Monday, 7 May 2007

Our new pup hits the ground squeaking (and tangential thoughts about child pornography)

I wrote last week about how I couldn't wait to see the look on my daughter's face when she opened a box on her eighth birthday to find a little basset pup inside. I can't show you her face (I have a deep anxiety about my kids' pictures being stored anywhere in cyberspace*) but I can show you the wee hound. She's as cute as a button, she's eight weeks old, and she spent all of last night sleeping on my face and making dear little squeaks and huffles. Every time I put her in her basket she wailed so pathetically that I gave in and took her back to bed with me.

Her name is Coco, although I seriously considered calling her Bullard because she's a bitch, and in honour of today's knickers-in-a-knot blogspat.

My daughter's reaction? A guarded smile, and a stunned silence. I expected cries of joy and a few handstands, but she was so overwhelmed that she was literally struck dumb for ten minutes.

The oddest thing has been the reaction of my older basset, Velvet. Instead of responding with hysterical yelps of delight and a bit of Dumbo-like flapping of ears, Velvet (who allows cats to crawl all over her) fled in terror, and is still a quivering wreck. The way she's carrying on, you'd think I'd bought a premenstrual mamba into the house. Why could this be? Could it be that the pup has a scent of strange dogs on her fur? (I did try bathing Coco to neutralise any threatening scents, but she shrieked so loudly that I gave up halfway through, with the result that she now smells like Dove cucumber soap.) Still Velvet is cowering behind the couch, her legs all a-jelly. Any suggestions?

* I'm afraid of putting my kids' photos on the Net (I won't even put them on a password-protected site, or Picasa) because many years ago I wrote an investigative feature for a local magazine about cybersex and Net predators. This involved some hands-on-keyboard research (ie, baiting potential predators by pretending to be a teen in various chatrooms) and the responses I received were so sickening that I still shudder at the thought. Do you put pictures of your kids on the Net? Am I being paranoid?

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