It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a dog of a young age must be in want of socialisation, as Jane Austen wrote in “Pride and Prejudice” – or she would have, if she’d been writing about puppies.
My bipeds certainly believed that there is no such thing as too much socialisation for a puppy. I was pleased because I enjoyed meeting different people and animals of all shapes and sizes. At the time of this tale I was six months old, so I was almost as big as I am now, and I thought I’d seen everything there is to see and that nothing could surprise me. Well, this is one of those rare occasions when I was wrong – it happens to the best of us!
They decided to take me to the County Show for – you’ve guessed it – more socialisation, they said that it would be busy and there would be lots of different animals there. I loved meeting new bipeds and getting lots of attention, so it sounded like a great idea. I also liked meeting different animals, but I was fairly sure that there wouldn’t be any types that I hadn’t seen before.
The day of the show arrived and off we went in the car. We parked on grass and when I got out of the car I was quite excited by all the different smells, but after a good sniff I was determined to show my bipeds just how grown up I was. We started walking around and we saw many animals.
There were lots of other dogs because there were some competitions for gun dogs. I kept my cool and walked nicely. I had a good sniff when we went to a part where cattle were being paraded before a judge, but I had seen cows before! We came across a pen of sheep and that was interesting, but I’d already met sheep. There were rabbits and guinea pigs, I had seen those once or twice before. We went to where there was a competition for horses and ponies, it was good to sniff around – but I’d seen horses many times, so I managed to remain calm.
I could tell my bipeds were pleased with the way I was behaving and I was very proud to be so grown up – but then a new smell hit my nostrils and a kind of madness gripped me. I just had to follow the smell and find out what it was – it was exhilarating! As I had been walking so nicely, my sudden mad dash towards the smell took the biped on the other end of my lead by surprise and I managed to tow him the few yards to the source of the smell at a cracking pace. There were animals I’d never seen before in a pen. Before my biped could stop me, I had my elbows on the top of the fencing around them and was starting to climb over to greet them and get a better sniff of that wonderful aroma.
At that point, things went downhill. I was hauled back off the fencing by my biped, I was taken a few yards away and told to sit. There were lots of strange bipeds around and they were all laughing, but my bipeds had their serious faces on! I made some excited noises to indicate that I wanted to go and investigate these exciting animals, but they wouldn’t relent – I had to wait until I sat quietly.
Eventually we went over to the pen and I had a good sniff through the bars. The aroma was amazing! I really enjoyed walking round that pen. We went away from it and came back a few times and I had another sniff at the pigs, as I now knew they were called.
I have met pigs since that occasion and I have managed to remain calm, even though the aroma of pig is still one of my favourite smells. Since moving to Spain, I have discovered the aroma of wild boar is even more exciting than the aroma of pigs and it is my new favourite smell.
Do you have a favourite smell?