Fresh hell! Mister Husband is making doggy sounds. As in he wants one. I don’t! I have enough small people making puddles in my house without introducing another. And not for Mister Husband a small, trouble free pooch. No. Mister Husband has his heart set on a German shepherd. Horrors. He’s even mentioned getting two – they’d be company for each other. Apparently. See, we’re blessed, although I’m beginning to think cursed, with a large garden in which these imaginary dogs could roam. I tried to argue my case and inform Mister Husband that all dogs need to be walked but he reckons that problem is solved as we have the large garden. Dogs need to be trained. I wasn’t giving up. Who’s going to do that, dear Henry? I reminded him of the trouble our neighbours had with their Rex last summer. They dubbed him their special needs dog as he used to sit in front of the electric fence and quite happily endure being zapped by it as he watched (hungrily I liked to think) our kids on the other side. They had a terrible time trying to keep him contained. And what about when we go on holidays? Sorted. (Mister Husband has an answer for everything) We can’t afford to go on one so we won’t need someone to look after a dog. I forged onwards. What about vet’s bills? We can’t afford to take our own kids to the doctor. I reminded him of Christmas and how we hoped and prayed none of them would get sick in the run up to it as the doc would have to be paid in bicycles. And what about today when he wound down the car window to check for oncoming traffic on his right and he got covered in St. Bernard snot as a lorry passed us by. That’s what dogs do, breathe all over you and lick you. Yak! Then he went and got a plea for help on Facebook before Christmas. The pound in Kildare was looking for new owners for Danny Dog. I have to admit Danny Dog was lovely. 9 months old, a lab and an Akita cross. I still wasn’t to be swayed. My sister’s dog was attacked by an Akita cross last winter and she’s still sorting out vet bills for corrective surgery. When I was growing up, there was always a dog or two about the place. Mister Husband puts forward the same argument. But, and it’s a big one, he hasn’t lived at home for over 20 years. They ceased to be his dogs and his responsibility when he flew the coop. I like dogs, but I like them outside. I like them not to interfere with my daily routine. I don’t think it’s good enough, or fair, to bring a dog into a home unless it’s welcomed by everyone. The boys are still too small and at the moment, have little or no interest in animals. But something curious or just downright weird did happen with Screecher Creature No. 2 when he was about two and a half. Lots of kids, I am led to believe, create imaginary friends. Never had one myself and so far, neither have our boys. But I reckon they all feel such intense competition between each other right now, that none of them are going to be remotely interested in stirring it up even more with an imaginary third party. But Screecher Creature No. 2 had an imaginary bird. Yeah, a bird. This bird came into existence and resided in our house and our boy’s imagination for about a week. This was more than long enough. Maybe it didn’t approve of the food. I dunno but the poor bird had the unhealthiest diet. Saturday he fine dined on chips and crisps. Followed by "eye beam" (ice cream) and sticky toffee pud. Screecher Creature No. 2 was holding up tiny bits of food for this bird to eat. But he (the bird) got his own back on his owner. Screecher Creature No. 2 put him on top of his head for a rest in between courses and without warning, or maybe it was revenge, the bird shat in Iarla’s hair. Our boy has a fine imagination it has to be said. All of this was met with great amusement from Mister Husband and me but the older brother regarded it all with blatant suspicion and more than a little bit of scorn. So Screecher Creature No. 1, in true tormenting older brother fashion, ate his little brother’s pet imaginary bird a couple of times. Yer man, naturally enough, threw the mother of all tantrums each and every time this happened and to add insult to injury, the murderer made exaggerated chewing actions and threw in the odd “yum yum” for good measure. There was also major panic when we left a café on discovering that the bird had been left behind on the table. Car seat straps had been secured and we were ready for the off when surround sound started off in the back seat, demanding that we go back in and get his feathered friend. Mister Husband saved the day with a bit of quick thinking and produced the bird from his pocket. All was well. An imaginary bird I can deal with, but a real life, living, breathing, doggy? No thanks. Maybe I’ll suggest a goldfish. If (and when he carks it) he can always go to U-bend heaven.