Moose At The Seaside

This weekend I am in Cornwall with Moose. My parents were going off to stay at their house in Looe and asked us to come so I decided that me and the Dinky Dane would go along so she could get a bit of a seaside holiday.

It was quite a long drive but Moose was fine apart from being sick about an hour after we set out. I’m sure the shriek of: ‘Ew! There’s puke everywhere!’ probably wasn’t the sort of thing my Dad wanted to hear coming from the back seat – especially as it was his car we were driving in.

But a fine time was had by all once we finally got there. It’s taken us ages to get anywhere because most of the people we’ve passed wanted to give Moose a fuss. I’d say about half of them recognised that she was a Great Dane. The rest thought she was some kind of Dalmatian cross, or even a Dalmatian. This always surprises me because Moose doesn’t just have black spots, but big black (and some blue) splodges all over her coat. Besides which, there would have to be something very wrong with a Dalmatian puppy for it to have a head that shape, and paws that big. One woman actually had the audacity to suggest that she was a ‘little bit of everything’! A mongrel no less!

  ‘Madam,’ I replied coldly, ‘I’ll have you know that this dog is fifteen hundred pounds worth of pedigree, show standard, harlequin Great Dane!’

But, these slurs on her breeding aside, Moose has had a lovely time. She walked on the beach and came into pubs with us, and met lots of people. There’s something nice about the fact that people will always come up to you if you’re walking a puppy. I’ve answered so many questions about Moose during the last week. And the fact that people want to come up and see her makes me warm towards humans more than I would usually.

Before we came I went to the pet shop to buy her some new things to take on her first holiday. I came out with a whole load of new chewy bones and some toys, including an evil looking crocodile, and a big fluffy rope monster, of which I’m rather fond. I love buying Moose stuff. Especially when I get a new thing out of the bag, and she hears the rustling, and looks up at me with that sweet little face. She’s also becoming a bit of a lap dog, which I suppose could be a problem when she’s big . . . But what the heck – Loki sits on my lap just fine, and he’s a fully grown Doberman. Besides, I’d sooner cut my own hand off than tell her she can’t get on my lap for a cuddle when she’s tired – even if she does happen to be covered in sand at the time.

Whilst walking around Looe, Moose met a fully grown blue Great Dane called Hamlet. Even for a Dane he was a very big boy – and extremely handsome with it. But although he was just five years old he was already starting to go grey around the muzzle. The one downside of Danes is that they don’t live very long. Eight years is the average but some only live to six. When I look at Moose I can’t bear the thought of her living such a short time. But for now I’m taking comfort in the fact that when we went to visit the breeder we saw Moose’s great-grandmother, and she was eleven years old. Moose has to be long-lived too, because I love her so much. She’s the best thing to happen to me in quite a while. She makes up for all the bad stuff – as animals very often do. And I will love my publishers, Gollancz and Headline, until the day I die for enabling me to buy her. Ditto for every single person who bought a copy of The Ninth Circle – even if they thought it was shit. Doesn’t matter so long as the book was bought (but obviously I would prefer that they didn’t think it was shit). Still, I got a Dinky Dane out of the book deals. Can’t complain at that.

If you would like to help keep Moose in toys and dog food, or, possibly, contribute to the next animal in my menagerie (I really want a sphyinx called Gretel and a bull terrier called Daddy), then feel free to buy a copy of Jasmyn, and Lex Trent Versus The Gods, when they come out. Heck, buy copies for all your friends and relatives too, and then perhaps I will be able to get Gretel and Daddy!

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7 Responses to “Moose At The Seaside”

  1. Neil Ford Says:

    Sounds like Moose is growing in to a real cutie.

    I will be picking up my signed copy of Jasmyn at the end of the month :)

    The Ninth Circle is currently on my to be read pile.

    – Neil.

  2. Christine Says:

    I’ve read The Ninth Circle and got you a fair few sales! Aren’t I good?!

    Hope to meet Moose soon :)

  3. Alex Bell Says:

    Neil – very pleased to hear it. :-) Look forward to seeing you on the 30th.

    Christine – you are, indeed, marvellous. :-) I think I’ll bring Moose when we next meet up for lunch.

  4. Robert V.S. Redick Says:

    Moose is one lucky dog. I wish someone would take me to Cornwall. I would promise in writing not to get sick.

  5. Alex Bell Says:

    I wish I was still *in* Cornwall. It’s getting under my skin. Think I’ll need to think up some excuse to go back again soon.

  6. Kwok Ting Lee Says:

    I vaguely remember Cornwall. I think I visited it once when I was around four or five years old. The most vivid memory I have of it is the smell of salt and a pebble beach. It was cold and windy, and the waves were crashing loudly.

    I can’t say I have any overwhelming desire to return to it: beaches to me are Laguna Beach in California, Coogee Beach in Sydney, The Gold Coast in Queensland, and Batu Feringhi in Penang, Malaysia.

  7. Alex Bell Says:

    I hated Cornwall for a long time. Something to do with car sickness, pear drops and scary goblins running round my room when I was a kid(don’t ask), but now I totally love it.

    But I agree with you about the beaches. Having been to the Far East and the Caribbean, no British beach can compare(besides, Moose wasn’t allowed on the beach in Looe). The Seychelles has ruined me forever where beaches are concerned anyway.

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