No, it’s neither of those queer looking girls, heaven forbid! The one on the right I fell out with when we were 11, and we haven’t spoken since (sounds pathetic, which it is, and were we still living in the same country, we’d have fixed this by now). Her cousin, the one in the middle, who looks a bit like a mole, was totally insufferable. She always had to be the leader in every game, regardless of whether one was required or not. Even my mother only ever referred to her as “The Boss”. I’m by no means a natural-born leader, but equally untalented as a follower, so the three of us were doomed from the start.
But I digress. My bestest friend of all time, as you’ll probably have guessed by now, was the dog. My dad acquired him from a US airbase nearby. The owner was returning to the States and could not take him. His original name was Snoopy (yes, very original…!), but as this is awkward for Germans to pronounce, it was approximated to Schnuppi. My mum, terrified of all dogs, turned the poor animal’s arrival into a huge drama, and Schnuppi had to be tied up to the railings outside the front door.
This state of affairs didn’t last long – three hours at the most – before my mum was won over by his heartbreakingly sad eyes and rabbitty back legs. Schnuppi was as stubborn as dachshunds come, and just as loyal. He was not a yapper, but when he did decide to voice his excitement, his bark was sonorous, low pitched and slightly husky.
A pampered family pet, he lived to the ripe old age of 15 and was buried in the very centre of his kingdom that was my grandparents’ garden, beneath a voluptuous spruce.
Do you have any fond memories of a beloved childhood pet?
[I have posted a bunch of embarrassing childhood pictures before, here they are, if you want to see them]