Leroy storyWhile we were minding him he lost one of his baby teeth. We did what all grand parents would do – we put the tooth in a glass, placed it beside his bed and told him the fairies would come while he was asleep.

We had jumped at the chance to mind little Leroy while our son and his partner had a few days break. He came complete with enough food to feed a tribe of Leroys and there was also a typed sheet detailing his feed, rest and play times.

We were informed that he should sleep near our bedroom as he would be more content hearing us talk and move around. So we complied with all the written directions and suggestions, but there was one thing different about this ‘holiday with the grand parents’. Leroy was a five month old loveable chocolate Labrador.

The directions stated we should take him for a daily walk, so we got the lead out and off we went to introduce him to the neighbourhood. Well, as it turned out, Leroy took us for the walk. We were detoured to every lamp post, tree and even the water meters.

Here was a whole new world of smells that needed to be fully examined before moving on to the next point of call, usually only metres away.

Back at home we soon found that anything left low to the ground that might be edible was chewed, munched and tested for its culinary quality. Included in this category was a straw hat, a travel magazine, the door mat and a cane toad that had long since met its demise and was in a stiff and dried state. Removing this last item from Leroy’s mouth was not one of the most pleasant experiences of the day.

Minding Leroy was such a wonderful experience for us both. We laughed at his antics, played football with him and enjoyed the fun of having a loveable larrikin around us. It was a reminder that grand parents still have an important role to play in life, even though it might entail pet minding.

Peter Mack

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