For those of you that know me well, you will be in no way surprised that the time has come to write a blog post about arguably the most important and loved thing in my life, my dog. As a crazy animal lover from such a young age, it was inevitable I would hold my pets as my near and dear. But 3 guinea pigs, 3 cats and 2 dogs later, I have still got my favorite. Of course, Lenny.
We got Lenny when I was 5, from a settled down travelling family in Luton (classy gals I can hear you say). For as long as I can remember before-hand, me and my little sister had begged our parents for a dog. As we were little when our cat died, we didn't see this as a massive loss, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to start begging for a dog. One day, we were staying at my Uncle's and I remember my parents coming and telling us they had a surprise. They bundled us in the car and took us about 3 minutes up the road to a house and I just remember being overwhelmed by all the puppies. So many puppies. My parents had already been to visit and had picked out the dog with the curliest coat (they were half black Labrador, half Irish Water Spaniel). And about a month after first meeting him, we took Lenny home. When we picked him up I cried and cried and cried because I felt awful for taking him away from his mum.
Although the name picking was a family-event and always discussed, it was eventually me who suggested the name. My mum worked at Milton Keynes theatre, and in the latest show we'd seen, the main character was called Penny. So I basically chucked out some rhyming names and TA-DA. Lenny it was.
When I was about 11, I read Marley and Me. And whilst every animal lover connected with the book, me and my mum (who also read it), connected because Marley was exactly like Lenny. He was out of control and strong and loving and loyal. Lenny has grown into the most faithful (and slobbery) companion anyone could ever wish for, but it is not without his rebellious younger years. When he was younger, he ate through the box my mum kept all her work bits in, and we came in to the whole kitchen floor covered in paper... at the sight of a duck he's dragged all of us over whilst on the lead.... in fact, he ate through 3 leather leads and we had to buy him a horse one.... he has also eaten 6 birthday cakes over the years when we've underestimated his ability to jump, including a beautiful 18th hand made by one of my friends... and everytime he went for a muddy walk, the only place suitable to dry off was my parents pristine white bed sheets. Lenny is quite the adventurer, especially when it comes to water (quick walks have turned into 3 hour ones when he has gone swimming in lakes or up rivers and decided to not come back).
Lenny has character. I've grown up with a dog who would eat lettuce just because the guinea-pigs were getting some, who when you stop stroking him will nudge his head back under your hand, who will lick Sean the cat without even thinking of hurting him, and who despite his very old age, will climb the stairs just to be with the family when we're in the second floor living room and sleep outside my bedroom next door.
As I've gotten older, I've started to appreciate his loyalty and companionship more and more. Dogs don''t fight with you, they're not going to talk back, if you're sad over petty things they're never going to judge you, they just sit there and wag their tail and love you unconditionally. Lenny will nudge my door open if it's not shut properly and saunter in. When I come home from being out, he will follow me around the house wherever I go until I settle in one place. He may be old, but he's still faithful as ever to me.
I can honestly say with my hand on my heart, I don't love anything or anyone more than my dog. Sure, I love my family as much as, but I can't imagine life without him and knowing he is 13 absolutely breaks my heart because I am not naive. The night I left for Italy, I didn't sleep. I sat on my bedroom floor (his back legs are too week now to get on my bed) with him resting on my lap and sobbed because I was terrified it would be the last time I see him. To anyone without a dog, it's going to sound pathetic, but it's true, and anybody with a dog I am sure would happily back me up.
Anyway, this is a little tribute for my unconditional love for Leonard. You can't really thank a dog, but you can let the rest of the world know how much you love him.
Ciao for Now!