Sausage dogs are funny looking. They just are. The shape of the body, too long in the waist and too short in the legs; the way they walk, trotting and wiggling from side to side, never quite keeping up; the way they hop like rabbits when they run, and the way their ears flap like airplane wings when the wind blows. They just look funny.
People can’t help but smile when they see them. Even the most serious of business men cracks a smile on our morning walk as he sees the sausage waddle along beside me. Teenagers stop being cool and ‘ahhh’ at us, women with their boyfriends seem to get a bit broody.
And children love them. LOVE them. Because they are the perfect size, small, manageable, not too hairy and scary, and perfect for patting, rubbing, and pulling their tails.
So, when I decided years ago I wanted a sausage dog, I knew it had to wait. I was teaching full time, teaching 30 little ones, working long hours, and there was no way I had time to look after a dog properly. A cat fine, but we got one with some kind of aggressive behaviour that meant she didn’t like being stroked, ever, and only wanted to bite us. A lovely pet to come home to every night.
So when I took a break from full time teaching and started to teach Yogabugs, work was more flexible, and I realised I spent more time at home, writing and working on other projects. Maybe another animal at home with me, with a more soothing nature might be a good idea?
Two days later I had found the perfect kitten in Battersea Cats home and had reserved her for 24 hours while I spoke to my husband about if we could take her home immediately, as is their policy.
Two hours later over coffee my friend had asked why I was getting another cat when I had wanted a sausage dog for 15 years
Two hours later I had called every breeder within 4 hours of London, and had found only a few sausages left. It was December and they had all been reserved long in advance for Christmas. I had also been told off for my lack of knowledge on various shades, types, hair lengths etc. I had never owned a dog in my life and didn’t quite know the protocol.
Two days later I was in a bungalow in Kent, surrounded by miniature dachshunds and Doberman (she bred both) and had selected Hudson, or Admiral Scarlet, as his official papers read!
7 hours later I was still there, my car having broken down. AA couldn’t fix the car, and the breeder was offering me supper and a bed for the night I (and I think a date with her son).
Anyway, Hudson came home and thus began my journey into discovering what it is like to own a dog. I had NO idea what it entailed, no previous experience, no equipment, nothing, and the next 4 weeks were filled with the joys of discovering. I have 2 stepsons, both gorgeous, but have not dealt with potty training, and discovered that dogs need that too - along with keeping you up all night, wetting themselves, eating things they shouldn’t, and basically destroying anything cream in your house. Quite like children…
But the tears and frustration were worth it. As I said about the business man cracking the smile, I couldn’t help but laugh and smile every day as I watched this little sausage, ears flapping, excited at the tiniest thing, desperate for human contact. He curls up like a cat on your lap to sleep and never fails to be curious and intrigued by the world each day…
I had no idea that this little thing could bring us so much joy. And spread so much joy. Being a London girl born and bred, I know London can be a very un-friendly place sometimes. But with a dog, and a sausage dog puppy at that, the world smiles!
He was also around me a lot more than I had reckoned with, and became a proper companion, and often where I go, he goes too!
So it was on one of our walks watching him run after a particularly fat pigeon, that I came up with the idea for the ‘Hudson and Me’ series. I spent a lot of time on the common, with children of all ages stroking him, asking questions, feeding him treats, and I could see their interest in him. I knew that there was a book that needed to be written about him, and started to envisage taking him into nurseries as part of my story time, or a cartoon of Hudson in the future. Children love books about animals and I knew the success of Spot and Maisy, and I thought, why not a Hudson out there?
I began to write the first one, focusing on simple things, things we do together, and illustrating as I went along, and the other books just followed naturally. Each book focuses on a different theme, and are written to span 2 age groups: To be read to toddlers (18 month to 3) learning their first words and also as Early Reader books for 4 and 5 year olds learning to read independently.
So there you have the Hudson story! Driven purely by the sweet comical nature and sense of fun that this dog brings to my life and other people’s lives each day.…
In my next blog I will explain a little more about my teaching experience, and how to use the stories in both a fun and educational way with your child or class. Until next week! Nicola J
‘Hudson and Me’ is available from amazon. Just click on the link!
He also has a website www.hudsonandme.com
His facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/HudsonAndMe
AND a twitter account if you’d like to tweet about the little guy @HudsonandMe