In the words of his great namesake, ‘Could you be loved?’ You bet! In fact, it was love at first sight.
We have always longed to have a dog, Charlie particularly so. When we lived in a London terrace, working long hours outside the home, it was never a realistic option for us. The closest we ever came to it was an occasional dog-sitting favour for friends, looking after their very well-behaved trio of dogs – Daisy, Ellie and George – during the summer holidays.
Here, on the other hand, it’s a different matter. We have the space, the time and perfect countryside on our doorstep – rude not to, really! Charlie has been researching dog breeds almost since the day we arrived – collies, terriers, lurchers – trying to decide on what he likes best, and what will suit us – ie not a dog that will worry sheep, or chase deer! Meanwhile, I’ve been my usual practical self, putting the brakes on – let’s wait until the house is finished, until we have the business established, etc etc.
Yesterday, however, all that caution and planning went right out of the window. An acquaintance made a chance comment to us about a local breeder/trainer of working dogs having some Labrador pups for sale. Before we knew it, we were following him out to the nearby farm – just to meet the guy and take a look, of course. Yeah, right! It was only ever going to end one way, and sure enough, one cuddle with this eager little jet black bundle, and we were smitten. How could we possibly walk away without him?
So the upshot is that, in about a months’ time, we will be bringing Marley home to live at Balliemeanoch. The wait is agonising, but I suppose it gives us a chance to get prepared and start the training – us first, then the puppy!
I’m sure there will be many more tales of Marley to follow – we’ll definitely be sharing them with you!