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Sparrow - My Office Buddy

by Sophie Jackson 2 months ago in dog

Life with a Working Cocker Companion

Sparrow! (Sophie Jackson 2021)

What has dodgy knees, wonky eyes, and a tendency to steal your cup of tea when you are not looking?

That would be Sparrow, my very special working cocker spaniel, and my office buddy day-in and day-out.

I sometimes think of Sparrow as me in canine form. We are both prone to anxiety, a little neurotic, prone to getting overwhelmed and freaking out. We also both have some seriously creaky joints, though hers get lots more TLC than mine. Oh, and not to mention the eyes, we both have vision issues.

Sparrow’s eyes are misaligned, meaning she has no depth perception. You notice it most when she is tired, and the wonkiness becomes more pronounced. Aside from occasionally misjudging a leap onto the sofa, they don’t cause Sparrow any issues.

I has a ball! (Sophie Jackson 2021)

Sparrow also suffered from luxating patella (loose kneecaps) which regular physio has worked wonders on. Her fitness regime is much more impressive than my own (and involves sausage as a reward for doing the exercises). I like to imagine she has some sympathy for her poor human who suffers from hypermobility and is often to be seen hobbling about the house.

Then again, she may just consider it convenient for when she makes it onto the dining room table to steal things. She waits until I am at the farthest point in the house and can’t make it to her very quickly.

Despite the wonky eyes, she is smart.

Sparrow is my constant companion as I work on my computer. I am self-employed and that means a lot of hours in front of a flickering screen. Without my spaniel buddy, work would be a lot harder and overwhelming.

You can't be sad with a spaniel around! (Sophie Jackson 2021)

Not that Sparrow is entirely convinced about this ‘working’ lark. She is mildly resentful of my PC – I used to have a laptop and would sit on the sofa to work. This was ideal for Sparrow as she would curl up beside me and snooze the workday away. It was not so good for my shoulders and neck, so I switched to a desk and PC.

Sparrow sulks about this and to try to console her I have put a doggy bed beside my chair. She, of course, refuses to sleep in it.

Every now and then as I am working at my desk, a small paw creeps up into my lap and taps me. I look down and there is pair of soulful eyes pleading with me for a cuddle. If I don’t get the first hint, she stands up and puts both paws in my lap and starts to pull at my arm with her paw.

Ultimately, she always wins, and I stop whatever I am doing and pick her up into my lap. She will sit there for a moment or two then jump away, her supervisory capacity briefly extended before she reverts to silently watching me.

Spaniel hugs (Sophie Jackson 2021)

Sparrow’s patience with me is quite resilient, possibly due to the fact she knows that at some point I shall need to get up and that is when she can take her chances with my tea mug. I always have a cup of tea on the go, sitting on my desk. If I get up and leave without taking it, Sparrow will leap onto my chair and shove her head in the cup to drink the remains.

There is nothing subtle about this thievery. She barely waits until I have stood up and then begins her tea gulping behind my back.

This is quite often accompanied by ‘keyboard tampering’. This is when she stomps on my keyboard and comes up with the most curious of things. Sometimes I get a string of numbers or symbols in a sentence – that is fairly logical. I have never worked out how she once managed to change the screen orientation on my laptop from landscape to portrait.

That resulted in quite a fraught afternoon!

Spaniel eyes (Sophie Jackson 2021)

I don’t complain about the distractions Sparrow causes as I work as they help to keep my working habits healthy. I would sit endlessly on the computer without breaks if it was not for Sparrow politely reminding me once in a while it is time to get up and move. She won’t let me get bogged down in work or forget to eat or drink. She is the gentle nudge to tell me I have sat before a screen for two hours straight and it will easily become four if I don’t get up and do something else.

She is also my consolation when I am having a rough workday. When things are going wrong and I cannot figure something out, I just need to look to my side and a brown and white head will pop up. There will be a flutter of a tail and then I shall be cuddling my spaniel, taking a deep breath into her white fur, and releasing my tension.

You can never be sad for long with a spaniel around, as a friend of mine once said.

My office space would be a lot worse off without my buddy in the background. My days would be a lot less fun and joyful. I am lucky to have Sparrow in my life, and at my desk, even if she does steal my tea and write weird things with my keyboard when my back is turned.


Sophie Jackson

I have been working as a freelance writer since 2003. I love history, fantasy, science, animals, cookery and crafts, (to name but a few of my interests) and I write about them all. My aim is always to write factual and entertaining pieces.

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