SOME months ago, my friend Lesley acquired a puppy through a pet rescue centre.
However, it seems that from the moment Lesley agreed to give him a home, she has had no end of surprises with her dog.
And not necessarily good ones.
For starters, the puppy she was introduced to in the park looked nothing like the pictures she viewed on the pet rescue website.
“Is this definitely Eddie?” 
Lesley queried when she first clapped eyes on the giant puppy.
“Oh yes,” the keeper assured.
“As puppies grow their appearance can change somewhat from their initial photograph,” she tried to convince Lesley.
“Especially if they have been with us for some time.”
After an hour in the park playing with Eddie, Lesley was smitten with her new best friend.
“OK, so he’s not quite what I expected.” She had succumbed 
to Eddie’s charms.
“But I’ll take him.” 
Now, I hadn’t seen Lesley for some time so thought I should ask.
“How’s Eddie settling in?”
“Janice, he’s enormous,” she stated.
“He just keeps growing and growing.”
“Oh my.”  There really wasn’t much I could add.
“On top of that,” she continued.
“He has some very peculiar traits.”
“Like what?” I was intrigued.
“Well, he is generally a very placid dog.”
It turns out that the minute Lesley heads to the fridge to pour herself a glass of wine, Eddie, her so called placid dog goes berserk.
“What do you mean he goes berserk?” 
“Janice honestly, the minute he spots me holding a bottle of wine he runs round in circles howling and then hides in my bedroom.”
“Can’t you disguise it in a mug or something,” I said, thinking I was being helpful.
“Tried that, but he can smell it a mile off.” 
Lesley reckoned that Eddie must have had a bad experience in his previous life and that’s why he reacts in this unusual way.
“On a positive note,” she added.
“Because I can’t drink in the house anymore, I’ve saved money and lost half a stone in weight!”
Later I was telling my other group of friends how Lesley seemed to be reaping the benefits of having a ginormous, psycho dog about the house, when Fiona butted in with an announcement.
“I can only stay for one drink girls as I am on a training course tomorrow.”
This sounded interesting so I asked.
“Is it the beauty course you talked about?”
“No,” she proudly announced.
“I am doing a First Aid course for pets.”
Yet again I was the first to break the long silence, and I could tell everyone was thinking Fiona had lost the plot.
“Did you say First Aid for pets?”
“Yes,” she beamed.
“I have three dogs and if they fall ill I need to know what to do.”
We all nodded as Fiona added.
“We are tutored by a qualified first aid veterinary instructor.”
We nodded again as I tried to feign an interest.
“What sort of things to you learn?”
Fiona was off like a steam train.
“We learn how to check our pet’s heart rate and pulse.” 
We nodded.
“We learn how to spot the signs of heatstroke and how to treat our pet if he has eaten a toxic plant.”
Serious as it seemed, my pals were now sniggering into their wine glasses, however, oblivious to their childish antics Fiona continued.
“We also get to practice hands-on dog CPR on a dog manikin.”
The girls were now in hysterics at the thought of doing CRP on a fake dog.
“And if I pass I get a pet First Aid certificate.”
The laughter died down and I thought the subject of animals was long gone until next morning on my way to work I was suddenly transfixed by a conversation I overheard between two elderly women.
“Mary did you see on the news last night that the world first floating wind farm is being towed out to the North Sea?”
“A floating farm?”
The word ‘wind’ seemed to have been overlooked.
“Aye, a floating farm,” she confirmed as her puzzled pal queried.
“Well ……. how do they get all the coos and sheep on to a floating farm?”
My ears honed in at this point.
“Dunno Mary.”
“And do you think they’ll have tractors and coo sheds and all the stuff they have on a normal farm?”
“Dunno Mary.”
“And do you think ………”
I got the feeling Betty was now out of her depth by this whacky conversation as she added.
“Mary, I imagine whoever had the brains to put a farm out on the North Sea, had the brains to work out how to get the animals on to it.”
And I thought that was the end of the bizarre conversation until.
”You’re probably right Betty.” Mary’s mind seemed to be in overload.
“After all, animals survived on Noah’s Ark,” she grinned.
“And that was at sea for a very long time.”