David Moseley

It's a dog's life

2013-07-16 10:04

David Moseley

I vaguely remember having dogs as a kid. One day we had an enormous Rhodesian Ridgeback gambolling in the garden. Then we didn't. I recall two other yapping mutts that appeared then disappeared from my home quicker than the screams of delight on a swooping roller coaster. Cats came and cats stayed, but dogs, they never lasted.

Now, as I'm typing this, I have another dog. My dog. I can hear it in the lounge barking at my wife to change the channel from M-Net to SuperSport 6. It hates Modern Family and would much rather watch highlights of Chris Froome cruising past his opponents at the Tour de France.

That, or it really just needs to pee. Which it needs to do a lot of the time. Sometimes all the time. Mostly when I've just sat down, or gone to bed, or just brought it inside because my wife thinks it might be cold.

Here it comes now, into my study (really just a room where I’m allowed to keep my pre-married junk) under the guise of affection, when it's actually just looking for some virgin carpet space to splatter with its pungent puppy urine.

On my togbag. On my shoes. On my cycling all helmet. All items that only lie on the floor for a matter of seconds while I'm backing a bag, yet manage to attract the dog's attention with alarming speed. "Ah, what's this?" she seems to be thinking, "surely something that urgently requires a coating of my urine. Yes! Yes indeed!"

This is what they don’t tell you about dogs, that in the first few weeks and months of owning one all you’ll be doing is reloading the washing machine and scrubbing the floor with lemon-scented tile cleaner. And, of course, the early morning games of Puppy-Pee Chicken and the subsequent blind scrambles for the back door.

Such is the mayhem of the 3am Sliding Door Dash that I encourage all house burglars, voyeurs and insomniacs to peak over my wall should they wish to witness slapstick comedy at its most raw.

But first there’s the dangerous game of "Whose Turn Is It Anyway", where the dog whines and two sleeping adults pretend not to hear it to avoid stepping out into the dark winter cold. I've noticed that my wife has become particularly strategic here, snoring louder as the dog's yelps rise in desperation levels.

The last two nights would have made Basil Fawlty proud. As Rocket howled to be let out, I sprung into action (but only after waiting to see if my wife would crack first. She didn't. She could hear the rain) - first standing on an upturned high heel then landing on a handbag buckle. In future, I must put my things away before bedtime.

Fumbling with the sliding door while Rocket wriggled from my grasp, I finally managed to get her out.

As soon as I placed her on the grass, she bolted under my legs and into the kitchen. There I stood, sleepily wrestling with rain-soaked fresh air that used to be a small puppy, with my naked bum pointing towards the moon and the rest of my shivering self enjoying an earlier than anticipated morning shower.

Not wanting to wake the neighbours, or to alert them to my state of undress in the garden, I utilised the shout-whisper perfected by exasperated parents in shopping centres.

"Rhhhhaaa-khhettt. Rhhhhaaa-khhettt. Rhhhhaaa-khhettt. Come here, girl. Make a wee. Make a wee. Make a wee," I pleaded in the vain hope that at sometime between 10pm and 3am the damn dog had mastered the English language and knew exactly what I was asking of her.

"Rhhhhaaakhhettt. Nohhhh. Get out of there. ROCKET GODDAMIT. JUST WEE."

And she does. In the lounge. On the one small carpet we have in there, all with a glint in her that says, "just because you rescued me doesn't mean I'm going to make this easy."

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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