I had a walk with mum yesterday and she took me on one we’ve not been on for a while – it takes us past a pack of Beagles – which is why mum doesn’t take us that way very often ‘cause they end up baying for my blood. It doesn’t bother me, I could take them all on, no probs, but mum doesn’t like the noise. However, I soon found out why she took us that way – one of the young bitches had eleven puppies six weeks ago and today they were all out. ELEVEN! My goodness! That is a serious amount of pup. It was like watching a clip from 101 Dalmatians. In case you don’t know what Beagles are, here’s a clip of some I found on YouTube Beagle Pups Playing with Mom. I mean, I’m a guy right? But even I found myself saying “Aaahhh” when I saw them yesterday. They were seriously cute and mum’s voice went all high and squeaky. But I could tell from the look on their mum’s face that she was thanking God Rex that mum dogs only keep their pups until they’re eight weeks old. If she’s lucky, they’ll be gone for Christmas. Imagine Christmas with ELEVEN pups to provide for? Bloody nightmare.
It got me thinking about mum and her past Christmases. Mum hasn’t got a family anymore. Her mum, dad and brother are all gone. She only has one surviving brother who she never sees and now that she doesn’t have a family or live in the UK any more her Christmases are really uncomplicated. That might sound a bit harsh but it’s true. When she lived in the UK with Uncle Hugh, Christmas was what mum used to call “...the C word…” I can only really remember one UK Christmas. I spent two Christmases in the UK but the first one I was still a pup and it simply sped by in an excited blur because I still believed in Santa Paws and got all hysterical. However, I’ve heard mum talk about Christmases past and they didn’t sound too pleasant.
Uncle Hugh has quite a big extended family and he has something called an Ex Wife. The problem with Ex Wife is that she never wanted to be an Ex. So it was a bit hard for Uncle Hugh to extricate himself from her. However, he’s still friends with Ex Wife, which mum thinks is a good thing. The problem is, Ex Wife is still friends with all of Uncle Hugh’s family too, but Ex Wife doesn’t like my mum whereas the family does. That has caused a few problems. Especially at Christmas. Mum says Christmases are a pain in the bum for lots of people and that there are always arguments and huge amounts of stress around the festive time.
Mum’s Christmases involved lots of juggling and telephone calls to ensure that Ex Wife didn’t end up in the same house as Mum because when Ex Wife and mum were in the same house the rest of the family would feel uncomfortable, not just mum. Uncle Hugh’s grown up puppies like mum but they also love their own mum – Ex Wife – so they didn’t like to be TOO nice to mum in Ex Wife’s company. The little puppies of Hugh’s own puppies like my mum too, but Ex Wife is REALLY possessive of them and doesn’t like them liking my mum. Mum would end up staying at home on her own and telling Uncle Hugh to go to family affairs by himself. That would end up in arguments. Hence, Christmases weren’t much fun.
The last three Christmases, however, have been FAB. No family AT ALL, because they have to stay in the UK and we’re here in France ON OUR OWN and mum loves her Christmases now, but it’s still complicated for Uncle Hugh’s lot. One of Uncle Hugh’s puppies, Alice, has at least one Ex Husband; in fact, it might be two. That means that one of her own puppies, Matt, has two dads. There is Dad Paul and Dad Simon. Dad Paul is his biological dad. Dad Simon is his dad through his marriage to Uncle Hugh’s pup, Alice. It also means that Matt has three sets of grandparents – two biological and one through marriage. The ones through marriage (Simon’s parents) are really close to him because he was a very young pup when Simon married Alice. Matt also has three sets of Uncles and Aunts. At Christmas, all the grandparents (other than Uncle Hugh ‘cause he is now in France) insist on seeing their grandchild and all the Uncles and Aunts want to see their nephew. THIS IS MAKING MY BRAIN HURT!!!!!! There’s a lot of them – it’s more than ten because I had to stop counting (as you know I can only count to ten) So, Uncle Hugh’s pup, Alice, has lots of juggling to do and she ends up looking very fraught. She too calls Christmas “…the C word…” I think she got it off mum.
Uncle Hugh’s brother has complicated Christmases too because he’s got an Ex Wife, two boys who are now adults, a brand new wife and a brand new puppy, and he’s nearly as old as Uncle Hugh, which is ANCIENT.
BUT, what amazes me is that according to mum Uncle Hugh’s family isn’t anywhere near as complicated as some – like the Royal Family – whoever they are, (are they the slobby ones who like watching TV and don’t do much for a living?). Mum says that some families are so complicated that the members don’t know themselves who’s really related to who and how. Perhaps mum’s kidding me.
I wonder why people get all worked up and hysterical about Christmas? I was reading one of my favourite blogs a couple of days ago A Curates Egg and he was talking about Christmas too and how folk need things to look forward to – except nowadays lots of people DON’T look forward to Christmas for lots of different reasons – not just complex family arrangements. Some folk end up feeling lonely at Christmas. I mean, if it weren’t for me and Uncle Hugh my mum would end up on her own wouldn’t she? Some folk can’t afford Christmas. For some folk, it brings back sad memories. But for kids and dogs like me, it’s GREAT. I still think, however, that it’s a good job it only happens once a year. Don’t you?
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