Farmer's Weekly (South Africa) - - Contents - FW

With just over a month to go to Christ­mas, I’m faced with my an­nual quandary: what present to buy for my wife. Last year, neigh­bour Jan and I teamed up and scoured the lo­cal mall. Af­ter the awk­ward­ness of be­ing mis­taken for an ‘item’, we had to ex­pe­ri­ence the hu­mil­i­a­tion of a shop as­sis­tant of­fer­ing to show us flimsy un­der­wear. I vowed I’d go it alone this Christ­mas.

Trolling the mall for in­spi­ra­tion, I had a sud­den idea. I’d get Wifey Dear a puppy!

I im­me­di­ately headed for our vet to en­quire if they knew of a breeder. They did, and his Jack Rus­sell bitch had just had pup­pies. I went straight there, and it was love at first sight! An adorable pup, white with brown mark­ings, caught my eye. It was a male; the fe­males had been taken. I knew Wifey Dear pre­ferred fe­males but I was sure she’d be de­lighted with this one. I couldn’t con­tain my­self from

telling her the news, but I wasn’t pre­pared for her re­sponse.

“A male? No way!” she said. “And a pup to pee and poo all over the car­pets and lift its leg on my gar­den shrubs. Any­way, my ma­tronly Vicky is too old to put up with a pup. She’d be jeal­ous, and end up bit­ing it. Shouldn’t we rather get a big watch­dog, with teeth, to pro­tect us?”

Farm at­tacks were still in the news, and Wifey Dear had never for­got­ten our Dober­mann res­cue dog from our time in Jo­han­nes­burg. We had never felt safer from in­trud­ers.

Back to town I drove the next day, this time to the SPCA to look for a fear­some res­cue dog. No luck. Then in­spi­ra­tion kicked in: the In­ter­net! I found that a Dober­mann breeder near us had a ma­ture, spayed bitch for sale. I told neigh­bour Jan.

“If it kills one of my lambs, I’ll shoot it,”

Jan said grumpily.

Well, what with Wifey Dear and Jan both dic­tat­ing terms, I’m not mak­ing much progress, am I?

Is there a reader out there with a so­lu­tion to my Christ­mas shop­ping dilemma? Please don’t sug­gest a cat; Vicky hates them! – Derek Christo­pher • Email Derek Christo­pher at farm­er­[email protected]­ Sub­ject line: Townie.

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