Samantha David is a freelance journalist and writes for various publications including BBC Online, the Sunday Times, the FT, Living France, everything France, and France Magazine

Samantha David, writer

Telling Tales - articles by Samantha David


Dolly Goes Christmas Shopping  

      Go on, fess up, have you bought your bow-wow a Christmas present?  Not even the teensiest, weensiest little prezzie-wezzie?  Sure?  What, not even a lovely red stocking filled with woofer-treats?  No, nor have I.

      I've seen them though, in the shops.  And not just

stockings, either.  Loads of different offerings.  In fact, I received a whole mail-order catalogue devoted to canine gifts; bath robes, soaps, chews, bowls, blankets (embroidered with your pet's name in scarlet if so wished), coats, jackets and bedsocks, beds of course, seasonal kennel decorations, collar tags, greetings cards, and more.  Much more.

      Crikey.  I wonder if Dolly actually wants any of this

baloney?  Stay there a tic...

      Okay, I've just shown her the catalogue.  She sniffed it a bit but all she said was "Waf-woof-wig!"  Sausages, Dolly?  You've got be joking.

      Well, they've got them too.  And about a hundred and one other dalmatians.  But Dolly wasn't even looking at the sausage photo so I don't think she was actually making an informed choice.  More likely just suggesting that I might abandon my word-processor and make my way to the fridge, please Mum.  Now!

      In a minute, Dolly!  Actually, this catalogue might be just the thing for some human presents.  Not that my mother-in-law would actually wear a pair of doggy bed-sox, but she might like a poodle calendar or a set of dishtowels printed with spaniels.  Oh no, I know!  The brother's new girlfriend.  She's a soppy dog lover.  She'd like a desk-tidy in the shape of a dog's paw-print. 

      And what about this?  A car-seat protector decorated with holly leaves and dog biscuits.  Fab for the parents of a new baby.  All that milk and stuff that they dab around the car.  This would keep the car seats clean.  Useless for me of course.  My entire car is so terminally doggy that it's too late.  I wonder who I know with not only a new baby but also a new car?  I'll have to think of someone.

      Oh all right, Dolly.  I'm coming.  Hang on.  And stop that kitten climbing the Christmas tree, will you?  No, don't just bark at it, Doll.  Lawks, you are hopeless!  Crikey.  That's done it.  Dolly's gone up the tree as well.  It'll take hours to get all the pine needles out of her fluffy white coat.  No, don't worry, the tree hasn't gone over - I'm an old hand at this - I've got it wired to three different hooks in the walls.  That's to stop Dolly deliberately knocking it over to get the chocolate

Santas off it.  Too smart for her own good, that Bichon.

      Where was I?  Oh right.  A mid-morning bone-biccie for

Dolly.  May as well get myself a coffee while I'm at it, and then back to the Christmas present list.  Now, let's see.  Dads are always a problem, aren't they?  I know mine is.  (Whoops!  Only in the present-buying sense, Pa!)  Er, what about this one?  A nice doggie book... perhaps not.  A pair of slippers shaped like two baby dachshunds?  Er...!  Well, okay, we'll do him later.

      Let's just all admit it, shall we?  Us doggie-types don't only make toast for our canine darlings every morning, we live and breathe woofers... especially breathe them.  And Christmas is no different.  Even if you are hard-hearted like me and haven't bought your pooch a Christmas stocking, are you sure that your Bichon won't buy you one?               

      Come on, you know what I mean!  Just like the magic of

Santa - the bulging stocking on the end of every child's bed - isn't there also the magic little gift under the tree all wrapped and labelled, "To Muma-Woof from Bonzo, xxx-lick"?  Does it really come from your Pooch?  Really, really, really?  Are you sure?  Personally, Dolly's presents to me are suspiciously similar to my daughter's, tending to consist of my own belongings parcelled up in newspaper.

      Blimey!  Hang on a minute, must just see what that dawg is up to now!  She's been scrabbling in the cupboard for some time and has just nicked the scissors off my desk.  Dolly!  What you doing?


      No, Doodle-Bug!  Down!  No sausages!  Give me back my

scissors!  Oh, crikey, the blooming animal's gone behind the tree.  What on earth is she doing there?  This is going to be a hands and knees job.  Better not get pine needles in my face.

      Dolly!  Come out!  What are you up to?

      Ahhh, bless.  What a sweetie-pie!  Little heart!  This is terrible.  I feel awful now.  Perhaps I'd better nip along to the pet shop after all?  I could just see if they've got any doggie stockings left.  I mean, I wouldn't want to hurt her feelings.  

      Because you know what she's doing under there?  She's not consuming vast quantities of stolen sausages or windfall chocolates.  She hasn't nicked the turkey and she isn't playing with the kitten.  She isn't just messing about with wrapping paper and sellotape - don't you dare say that. 

      She's wrapping my Christmas present. 



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