I was once talking to my girlfriends family in Canada, and I mentioned to them that I had never had a pet; or, I'd never had a substantial pet, I don't think my goldfish are worth much salt (sorry Jonathan).  They were fairly surprised to say the least, none more so than my betrothed, who had grown up with a multitude of pets, including dogs and rabbits.

The reason for this lack of feline or canine family relations was simple; I had never really considered ever wanting one.  My parents never wanted one, and my sister and I never felt the need to ask, maybe because the answer would have always been no.  I don't think I ever did ask, but it was clear that my father and mother were never that keen on sacrificing their home for a pet of any description.

This left me with only a few places to meet and greet animals, which later bred a distaste for dogs.  My Gran Muir had a dog and a cat, and I think I remember Ginger, the cat, but I am still not sure if I really do.  The dog, Kay, was with us through my childhood, and was great fun to take for walks and play with, even if it was a small yappy Jack Russell.  My aunt also had a pair of dogs, the infamous Mandy and Brandy, who were locked away in a room anytime anyone else was around their house.  My Uncle also had a cat, who very recently had to be put down - Ziggy was the first pet that I really remember knowing, as I tormented her as a kitten, and she was wary of me until only a few years later. 

Mr Benson in full flow.

Some of my friends had pets, a cat here and a dog there, but I never really had any interest in them.  In contrast to this, Connie has had pets all around her life, and she even has a dog right now, the incredible Mr Benson.  Her two sisters also have dogs, Hurley and Logan.  Her family have dogs too, her Grandma having a cat and a dog.  It appears to be so entrenched in the lifestyle of a Canadian family to have a dog.

I would not really have considered my self a dog person until a year or so ago, which is probably related to my dreadful experience of being "attacked" by a massive 50ft Alsatian on the way to my grans house once fateful day.  Indeed, this experience made me scared to walk along a certain piece of pavement going to her house, and forever made me a little scared of the Alsatian.  It is a terrifying dog when it is bearing down on you, blood glinting in it's eyes, its teeth sharper than diamond.

An artists impression of the dog.

Then I met a good dog, a nice dog.  I met Mr Benson who is massive, 100lbs of steel muscle, in a lovable chocolate Labrador model.  Then I met Hurley, a cross between a poodle and a soft coated wheaten terrier, basically a big teddy bear in a dogs body.  Then, later, I met Logan, the only dog I know that has been trained to not lick your face, so instead of kisses you get a warm breath in the face as he puts his face in yours - he is a black Lab too, like Benson, whom he shares a father with. 

Little puppy dogs.  Hurley at the top, Benson on the bottom. (credit: Connie Draycott)

Water and puppies mix. (credit: Connie Draycott)
Hurley, 2011.  In the basement of the Holden's, reacquainting himself with me.

Mr Benson, on the grass in warm weather.

Hurley, totally done.
 I like dogs now, and I want one.  In fact, I think I feel starved of the attention that pets give me; Hurley and Benson won't leave me alone when I am around, partially because I am knew (and smell like their Auntie Connie) but also because they know that I'll pet them and play with them.  And that they dominate me; I am getting better at being stern with the dogs, and I will get better.