There are two types of people in this world, dog people and cat people. Well, actually there are three types of people in this world because there are people like me who are neither of the above. I would describe my relationship with animals as distant. They treat me like some elderly uncle who occasionally visits but clearly is not a natural communicator with pets and animals in general.

Do not get me wrong it was not that I was not brought up with animals, indeed like many families back in the day the family pet was indeed a must have fixture. We were no different and our first pet was a cat named Pippy by my younger sister. It sounds like a sweet name for a cute creature but this was anything but cute. It excelled in vanashing for very long periods, it revelled in bringing dead birds and rodents into the kitchen normally as breakfast was being served. And interestingly it clearly did not like me, nor it seemed men in general and would only show affection to ladies.

Looking back it was a highly disturbed beast who was clearly a nut job even for a cat, utterly self sufficient with a clear disdain for humanity except for those that fed it. Obviously I left the cat well alone and it did the same to me, it eventually passed over to cat heaven at the tender old age of 18 deaf, blind, and decrepit she must have been about about 350 years old in cat years but I think that she brought happiness to my sister and other women. The family dog however was in complete contrast, Timmy was brought as a guard dog after my parents house was broken into by a local scum bag of the highest order. Not content with breaking in, this thug completely trashed the kitchen and along with his equally unpleasant girlfriend did disgusting things in my parents bedroom.

My parents upon returning from holiday walked in to find chaos and destruction, as well as valuable family heirlooms all gone. A dog was deemed to be the best form of defence and lo and behold a very young and affable golden labrador puppy was welcomed into the family by everyone of course except the cat. Pippy upon seeing the dog went into melt down and legged it not to be seen again for several weeks. The dog had a really good nature and was an excellent family pet, very playful and gentle he clearly had never read the job description about the whole guard dog malarkey. To be fair he was utterly useless as a deterrent, indeed he would have more likely let the burglars in, and popped the kettle on before pointing out where the goodies were kept. Clearly a complete waste of time in the bite them on the bottom kind of way, but a very affable and likeable dog.

I recall when I was about 18 I had gone on the lash in town with my mate Eamonn Martin, we had downed several pints in pubs like the Windsor and Old Contemptibles (both of which are still around in Birmingham today) we had then caught the 107 bus back to Sutton Coldfield followed by a quick trip into the chippy then back to my house where me dear old mum would cook a fry up. Now back in the day my bedroom had two single beds in it about four feet apart, naturally after beer and scoff Eamonn and myself were soon fast asleep and the next thing I knew it was about 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning . I was woken up by the nearly five stone Timmy sniffing around my face as he had managed to some how open the door and decided that it was clearly playtime..

Quite what possessed me in truth I will never know but I thought that it would be a laugh to wake up my mate, so i quietly got the dog onto my bed and saw that Eamonn was completely out for the count lying on his back snoring gently. I said to Timmy where is Eamonn expecting him to start barking and wagging his tail. Sadly Timmy had different ideas and decided that Eamonn needed a gentle wake up, so he jumped the four feet clear between the beds and landed right in the midriff of my sleeping friend. As you can imagine the force of a five stone dog landing on the crown jewels was beyond pain even if you were awake. But to have been fast asleep to having this small horse land on the genitalia was a double whammy. Eamonn’s torso shot up bolt upright as he tried to scream but nothing came out. Timmy loved it and started to lick his face as the tears of pain were playfully cleaned up for him.

Laugh, I was beside myself to be honest it was the only time that Timmy ever inflicted any pain on a living soul, he treated me like his mate and I did the same and when he was finally put to sleep, unlike the cat he was greatly missed.