Fido or Friskies? Friskies or Fido? I am standing in front of a wall of alimentation de chiens in Auchan [a typical French supermarket ie so big, you need running shoes and an energy bar to get round it]. The dog food aisle is new territory to me but I'm going to have to learn fast as I have just become the unofficial owner of ....Biff.
Out of the blue Frances, his owner, called and asked the question that didn't need answering: would you like Biff on a permanent basis? She had reluctantly come to the conclusion that he wanted to be with me, and since she and her other half already have another dog, would receive more attention if he lived here. [Yes, for those of you who are wondering, I do feel guilty to have all but run off with a friend's dog. It feels like stealing someone's child.]
Then on Saturday morning, I received a call from the Phoenix Dog Rescue (www.www.phoenixasso.com) in the Dordogne - from whence Biff originally came - and with whom I had registered two weeks ago. 'It will be difficult to find another small black terrier,' said Sheelagh, when I explained that I was looking for Biff Mark II. 'He was a one off.'
But by Saturday she and her husband had found me no less than three Biff look-alikes, all of them in the SPA rescue in Bergerac, and one of whom, Wilf [pictured left] does indeed bear a close resemblance to Biff - not least in terms of demeanour. Sadly, I had to explain that Wilf had missed out on a new home with me by a whisker, and if it were not for this week's unexpected development, I would already have been on my way to Bergerac to pick him up. Biff meanwhile has his paws firmly under the table and - while I don't want to tempt fate - it looks like this is one love affair that might have an unexpectedly happy ending.