The Cheese Hounds are a couple of mutts we liberated from the R.S.P.C.A. We had been living in the UK for a year and had just bought our first house – and what is a home without a furred/feathered creature to further filthy the house? Damn right! So, it was off to the rescue centre to find the pooch of our dreams.
Now – I don’t frequent animal shelters a lot, can’t even volunteer at one because I would spend most of my time weeping indiscriminately over the inhabitants and my home would be overrun by every creature who I thought looked sad (I know already, I am pathetic). So armed with this knowledge, gentle reader, you won’t be horribly surprised to find, that we came home with two dogs instead of the single one stipulated in husbands contract.
I did try, I really did. But after wondering around all the cages, with Mr T (anxious husband) in tow who keeps repeating the check list to keep me on track – i.e. small dog, not barkie, not angry, not a Jack Russel (like my Mother’s demon dog, but that’s another story) I got to the last cage. And there she was.. crunched up in the corner at the front of the cage, a tiny, bony, black and white collie x. We-eking and whining as I talked to her, she stood up at the wire trying to lick my fingers – and by the time Mr T had got to us I was done for, I had finally met a dog as pathetic as me. “I WANT THIS ONE!” echoed across the Welsh Valleys.
Unfortunately there wasn’t just one of her. Occasionally being of a more practical bent than myself, Mr T took the trouble to read the card posted on the cage wall and discovered that my beloved had a sister who would have to be adopted with her as they had come from the same home. This was a problem – but not one that I was unequal to. Firstly some fast talking was required – two dogs could be better that one couldn’t they? Especially as we both worked, and they would be company for each other? We could afford to adopt two dogs and had a garden and house big enough. And look how full the shelter was – didn’t we owe it to society to take on two if we could? Oh yeah, I can lay it on thick when required..
On the way back to the Shelter office to find out where the sister was housed, we passed a separate group of cages with some large barkie dogs in them, one of them, a fat, black and white, bulgy eyed fur bag, stood on top of her kennel enthusiastically joining in the Who Can Bark The Loudest competition. “Please don’t let it be her” I thought. And of course it was.
Needless to say Mister T and I have become proud companions of the two best Cheese Hounds in the entire Universe (in my opinion) and any fears as to the nature of Polly’s larger sister were unfounded. In fact she has turned out to be the least troublesome of the two, preferring to hang out at home, relaxing and playing with her balls. Her sister, the diminutive Poll prefers to hurl herself over six foot walls (usually successfully) in an effort to get hit by cars and have her human companions fined for her exploration of neighbourhood garbage bags.
Whatever their differences in character they have one important thing in common – a huge and total love of cheese. This fact has been imprinted on our memories after one brazier night when an entire Kikorangi Blue cheese, expensive and beautifully smelly, was snaffled by a canine burgler who, when taken to task, looked upon us calmly .. and belched