Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Pipaluk - The Little One
When Pippa first found us on the streets of Spain, we had two other dogs - Paddy and Prince. Maybe that was the attraction for him, a nice pack with two well-cared for dogs.
But what to call him? A Spanish name as he was a Spanish dog? One beginning with P like the other two dogs? All we could think of was Pedro, Pepe or Paco, and he didn't look like any of those suited him.
Even back then he was bigger than the other two, and with such a pale creamy white face and chest. He looked like a big cuddly polar bear. Yeah I know polar bears aren't cuddly - unless they want to squeeze you to death I suppose.
I remembered the little polar bear cub that had been born at Regent's Park zoo, (London Zoo) in December 1967. Pipaluk, whose name was Eskimo (as was) meaning 'The Little One.'
Aw, a cute furry little creamy white bear, just like our new dog. Except that Pippa wasn't remotely little, but when Pipaluk grew up, he wouldn't exactly be little either. And I quite liked the irony of calling a large dog 'The Little One.'
So Pipaluk he became, and inevitably Pippa, or Pipps for short. Oddly, when the Spanish vet spells it, he writes it Pipa, which is probably a better abbreviation.
I don't remember seeing Pipaluk as a cute cub, but I must have done, because why else would I have the book? And I do have a photo of me at the zoo with my mother and my older cousin who lived in London at the time.
Sadly, the cute little bear whose birth spawned a book, lots of souvenirs, and cuddly toys, was ignominiously shipped off some 20 or so years later to Poland to die there. Forgotten about and no longer a superstar once his cuteness had expired.