Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Travels with a Temporary Dog

For reasons that are too complex to go into, Mum has become temporary custodian of a small dog. Consequently, when Mum comes to visit, the dog comes too. Like now.

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Looks cute and innocent, doesn’t she? Hah!

She is a ‘combination terrier’ - Lakeland, Yorkshire and Border, to be precise, but in terms of attitude and personality her breed is now designated ‘Monstrous Baskervillian’. It’s very deceptive; she is small, quite dainty in a fluffy sort of way, and all of 12 years old, so you would think age would have brought some sort of decorum to her.

Not a hope.

For a start, she hates other dogs. She wants to tear them to bits. It is, quite frankly, embarrassing - Mum takes her out, and if they meet another dog, the snarling-like-a-banshee begins. Other owners wave at their dog ‘Oh, it’s OK, they won’t hurt her’ and Mum has to reply - ‘no, it’s her that’s the problem!’ Now, if Mum sees another dog in the distance, she takes evasive action. The streets in my village are linked by a maze of alleyways between the houses, so it’s no problem to simply sideslip off one road on to another - but she feels she’s becoming known as 'the disappearing woman' - one minute she’s there, the next time people look up, she’s gone. I feel a myth coming on…

Then there’s the business with the food bowl. She eats the dried mixed biscuit stuff, and eats when she wants to - which is mostly at night. She likes the big meaty chunks, and eats those first, working her way gradually down to the boring beige and green bits, which get left until last. She doesn’t get a refill until she’s finished the last lot; at this point she lets us know by bringing her bowl into the living room and dropping it in a marked manner in the middle of the floor. She has been known to tip out the last few green bits onto the kitchen floor and pretend the bowl is empty. If we are busy, and ignore her, she is quite likely to whack one of us across the shins with the bowl. (Coming in from a long car trip and wanting a drink, she once threw an empty bucket at Mum) If she finishes her food at night, one is quite likely to find the bowl placed carefully in the middle of the bathroom doorway, where it can be stepped on during a nocturnal foray to the toilet…

She is also very vocal. Not in a ‘woof-woof’ or ‘yap-yap’, or even a ‘whine-whine’ sort of way, though. Nope. This dog makes a strange, throaty noise rather akin to the creaking of the front door of the Addams Family mansion. It’s known, colloquially, as ’mumping and grumping’. Like 'hrmfh.. grmph... urrrrnnn.... mmfphmmfph'. This happens when she thinks something is up - or if something is not happening that she thinks should be - like walks, or attention. In the car it's constant at low speeds, (she's quite settled if we're going fast) and the complaints when we go round corners and roundabouts increase in pitch and volume and can be expressed in Human as something along the lines of 'ohmigodyou'renotgoinginastraightline.. you'regoingroundsomething… your'egoingtokillus…augh'.....

She travels in the passenger foot-well - I tried using a harness in the back but being an escapologist of Houdini standard, this was doomed from the start. Plus, being attached to the seatbelt, she pulled this forward, and I was inclined to get a wet nose in my ear at inopportune moments. So the foot-well it is, ideally with Mum as guardian, and she’s reasonably OK there. One just has to get used to the idea of reaching to change gear and encountering a wet nose instead of the gear-lever. Going from ‘second’ to ‘dog-nose’ is not the most pleasant manoeuvre.

And she’s a drama queen. If we encounter a sudden bump in the road, she is quite likely to take off vertically. (I must point out - she doesn’t do this with her real owner. ) If you stand close to one hair of her tail, you’d think she’d been murdered. She has a range of facial expressions from smug to disdain to utter horror (like when we go out without her).

She loves people. She loves heat. She loves games and walks.

She reminds us why we haven’t had a dog for forty years……

9 comments:

GfM said...

"Going from ‘second’ to ‘dog-nose’ is not the most pleasant manoeuvre."
:lol: My fave blog entry so far, Mad! Wonderful, I love it and would love to meet the doggie, too :yes:

Anonymous said...

ROFLMAO!! mad, you are a genius. only second to the dog. LOL. i think from second to dog nose is going to be forever emblazoned upon this brain. LOL.

mackie said...

MAD, I LOVE YOU!!!!!

this is such a wonderful post :-D

OMG, i have to send the link to a few people ...

:-D

mad said...

the scary thing is - there is absolutely no exaggeration in this account.I didn't add how she brings a mouthful of biscuit into the living room and eats it there - 'well, you humans eat here, don't you?' ...or the way she levitates onto the sofa and tries to push Mum off...or the 'silent but deadly' farts... or the way she can hear a cheese wrapper being removed at 50 paces...but remain deaf to instructions to go to her basket. Dog with Attitude, I tell thee!

Tats said...

Mad - you're even funnier in print! I agree about "second to dog-nose" - classic.

I'm still trying to get the mental image of Moth chucking a bucket - I mean, she's only wee. Must be deadly strong!

Has Art read this yet?

Anonymous said...

This is delightful, Mad! I love the dog bowl maneuvers.
She is just darling and such a character.
You really NEED to get a dog! LOL!

Judith

Sue said...

Mad - this is priceless! Grump-dog is beautiful and wonderful and very very funny (rather like you really, without the food bowl issues). :smooch:

Anonymous said...

Okay - so who gave her the wash and brush up for the camera then? Nice to know she's still causing mayhem - found any more bones under the office lino lately? Ang

mad said...

Angie!
Glad you found us!
Art's friend Ceri took the photo, Moth looking angelic (HA!)but no untoward bones yet!