Thursday 3 November 2011

Dogs. Why?

Dogs eh?  Why do we have ‘em?  Is it that just that we need something that loves us unconditionally, without any form of discernment whatsoever?  Is it for the warmth of fur?  Is it because it takes us back in some atavistic way to when we first made friends with wolves?
As I type this I can hear a cacophony of barking. I can hear the anguished wail of a man who most probably (I don’t dare look) has a terrier attached to a soft part of his anatomy while a small hybrid medieval beastie (looking suspiciously like a small beagle) laughs from the sidelines.  And I wonder why deliveries don’t always get here eh?
This dog thing.  You know what’s coming, don’t you?  A few nights ago, I was sitting on the sofa in front of the fire, with James, making the right growling noises at the X Factor while reading a blog on the laptop.  Asbo was off inventing new ways to shorten my life and the SP had just come back from the pub with James and Adrian and had settled in the fireplace (yes, in).  Then, just as another homogenous pub singer started warbling, he took himself off. 
Ten minutes later I went to put on the kettle.
The SP.
‘Adrian! The dog’s been sick on the sofa.’  The lovely little red antique sofa that I’d rescued from my old (as in ex but also relatively aged) therapist’s house.  Quick aside here: I once told her about a dream in which I’d seen The Cure and fully expected her to talk about how dreams speak in metaphors and to quiz me on my personal ‘cure’ but instead she simply said. ‘I used to be the band therapist for The Cure. Robert – dear boy.’  Cool huh?
Anyhow, I went back to the (other) sofa (vast, yellow, from a nice shop in Sherborne) and went back to throwing insults at the screen. 
‘It’s not sick,’ yelled Adrian.
‘Well, it ain’t a smoothie,’ I replied.
‘No. I mean it’s diarrhoea.’
Oh FFS. And, in the time it took the judges to say another act had nailed it, made the stage their own and were meaning every word, the SP went from being perfectly fine to being really ill. As in standing shaking like a leaf with saliva dripping from his mouth and...
‘Shit,’ I said.
‘Exactly,’ said Adrian. ‘It’s that bloody dog food!’
‘What bloody dog food?’
‘The stuff he won’t eat.’
‘That weird dog food you got sent for free.’
‘Don’t be bloody ridiculous! They don’t make dog food that makes dogs violently ill. How bloody stupid would that be?’
‘Well….’  He didn’t sound too certain. Thought a bit and then took a deep breath and launched back in. ‘Well, if he hadn’t been hungry, he wouldn’t have eaten whatever it is he’s eaten that made him ill.’ Triumphant.
Meanwhile the poor SP stood, shivered and dribbled. 
‘Stop arguing about the bloody dog food, you two,’ shouted James. (yes, he swears, what can I say?) ‘What about the pup?’
He had a point.  Adrian frowned at me.  ‘Do you think you should call the vet?’
Ignoring the flashing of vets’ bills before my eyes, I called and she said ‘Do you think I should see him?’ And I resisted the urge to say, ‘Well you’re the flipping vet, what do YOU think?’  Why is it they all do this now?  Doctors say, ‘Do you think you need antibiotics?’; builders say ‘You think that big crack in your wall needs fixing?’  I mean, what happened to professionals telling you what you need to know because they have been trained, and you haven’t?  Ask the lawyers, I guess.   Or go Greek and have a referendum.

