In my house, this old excuse rings true.
Except it’s not just the homework that suffers.
My dog eats EVERYTHING. Some days I’m offended, and wonder if we smell bad – because so far, the only ‘things’ he hasn’t tried to eat in our house are us humans – although playtime results in some pretty nasty scratches, both from teeth and paws.
We got him from a private rescue facility when he was seven weeks old. Some idiot threw him out the window of a car, in a plastic bag, when he was just three weeks. At five weeks of age, he contracted ‘tick bite fever/biliary’ – a disease that usually kills quickly. He beat that. He’s a survivor, this pavement special of ours.
And he’s probably one of the most remarkable dogs I have ever owned. I am a little biased, of course, but when I think of my dogs in the past, he’s something special.
I never had to house train him – he just knew. Although once or twice, if I didn’t wake during the night, he’d disappear into the shower, and relieve himself there!
He also knew how to play fetch. That was great, until he started not only bringing me tennis balls, but socks, shoes, underwear, knitting needles, dish towels – pretty much anything he could find.
Placing these items in the middle of the counter didn’t help either. He has these ridiculously long legs that he uses as cat paws, to stretch and reach an item and pull it towards him. If he’s not caught in time, and it’s close enough for him to take in his teeth – then the game is on. Yes, he knows how to play ‘catches’ too – except we’re always the ones who are ‘on’.
When his water bowl is almost empty, he tips it up and watches the last of it form a puddle. Then he picks it up, and trots around with it until he finds one of us humans to give it to.
He trots. Like a horse. And when he’s excited about who is at the door, and is patiently waiting for you to open the gate and let them in, he trots on the spot, like a show horse.
But back to the water. I don’t know about you, but when I was a child I was often in trouble when we went to eat out at restaurants. I would put my straw into my glass, and blow into it, making bubbles. Sometimes, I was so loud, people would turn to look.
We’d had our pup for a month. One night, I was sitting at the computer in the lounge, and he was chewing on his bone behind me. My daughter was sprawled across my bed, reading a book (you’d think she doesn’t have her own room sometimes).And I heard someone blowing bubbles through a straw. I yelled for her to stop. She came to tell me she wasn’t doing anything – and the noise miraculously went away. Until a few minutes later. This time, I turned around.My dog was standing with his head in his water bowl, snout pushing down against the bottom of the bowl, and blowing through his nose! Then he would lift his head, and try and catch the bubbles in the bowl – I kid you not, I couldn’t make something like that up if I tried! He used to do this a lot, but he’s just over a year now, and doesn’t do it as often.
I used to have a lovely back garden. In fact, I’d planted a whole bunch of new flowers about a month before we got him. I worked really hard in that garden. Used to. It’s his now. And of course, there’s not a flower in sight – although what he did with them no one knows.
I used to have a couch. I never really liked it, but at least once upon a time, it was whole. I’m thankful we can at least still sit on it.
In the morning, if my daughter has not yet woken, I tell him to go and wake her. He dutifully trots off to her room, and presses his snout against her nose, lavishing her with soppy kisses. (Of course, this is sometimes a problem when she is woken from a deep slumber by him.)
At night, he seems to know when it’s bedtime. Naturally, he sleeps with me. He eases himself onto the bed, usually in my spot, and curls up as best he can with his long legs, on my pillow. Of course, I gently shift him across to the other side of the bed, amidst moans of protest from somewhere deep in his chest. Some nights he shows his disgust at being moved by moving again – to plonk himself on top of my feet. And that is where he sleeps.
But there are those nights where he is accepting of his position, and he continues to sleep. And just to show he’s still not entirely amused with me, he snores in my ear for the rest of the night.
If you ask him if he wants a hug, he comes to you and stands on his hind legs. I lean in, and he places his paws on my shoulders. I step closer, and wrap my arms around his body. He curls his paws, so that you can feel them on your neck. He then ‘stretches’, but the curled paws make it feel like he is hugging you. It’s the sweetest thing ever!
His latest antic was earlier today, and I am happy to report that no actual harm came to him – although I was very worried initially. I super-glued a frame, and then placed the super glue, and frame, on top of the microwave, which sits ON TOP of the counter. Don’t ask me how – I don’t think I’ll ever work it out – but in the two minutes it took me to get the washing out the machine, he got the glue. I came through to find him lying on the couch, not looking too happy, ‘chewing his cud’, with the super glue tube in front of him. Sigh. Another baby in the house?
I have to add, because those who hear tales of his antics all suggest it, my dog is not bored or neglected. He has a constant supply of human love, chew toys and bones all over the house. He is regularly supplied with more. He just prefers OUR stuff. AND, he generally only misbehaves when we’re HERE! if we go out, he sleeps, like an angel. The mischief is for our benefit!
And surprisingly, I am okay with that. He’s not just ‘a’ dog. He’s OURS. And we couldn’t have asked for a better addition to our little family!