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."

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  • jeremy thorpe - 2013-07-16 10:34

    Try buying a kennel and leaving the dog outside. Put a decent padded dogbed in the kennel - and if you're still worried the dog will be cold during the winter - get it a coat from a pet-shop. And then you won't have to waste our time with a pathetic "problem" a 10-year-old could have sorted out......

      Anakin Sky-Vader - 2013-07-16 11:41

      It's a puppy. And a puppy is not an object that needs to be placed outside all by itself. I really hate it when owners do this sort of thing and 'disown' their dogs so that they are not part of the family. The puppy will soon start to 'grow up' and leave it's "puppy habits" behind.

      Zohan Steppingstone - 2013-07-16 12:17

      The dog David wrote about was probably rescued from someone like you jeremy.

      David Andrew Moseley - 2013-07-16 14:40

      Wow Jeremy. Such insight. I never thought of that. A kennel? What is that? Some sort of house for dogs? I'll look into it. And a dog coat? Do they make coats for dogs now? Well I never. Thanks again. Your tips are much appreciated. By the way, if you pass the Sense of Humour Store, perhaps ask if they have any on special.

      Lara van Rooyen - 2013-07-16 19:27

      I'm not a puppy and I need to pee at 3 am. I guess I'll get myself a kennel.

      Cassandra Brompton - 2013-07-19 06:04

      Waste our time? You chose to read the article, you obviously had the time to 'waste'.

      Mike Finch - 2013-08-01 12:51

      Careful David, he's a radio man is young Jeremy. They've got it in for print and digital.

  • Thyphoid Jack - 2013-07-16 10:47

    Haha. Nice. Very well written story. Had me laughing in a few places. Nice light heartec story for a change. Oh, next time, use this advice, get a older dog, already housetrained.

  • Byron Damons - 2013-07-16 11:05

    because its pee time

  • Christabel Garisch - 2013-07-16 11:11

    OH MY WORD David - I am vrying with laughter! You have hit the nail on the head and I think I have almost peed on my own carpet reading this! I also think you have been to my house in the weeeee hours of the morning and that you have written our story. We are currently slap bang in this "horror story" THANK YOU - Most awesome read in a while! PS: I am that "ignoring snoring wife" ha ha

  • Charlene Human - 2013-07-16 11:14

    LOLLLL... Yup - this is exactly right! We got our gorgeous little rescue about a month and a half ago and I can relate! The peeing and then also the 3AM "oooohhh it MUST be playtime purely because I have now decided to chew on your ear. And bark. A lot." @jeremy - it is safer to have a dog indoors these days to give fair warning of intruders at less of a risk of them getting poisoned. Also - they are awesome little furry 'hot water bottles'. :)

  • Felicity Barker - 2013-07-16 11:33

    I enjoyed reading this David. I always think having a new puppy is like having a new baby, without the bottle feeds or nappy changes. I always slept with my new puppy next to me in bed, so when it started to wriggle around I knew it was time to do the wee run, so before puppy got really desperate it was already outside on the grass, it normally went quick and easy and back to bed we went. Puppy once trained moved out of the bed into its own bed with no problem. Lucky maybe, but good luck, and enjoy, it is all worth it in the long run.

  • Lanfear - 2013-07-16 11:51

    LOL, very amusing. Ever heard of house-training?

      David Andrew Moseley - 2013-07-16 14:42

      Ja, we're busy doing that, but she's only 10 weeks, so it's taking some time.

      Lara van Rooyen - 2013-07-16 19:29

      Yes, and then wait for the two legged babies to appear.

      Gray Braatvedt - 2013-07-17 05:58

      @Lanfer, I have tried house training but I've never had much success. Mostly I find houses either don't like to be trained or they are just plain stupid.

      Lanfear - 2013-07-17 10:24

      lol @ Gray, well said

  • PaulPen - 2013-07-16 12:29

    Yawn....what are your views on the evolution of men and the changing dynamics of the institution of marriage and how sport on TV as changed this? From previous conversations you had some interesting thoughts...

      David Andrew Moseley - 2013-07-16 14:41

      Who are you?

  • Adil Smit - 2013-07-16 16:07

    Hang in there, they actually learn very quickly :-)

  • Marion Woldendorp - 2013-07-16 18:24

    Oh no hopefully not on the carpet from Turkey...... that we were not even allowed to step on, ha ha.

  • Gerard O'Raw - 2013-07-18 20:20

    David, this is my life, have you also encountered the "special present" your puppy leaves for you on the shortest route between the kitchen arch and the back door? 3am in my house is like a meeting for Tourette's anonymous! With regards your "stuff" lying on the floor, I've found that carefully folding and packing away my "staying home" clothes avoids this problem and reduces the amount of ironing required, I'm sure you know how careful you have to be when pressing your "delicates" Wahahahahahaha! Thanks for the laugh. Please ignore people like Jeremy, one day the personality transplant will be perfected and the Jeremy's of the world will find a cure for what ails them.

  • Cassandra Brompton - 2013-07-19 06:01

    Your dog will give you so much love and affection in return for you rescuing him, you'll forget about all the poo and wee you've stepped in :)

  • Anne-Marie Potgieter - 2013-07-20 21:51

    It's worth every cold minute!! Our youngest 4-legged rescue baby sometimes drives us crazy... But when she sits on my lap and I have to dodge puppy breath kisses, I can't imagine our household without her. Dogs give so much joy!

  • Mike Finch - 2013-08-01 12:46

    "...first standing on an upturned high heel then landing on a handbag buckle. In future, I must put my things away before bedtime." - bwahahaha!

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