Author Kate Spicer on Wolfy, the Lurcher who turned her life around.
The daughter of an NHS surgeon, Kate was born in London but has lived all over the country. She studied philosophy at King’s College, London, before establishing herself as a popular and successful lifestyle journalist, TV personality, and documentary maker. Kate has written for The Sunday Times, The Times, the Daily Mail, the Evening Standard, Vogue, and Red, and her TV appearances range from Masterchef to Newsnight.
The best-known of her three acclaimed documentaries, Mission to Lars, charted her autistic youngest brother’s quest to meet his hero, a drummer with a heavy metal band.
Q) Tell us about your first dog?
“My dad thought it was a great idea to give my mum a Dalmatian puppy when I, her first child, was born. They lived in London in a two-bed flat with no garden. Anyway, she was a great dog and I loved her very much; very mellow for a Dalmatian. She died beside me on the sofa when I was about 14, watching telly after school. I didn’t know this at the time. I thought she was just sleeping.”
Q) Tell us about your current dog?
“Wolfy is a third-hand rescue Lurcher, probably about eight years old, but who knows? He’s shaggy and slightly bigger built than the average Lurcher — I think he’s what they call a Norfolk Tumbler-style hound. He is the first dog I have ever owned as an adult and it’s safe to say the depth of my love for him totally blew me away.”
Q) Who has been/is the canine love of your life?
“I love them all, but Wolfy is the love of my life. I am watching him lick his lips at the foot of my bed now as I type this, and he is the scruffiest, handsomest dog of all time. He’s my soulmate.”
Q) If you were a dog, which breed would you be?
“I like to think a Lurcher like Wolfy, who I describe in my book as managing to be both ‘a scruffy bugger and completely regal’.”
Q) What do you love most about sharing your life with a dog?
“The silent companionship.”
Q) Tell us a funny story about your dog.
“One time, I was at a party in a field in Wiltshire for a friend’s birthday. We had been dancing for hours and were, let’s say, ‘full of beans’. After a while, I decided to fall into my bed — we were camping — and Wolfy pottered in and looked like his face was covered in dew in the faint morning light.
I felt a big rush of love and went to give him a big kiss. That’s when I realised it wasn’t dew, but the giant vat of marinade that a huge slab of beef had been marinating in overnight. He was disgusting, smelly, oily, and flecked with rosemary — and, now, so was I!”
Q) Dogs in the bed: yes or no?
“I tried to resist, but within three months we had invited him onto what we now call ‘Wolfy’s bed’. Like vampires, once you’ve invited them in, they aren’t leaving.”
Q) What’s your favourite dog-related film or TV show?
“Fraggle Rock and Alf (who is actually an alien but he looks like Wolfy).”
Q) Do you have a favourite place for a dog-friendly holiday?
“We do a lot of Dartmoor and North Cornwall; seeing him loon about on Constantine Bay is utterly joyous. He is a different dog on the beach.