That’s actually the title of Gwen Bailey’s book, which is a kind of bible for anyone who has a new puppy in the house. So when I went to visit a pal recently, I was delighted to see the book lying on a table and there, beneath the table, the Perfect Puppy was lying quietly chewing a toy beefburger that someone had judiciously de-squeaked.
She was totally adorable; eleven weeks old’s worth of wobbly-tailed, working labrador puppy. The second smallest of a litter of twelve. She has a soft mouth, a quiet and sweet nature and, I think, plenty of working instinct.
I hadn’t seen this particular pal for some time – probably 18 months at least – but you know how it is with friends… once you’re back together, the time apart fades to nothing and it’s just lovely to see each other again, realise afresh how much you have in common and catch up with news.
She had a labrador bitch for sixteen years and when she died, the house was just too quiet for too long. I know that feeling.
Now it’s evident there is a baby in the house. Toys and chewy things in the kitchen and living room, a bed in the kitchen, a stairgate at the bottom of the stairs and a good supply of puppy pads.
So many puppy cuddles were had and a bit of training. She already sits and lies down when she’s told and it was loads of fun to throw her ‘ragger’ across the room and see her gallumphing joyfully after it. She brought it back too, without any encouragement and wanted to do it again… and again. My pal looked very happy indeed. They’re going to have loads of fun together.
Photographing black dogs is an art I don’t possess, but here are a few anyway. Shame I can’t include a scratch and sniff panel because she is so beautifully, fragrantly essence of puppy!