Anyhow, we ascertained that it might be a Good Idea for her to leave whatever she was doing (which I’m willing to bet wasn’t watching X Factor) and come on down and so Adrian wrapped the SP up in a blanket and walked down to the surgery.  Meanwhile I scrubbed.  And scrubbed.  And scrubbed.  And held my breath quite Olympically. And James got teary and I told him that no, the dog was NOT going to die. Not yet. Not on my watch. Fingers crossed behind my back in case the stupid creature had somehow ingested poison. Remembering the roll call of Dogs I Have Had and how they have, in general, all had a tendency to die.
Bill. Boxer. Killed a poodle. Rehomed. Presumably died.
Bella. Miniature dachshund.Terrified old ladies.  Run over.  Died.
Sadie. Cross-breed Border Collie. Got run over. Didn’t die. Smart dog. Kidney failure. Died.
Lizzie. Border Collie. Hip dysplasia. Died.
Reuben. Border Collie. Lived to ancient decrepitude.  Eventually died.
Monty. Boxer. Wedding gift. Love of Adrian’s life. Leukaemia. Died.
Bonnie: aka Phantom Pooper. Border collie. Bonkers. Revolting. Lived to 587 (felt longer). Wouldn’t die. Eventually put down.
Asbo. Parson Jack Russell.  Bites. Still revoltingly alive and robust. Immortalist tendencies.
SP. Beagle lookalike. Eats shit. Clearly wants to die.
And Adrian came back – with (thank feck!) the SP who had been given jabs and drugs and had the worst of the shit clipped off his backend by the vet who had, apparently, quietly yet repeatedly farted throughout the procedure. Yes, the vet, not the SP. 
So.  Now all is as it was.  Except for the lingering smell of shit and another solar plexus kick to the credit card. 
And really.  Dogs? Why?

By the way.  You have to laugh cos I’m sure this wasn’t the kind of post the dog food PR was hoping I’d write.  But you have to be honest, right?  The dog food is called (now don’t laugh)….

Yup. Laughing Dog.  Oven-baked Natural Complete.  Naturally, happy dog food. 
Honestly, I kid you not.

‘Chicken rich in vegetables, barley and oats from the farm’ No added wheat, soya or dairy products. No added artificial colours or flavours. It’s hypoallergenic, for kibble’s sake.  If Chappie is the McDonalds Big Mac of dog food, this is the health shop Tofu burger.  Honestly, ignore Adrian. It's good wholesome stuff. 

No shit.


Milla said...

what a classic! I adored this. So funny. Brilliant. And the pictures, those beautiful sofas each with a triumphant dog squatting atop, weighing up from which orifice to squirt forth toxic juices. Have you noticed how scrubbed substances sort of ping in your face? Run and give it a scrub now. Oh, and how much the bill?
Loved the list of dead dogs, too.
Only the one dog in here (as you know). Feels like several, all related to pissed-off noxious badger. The whole thing made worse by the rest of the bloody world thinking she's so very sweet.

Exmoorjane said...

I KNEW you'd be first! This was a paeon for you, you know... :)

Exmoorjane said...

Bill not in yet, btw... She's clearly a sadist as well as a farter. :)

Exmoorjane said...

Knowing my luck, probably reads the blog too. :(

Rachel Selby said...

I have no idea why people keep dogs. I cannot fathom why you would keep two dogs. All I can think of to say is: 'well if you will have a dog.... etc.' I learnt long ago that there are animal people and there are others. I am 100% other. Sorry no sympathy here.

Exmoorjane said...

Harsh but fair... :)

Irish Eyes said...

Greetings! Thoroughly enjoyed this, wondering if SP~ might be wheat/gluten intolerant. I kid you not. Had a pal [emphasis on had] who arrived into the kitchen one day and roared at me "you and your blurry coeliac self" emerged that she had fed Trixi-poo [I kid you not :0*] on some new brand of vegetable/wheat/bran whatsit food. TP polished the lot off, and half an hour later polished the floor. My friends vet claimed gluten intolerance in TP, me? I suspect that a mix of veggies and bran is bound to act... Thoroughly enjoyed this!

Exmoorjane said...

Oonagh! :) But, but...this stuff is gluten-free! Though maybe the poo isn't? How very lovely to see you... xxxxx

Exmoorjane said...

Hmm, maybe not gluten-free.... I stand corrected.

Alison Cross said...

oh poor puppy! And poor you having the scrubbing job to do!

Just as I read that it was poo on the sofa, the smell came wafting back to me of my own misadventures with dogs.

Was ASBO Jack ok? I'm assuming that he's been eating the new dog food too?

Hope SP recovers soon and that your sofa is not left smelling faintly of domestos and dog poo ;-)

Ali xxxxxxx

Tee said...

Patches - Great Dane - lived 17 years. First love of my life and first broken heart.

