The miracle of Fred

Well, I raised another pup. And boy, I am so proud of my Fred! My beautiful, smart Fred.

When I rewind the memory tape inside my brain I can’t quite believe it’s been a year. I still remember last November so clearly… A message from J about the litter. I texted back not even knowing the numbers or colours simply asking for a chocolate puppy. A picture of a tiny chocolate and tan boy with a quick “he is yours” note came through next – and we grabbed Coop and danced around the kitchen like lunatics… Things could not have been more perfect.

And then the messages stopped… Two weeks passed by before I got enough courage to ask if our puppy was ok. I just had a feeling something was not quite right. Eventually J replied to say that the boy wasn’t doing well… and unlikely to make it. I felt numb for a moment. Another text came through asking if I’d like to have another pup from the same little, the big chunky and healthy pup.

“But Fred is my boy” I responded. “He is still in this world and I am not going to give up on him just like that…” Somehow, no matter how broken I felt inside, I hoped that believing in Fred’s survival was what going to keep him here, for us.

J said she’d do her best to help him but warned me not to keep my hopes up. And so we agreed that we don’t bring the subject up until we know, one way or the other…

I may sound mad, but Christmas was around the corner and for once I wanted to believe in miracles! I simply could not go through another loss… Couldn’t…

And Fred made it. He really pulled through. Just a couple of days before Christmas we got the best update and an invite to come and see him in a couple of weeks. I could not have hoped for more…

When we first met he was the tiniest cocker puppy I’ve ever seen. I called him “my rat baby” because he was so ridiculously small… Yet he had the attitude, so much zest for life, the most adorable grin and… that puppy smell, the heavenly scent of happiness….  I sat there on the floor, holding my baby and melting inside…

The rest is history. And the scent might have gone by now but the happiness is here, in those puppy eyes, paws and every tiny bit of the little wonder called Fred.

Happy birthday, baby! We are so lucky to have you!

Photo credit: photo taken by me



  1. hi,
    no one ever speaks about night training…. I have an 8-month old cocker who seems to be having a bit of a hard time at night even though ‘she’ goes out in the garden around 10:30/11:00 PM. We are usually up latest 7h30 AM. Is that unusual? many thanks


    1. Hi Veronique,

      I dedicated a whole chapter to puppy training in my book, Perfect cocker spaniel. It’s not unusual for a puppy to want to pop in the garden once in a while at night. Usually, most puppies of her age can sleep between 11pm and 6am, but 10:30 to 7:30 can be a bit too long even for many adult dogs.
      Also 8 months old pups go through the rebel stage and may simply test you, however, this passes and all you can do is to give them an opportunity to visit the garden because at the end of the day she is being a good girl alerting you about the need to go.
      Additionally, if you have any concerns (as “hard time” can mean different things to different people) it’s worth having a quick check at the vets, just to make sure she is perfectly healthy in every way.


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