Two weeks on, and the teddies are growing apace. This is hardly suprising, when you consider the vast amount of food they knock back. It is becoming increasingly difficult to cuddle more than one at a time. But I am getting ahead of myself, as usual.
When I last posted, we had brought the four teddies home, and were wondering what on earth we were going to do with them, as the local animal charities were unable to take them off our hands.
The first thing we decided was that we were not going to give them names. We based this on the principle that you do not name any animal you are going to eat, and you don’t name any animal to which you do not wish to become attached. We adopted a group name for them: the teddies. If we wanted to call them, we would just call “Teddies” and everything would be kept simple.
We had not reckoned upon the need to distinguish them when we were trying to tell people which puppy had a tendency to chew shoelaces, or which one seemed to be sleepier than his brothers, or who had snaffled most of the last bowl of food. We were also putting together a poster to advertise them, and wanted to be able to give an idea of their characters.
They became Teddy 1, Teddy 2, Teddy 3 and Teddy 4. But which was which? Teddy 1 was the one with the longest tail and a little pointy face, so he became Foxy Teddy. He was always the first to want a cuddle after he had finished eating, and would latch onto any bare bit of skin, trying to suckle. He usually fell asleep with his face wrapped around my arm or hand, and would moan sleepily as I put him into the ted bed.
Teddy 2 was the most confident of the four, and was a very pretty blonde colour, like a pale golden retriever. He became Blondie Teddy. He was a stinker for trying to chew feet or shoes, and my ankles bear the evidence of his whittling activities. He was always first in a bundle, was first to approach the incumbent canines and appeared the largest because of his incredibly thick and luscious coat
Teddy 4 had a distinctly grey cast to his colouring, and was inclined to wander off on his own. He was briefly dubbed the Lone Ranger, which fast turned into Shylock Teddy (the loan arranger, geddit?) Shylock Teddy would have been the wuss of the group, had Foxy not already taken that role. He would cry to be picked up a few minutes after Foxy, and was happy to pile onto my lap and fall asleep with his brother. Transferring the two of them to the ted bed was relatively easy, and they would rearrange themselves and snuffle their way back to sleep.
That left Teddy 3, who had a pretty russet tinge to his coat, but was slightly like Cordelia, our chicken lady who is special because she is not noticeably special. He was very gregarious, and seemed to play Robin to Blondie’s Batman. If there was trouble or mischief, the two of them would be at the forefront. Once they were hauled out of whatever scrape they had got into, they were the keenest to roll over and have a tummy rub.
All four were very sweet, very cuddly and endlessly entertaining. Life quickly became completely bent out of shape to accommodate their feeding, cuddling and sleeping schedule. We could not open the kitchen door without being mobbed by them, yelping with joy and falling over each other to get under our feet. Trying to sneak out of the other door was only marginally more successful, and attempting to get back into the house without all of them squeezing in as well was nigh on impossible.
We rigged up a shelter in the fly-screened porch area for them. Our plastic patio table was tipped on its side and covered with a removals company blanket. Under it we put a large, shallow plastic box with an old mattress protector to soften the bottom. We shielded the sides with the box lid and a couple of chairs. The teddies seemed to like piling into it together to sleep. Except for when it was pouring with rain, when they decided they would rather curl up outside beside a large plant pot.
We printed our poster and touted it around various places that have notice boards. We produced smaller versions and gave them out wherever we had the opportunity.
We ran a quiz, and offered one puppy as a prize to the winning team and two puppies to the losers, playing “How much is that doggy in the window?” between the rounds and dropping various subtle hints.
Our telephone bill quadrupled in no time at all, as we followed up every suggestion anyone gave us, being promised help and foster homes for the puppies several times, only to have the promises fall through.
Somewhere along the line, the photographs that had been taken on the first day appeared on one of the puppy rescue charity websites. We were surprised that four more teddies had been found, looking extremely similar to our boys, until Rosemary pointed out that the person holding them was wearing my jumper.
But these ones were called Russ, Raffa, Rex and Reggie. That was a bit of a shock! Russ was clearly Foxy Teddy, but if was harder to tell the others apart. People were showing interest, and indeed, someone wanted to adopt Foxy Teddy and one of the other boys. We decided we had better buy them collars, work out exactly who was which, and then colour code them. That way, once we had them clearly identified, any adopters following their progress via photographs could pick their teddy out from the scrum.
Foxy looked very fetching in his grey collar with the silver star studs, and Blondie’s pale coat contrasted nicely with his black version of the same collar. Teddy 3 had the brightest, most striking red collar, to make up for him not having a nickname, and Shylock Teddy had a pretty pale blue one, which seemed to suit his greyish coat and dreamy character.
The boys did not like wearing collars. They cried and fussed, and tried to scratch them off. This was unsuccessful, partly because the fasteners are quite secure, and partly because the teddies’ coordination was still so poor that they fell over when they lifted a leg to scratch.
By the time we had had the teddies with us for a week, we knew that two of them had been chosen to go and live in Germany, and one was going to go and be fostered in Malaga area. We tried to explain to Poppy that they had to stay with us a little longer, but that we were doing our best to get things back to normal, but she seemed sceptical. Minnow, on the other hand, had invented a great game, dubbed puppy skittles, and was quite happy for them to stay. As long as they would queue up for her to bowl them over, she did not seem to mind having them here at all.
It is midnight, and all is peaceful here at Perro Towers, so I shall go and sleep before the madness resumes at first light tomorrow. When I get a chance, I will tell all about our six hundred kilometre road trip with the teddies, who has already settled into his new home, and what is to become of the others.