This weekend I was unceremoniously snogged by a puppy. I heard Ben pull up on our drive one evening last week, and there seemed to a delay in him unlocking the front door. So I hobbled into the hallway, and peeked out of the door, and he was across the road, talking to one of our neighbours.
He waved at me. I stood for a moment, but realizing he was in the midst of a serious conversation, I eventually shut the door and returned to the kitchen. When Ben did come in, he explained that the neighbour had called him over to say that they had just had a call to say that a family member had died and were packing up their car to go away. He wondered whether Ben and I might be able to look after their puppy.
Ben and our neighbour discussed a few options. The neighbour seemed to think Ben could just nip in and out to provide water and food, and take the puppy for a couple of walks. Ben said he would ask me whether I felt could cope with a puppy in our home. Our neighbour warned Ben that their puppy may well destroy our home if we hosted him. So in the end, our neighbour’s wife, who had been shuttling back and forth with bags for their journey, suggested that Ben and I could stay in their guest room for the two nights they would be away. Ben wanted to know what I thought.
I had no idea what was the best option to be honest. I told Ben I was happy either way – although having our home destroyed did not particularly appeal to me! Ben shot back over to the neighbours and had a little more training on how to operate their house alarm, a quick run through of what to expect of the puppy, tips about where to find anything we needed and an exchange of everyone’s cellphone numbers.
By the time Ben came back over to me, they were on route to Durham. It was unexpected, so at first I was a little blank about what we were supposed to do. Ben wanted to eat the dinner I had made, and then he said he would take some of our things over to the home of our neighbours and see how the puppy reacted to him.
That evening was consumed with Ben showering, moving the two of us over to our neighbour’s home, taking the puppy out for a twenty minute jaunt to stretch it’s legs and do it’s business. I waited in our neighbour’s house for Ben, feeling a little bewildered. We were invited to join them for drinks a couple of times back in 2019, but we have not really seen much of them throughout the Pandemic. Now I was standing in their kitchen wondering if it was alright to make myself a cup of tea. When Ben came back he helped me to relax. The puppy seemed super excited by our presence. I was exhausted so I lay down on the sofa and very quickly the puppy decided he would join me.
The puppy seemed to like snuggling up to me. There was a lot of sad puppy noises when Ben took puppy into the conservatory where it’s comfy bed was waiting. It was odd to sleep in our neighbour’s home. I kept on pondering whether we should be there at all with the Pandemic social distancing rules. I have no idea whether technically what we did was the right thing. But the puppy seemed to keep whimpering and scratching. Ben rose a couple of times to go and check on him. Ben said he was convinced that the puppy should not be alone all night.
The next day, we were expecting some friends over to our garden, and Ben seemed hesitant over whether we should take the puppy back over to our place. But in the end he said it would be easier if our friends came and sat in the garden of our neighbours. He texted our neighbours to check they were alright with that first. Ben went over to our place, and pulled out some wine and some of the food that I was going to prepare for us. I was not planning anything complicated – just a snacks and mezes we had picked up from the Italian mini-deli in our local town centre.
The puppy was very pleased with the extra visitors. Everyone made a fuss of him. Ben took the puppy out twice for twenty minute walks as per the recommendations of our neighbours. Of course, he was also running all over the garden chasing a chewed up ball. We stayed a second night in our neighbour’s home and then Ben took puppy out again. Our neighbours arrived back early on Sunday afternoon. Ben had already removed our things from their house, and we were sitting in the garden keeping the pup company when they arrived.
Our neighbours were very grateful to us. We had a little chat with them before Ben and I headed back to our home. But before we went, the puppy jumped up and wiped it’s tongue over my mouth – it was the most slobbery kiss I have ever received. Ben said he had already figured that the neighbour’s dog had the hots for me, but that snog had clinched it.