Airedale. There just always seems to be a Ted story. He’s such a comical creature with remarkably strong scavenging instincts and a heart of gold.
You see, Ted is “my dog”. When I first came to Ireland, we didn’t move straight to the farm, we lived in the village of Adare which I thought would be the perfect bridge between city and country living. But, because Richard left before I woke up in the morning and didn’t arrive home until nearly 9pm each evening, I often felt completely overwhelmed by loneliness and boredom. Having previously been very busy and social virtually every moment of every day, my life suddenly felt like it was at a standstill. I had always longed for an Airedale Terrier (to name “Teddy”) and on one teary-eyed Saturday, Richard said he’d found a breeder in Cork and that we would arrange to go pick out my puppy. I was delighted beyond belief.
When we were introduced to the busy litter of pups, Ted immediately stood out to us—sure, he was smaller than the rest, his tail was nearly nonexistent and demeanor a bit timid, but he had the sweetest twinkle in his eye and he just seemed so special. We worried that he wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice and decided immediately that he would be ours. Over the next few months, I played with him, housetrained him, groomed him, cuddled with him, napped with him, danced with him, cried with him (ok, so only I was crying, but still). We became the very best of friends. Later, during my pregnancy, he became obsessed with resting his scruffy chin on my belly all the time. It was part of his nature, he knew something special was inside. He was completely adorable.
When it came time for me to go the the maternity hospital to have our real baby, I was simply not prepared to leave Ted. I was positively gutted over having to leave him behind while I went to the hospital. It was ridiculous, but he was my buddy, confident and protector. I needed him! I felt so strongly about this that I insisted on having Richard bring Teddy to the hospital every day. Since I was pre-term they had me in the hospital on pseudo-bedrest for 6 days before I was induced. Richard would bring Ted and I would sneak out to the jeep (our Freelander. All SUV’s or 4×4’s are simply called “jeeps” here) and I would cuddle with him for 10 minutes each day. The nurses/doctor hadn’t a clue. They would have not allowed it whatsoever!
I had totally forgotten that experience until Saturday night and I was so happy when Richard began talking about it. I love it when you are reminded of things that you forgot to remember. ..especially when they are wonderful loving moments frozen in time.