Remember the old saying ‘every dog has its day? Well, this month, I’d like to introduce you to my best friend – Fluffy – and a story of how he, most definitely, had his day…
Fluffy is my pet Rottweiler, so called because he isn’t cute, and he certainly isn’t fluffy. I think they call it irony, though some people do still look at me agog when I tell them his name and point out the bleeding obvious – that he isn’t, in the slightest bit, fluffy. Guys, I know…
Anyway, Fluffy’s main role in life is to preside over Big Mike’s Motors when the gates are closed. One of the reasons I’ve never had a car stolen or vandalised from my lot is, I’m sure, because of Fluffy’s rather commanding presence, for while I know that there’s nothing he like’s more than being tickled on the tummy while being teased with doggie treats, to the uninitiated Fluffy is a monster.
He’s all bared teeth, woof-woof-woof and snarly snarly on the face of it because he believes his own PR – he thinks Rottweilers are there to be scary, so he lives up to his reputation like a good ’un.
So it was quite a surprise, a couple of weeks ago, when I arrived at the lot and jangled my keys in the gate as per usual. Normally, this automatically makes Fluffy come bounding out of his kennel, to show the world he can leap nearly, but not quite, as high as the gates themselves, while making a hell of a racket. The neighbours love it.
But on this particularly sunny spring morning, Fluffy made no appearance at all. I was quite concerned for his welfare, so it came as some relief when I found him, snuggled up asleep beneath the tailgate of a Citroen Xantia in the far corner of my lot. For the rest of the day, he was as right as rain, so I put it down to a one-off. That was until the next day, when the same thing happened. Fluffy was snuggled up against the same car again, peaceful as you like.
The car in question had come in the previous week on a part-exchange against a Saab 9-5 estate, and was one of the traditional ‘px to clear’ cheapies that you stick at the end of your press advertisement, sold as seen on trade terms.
It wasn’t a bad old thing, and being an estate it was probably not going to be too difficult to sell to a family buyer on a low budget. Indeed, within a day of the ad going live in the paper, £795 ono, I had a young couple come round to look at it – the lady was heavily pregnant, and they’d decided it was time to move up in size from their rotten old Ford Ka (nasty things, but that’s a topic for a different day).
The thing is, they never got anywhere near it. As I walked them towards the Citroen, Fluffy went beserk, heckles up, baring his teeth and barking at them like crazy. In the style of News of the World reporters at a Premiership footballer’s cocaine orgy, they made their excuses and left…
A similar thing happened two days later, when a local plasterer came to look at the car as a potential substitute for his works van. Built like the proverbial outdoor brick building, he was trembling at the knees by the time I got Fluffy to calm down again. Clearly, I had a problem to deal with.
In desperation, I called the car’s previous owner to ask if she knew why Fluffy was so protective of it – and suddenly it all fell into place. The lady in question was a pedigree dog breeder, and the Xantia’s previous life was spent carrying upmarket bitches around from one breeding house to another in pursuit of puppy potion. A bit like the photo i saw in Heat magazine last week of a girl band emerging from an Audi A8…
As a result, to Fluffy’s sensitive nostrils, the Citroen smelled like it was on heat, and he saw it as his opportunity to make a contribution to the canine gene pool. Having already removed that option from the poor old chap early on in his life, I couldn’t find it in my heart to sell his dream woman
to a likely punter, especially when I reviewed the previous evening’s CCTV coverage to find that Fluffy had been, well, you get the idea… If nothing else, that would have put me off buying it.
So I did the only humane thing – took the tailgate off, wrote the car off as a loss, and turned the loading bay into Fluffy’s new sleeping quarters. Anyone want to buy a second-hand kennel?