Friday, 8 March 2013


UK readers will know all about the famous brand of toilet paper (Andrex!) which ran (and continues to run) a series of highly successful commercials.  These feature a puppy wreaking havoc in a neat suburban home - his little teeth clamped into some never ending loo-roll - while his perfect ad-land family look on with benign indulgence.  
Here, in the first ever Andrex commercial from 1972, a super-cute little labrador demonstrates a canine version of Mummy Wrap.

Andrex decided to market a soft-toy version of the little dog.  The usual rules applied.  Collect vouchers and send off modest sum and a cuddly puppy could be yours.  This I did and duly presented it to my young son, who was absolutely thrilled with his new toy (what do you mean, *cheapskate*?!).  

Rather touchingly, he called his new toy Puppy.

Puppy became a valued member of the Kendrick toy family.  He was always present for bed-time stories.  He would often try to finish food which fussy eaters had spurned (they soon changed their mind when they saw that greedy little dog about to attack their plates!).  Puppy could often be relied upon to settle arguments or (sometimes) to hold views which coincided uncannily with those of my son's mother.

And then, one day my son was sick all over Puppy.  Puppy stank!  I put Puppy in a plastic bag outside the door, intending to give him a lovely bath - when the dustmen took him by mistake!

My son was heartbroken.  I told him that "Puppy has gone on holiday" and meanwhile I wrote a frantic letter to the makers of Andrex, explaining my dilemma.  The soft toy had long since gone out of production, but they managed to dig one up from somewhere (oh, dear - that makes him sound like Zombie Puppy, but I can assure you he wasn't).

My son was delighted when Puppy returned from his holiday, looking very rested (and therefore much younger!) and normal service was resumed.  Over the years Puppy (naturally, sniff, sniff) became less important in the life of my son.  He was shifted from his kennel (oh, alright - he didn't really have a kennel) and bundled behind books and football trophies.  Eventually, he made his home on top of a dusty wardrobe but I have to say that he never complained.


Last week, my grown-up son was clearing out his room prior to moving to Milan and he and I took bags and bags of rubbish down to the council dump.  As he handed me one of the lighter bags, I saw a dearly-loved and familiar face sticking out from among the paraphernalia of broken sports equipment and odd socks.  You've guessed, haven't you?  
It was Puppy.
I think my son was taken aback by the level of shock and vitriol which was directed at him - and at that point I thought I heard Puppy giving a plaintive little whine from his horrible home in the black plastic bag.
You're wondering what happened next, aren't you (though in your hearts, I think you know)?

Reader, fear not.
Puppy has come home!


  1. I still have my toy dog that my mother gave when I was very ill. I've had Floppy for 48 years. I'm glad you rescued Puppy.

  2. *Floppy*! What a lovely name. (His ears, I'm guessing?)

  3. Love that story x

  4. What a very lovely story! The things us moms do for our kids! Glad to hear this has a happy ending xxx