Written by Kate Leaver


Life critic: Borrowing a stranger’s dog

In her regular column, Kate Leaver reviews life. This week, she borrowed a total stranger’s dog from the internet and she liked it.

Lady FluffingtonMy baby is about 13,450km away from me right now.

Her name is Lady Fluffington, she’s 14 years old and the greatest living creature on the planet. Don’t try and argue with me, it’s fact. The proof is in her face.

She’s in Australia, snoring on a pillow in between my mother and her husband right now, and I’m in London. She couldn’t fly over here because her health is too fragile – besides which, again, look at that face. A face like that is made for private jet travel or nothing at all.

I miss her so much it physically hurts my heart. She’s my munchkin, she’s my girl. She’s in the best possible care – my mama’s. She’s incredibly lucky and happy and she even has a new cat-species friend.

On account of my desperate longing for snuggles with Lady, my wonderful ma sent me three enormous canvases with her photograph printed on them. They’re hanging on the wall in my bedroom here.

Here is an indication of both the scale and my feelings upon receiving such a beautiful present.

Kate with Fluff's portrait

Now, I’m going home to see my dog, I mean friends and family, I mean dog at Christmas time. But I’ve been without her by my side for six months and it doesn’t get easier. We Skype sometimes, but she’s going deaf and blind so she can’t really tell it’s me anymore.

I knew almost as soon as I touched down in England that I’d need to find a way to survive the grief of being so far from Lady Fluff. I’d go for walks and stare wistfully at little white dogs until it became potentially weird. I had trouble sleeping without the deafening sound of her beastly snoring. I didn’t have a tiny creature trotting along at my heels.

BorrowMyDoggy.com saved me. It’s basically an online matchmaking service for people who have dogs and people who love dogs. It’s a beautiful idea. Little old ladies who can no longer walk their puppies connect with young people who like to walk puppies. Professionals who work long hours and can’t look after their dogs all day connect with freelance cool dudes who can keep their dogs company.

“Lady comes to the park with me, goes for walks and adventures with me, and then naps at my feet or on my lap while I work.”

And tragic Australian dog-lovers like me pining for their own tiny friend can connect with heavenly American couples who happen to have a dog who sometimes needs company during the week.

You’re not going to believe what their dog’s name is. LADY. Her name is Lady. Her human friends are Casey and Joel, and they’re so delightful. When Casey and Joel are at work, Lady comes to the park with me, goes for walks and adventures with me, and then naps at my feet or on my lap while I work. AND her human friends are now my human friends and we hang out as humans.

This is that Lady. She likes to travel by bag whenever we go somewhere.

Lady in a bag

She’s an angel. She’s perfectly well behaved, snuggly, sweet, and so friendly. She’s eight years old and does a pretty cool trick where she stands on her hind legs and dances for snacks. She’s pretty cool.

She’s not my Lady, but she’s beautiful company while I’m so far away. Recently, she came to stay for a whole weekend and she didn’t leave my side. We went on a road trip to the country, where she chased birds and fell asleep by the fireplace. We cuddled and watched movies, went for walks and generally just chilled out, cuddling.

So, this week’s a funny one. I give the experience of leaving your dog friend on the other side of the world ZERO dog treats out of five. But BorrowMyDoggy.com gets FIVE dog treats out of FIVE.


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Written by Kate Leaver

Wandering Australian journalist, professional-level Harry Potter fan, occasional funny person, gelato enthusiast. Still worried about the state of Britney Spears' mental health.