Mojo - Terrier mutt who looked like Toto from Wizard of Oz. Sweetest dog. Siezure and died at ten.

Yuko Baily - Part Irish Wolfhound, part dollface. If I stood over her and baby talked her, she acted like a puppy, right up until she died, two years ago.

Ginger - Part lab, part mountain goat. She can really climb! Still alive, living with my parents in the mountains. Starved for affection. And a bit of licker.

Oliver - Current dog and cutest thing in the world. I told my ex pets were just heartache and we shouldn't get one. Hence, Oliver. Honestly, I love him to bits.

I get dogs. I don't get people. I'd rather be a part of Oliver and Etnie's pack than out with a group of people at a party.

Expat mum said...

Dog's probably not gluten allergic or anything, but if you switch dog food willy nilly, they will shit and puke all over the place. When I was changing my dog food over from the rubbish they had her on at the shelter to a slightly 'nicer' brand, I did it too quickly and bloody hell, was I sorry. You're supposed to mix a little at a time, over numerous days.
But this is a bit like closing the stable door... Sorry!

Marius (GoCrazy) said...

Dogs are kept because you need to take care of someone and teach the kids some duties.

Cait O'Connor said...

This is the funniest thing I've read for ages, just brilliant and in a strange way a good advert for Laughing Dog - we shall all remember the name!

Exmoorjane said...

Ali: Asbo? Right as rain. And yeah, the SP was in a right pickle... The sofa STILL's going outside for a bit...

Tee: love the rollcall... :) You're sounding like my Viking ex second father...he always said he preferred dogs to humans. I agree, you don't get the bull from dogs, even if you do get the shit. :)

EPM: I know, I know. But I honestly don't think it was the dog food...the SP has one deeply revolting habit.. :(

Marius: nice theory but I have a husband and child already who need looking after (kinda) and, while both dogs are ostensibly my son's, I don't think he has ever lifted a finger to look after them!

Cait: How lovely to have you come by - have been enjoying your posts so much recently. Yup, you have a point there. I feel happier now. :)

btw, I do love dogs. Really. Just some dogs more than others... ;)

serendipity_viv said...

I am crying real tears of laughter reading this post. I have been there so many times and the smell just stays under your nose. I won't be trying that food then!

Zoë said...

Dogs sound a lot like cats without the headless mice and squealing frog entrails all over the kitchen each morning - nice :-)

Dont get me started on Vet bills *winces*

andy said...

Great stuff Jane. And the food thing is all too familiar.! And we are taking delivery of an 8 week puppy in 2 weeks, your timing is impeccable.


Tattieweasle said...

Oh Crap! laughing so much snorted tea again all over computer - thanx!

Anonymous said...

Our cat got food poisoning from his kitten food. (And of course the other one ate it too, and got food poisoning.) It does happen, even with dry food. (I had no idea, either.)

They were both okay. It took much longer for the old cat to shake it off though. Months before she was back to herself, thanks to a secondary infection and an incompetent vet. (We switched. I love our new vet.)

We make our own food now.

toady said...

Bloody brilliant and yes Milla was first in there!
Prefer most dogs to some people I know. You can get some spray on foamy stuff called Ooops - works a treat on stains and pongs.

Rob-bear said...

Oh, yuck!

Sorry to hear of the major "misadventure." Glad to know you all survived. And were able to clean up.

Blessings and Bear hugs, especially to SP and James.

The bike shed said...

Why indeed. We rehomed our dog the other year - bit Dylan - and I don't regret it or miss her at all. Which surprised me because I'd had Jacks nearly all my life. Now we have tortoise that wont eat unless you hand feed it!

Helen Spencer said...

I have 2 little buggers and they're WAY more trouble than the kids. Adorable and at the same time evil little chair-gobbling, poop-rolling, cat-food nicking, mud-shaking buggers. And yes, I love 'em.

Anonymous said...

This made me laugh out loud and brought back memories of my dogs, stories there. Expat Mum makes a good point, which applies to humans, too :)
Been thinking of you Jane, re: the M5 crash. Hope you're OK.

Anonymous said...

We'd like to have a dog, but on reflection, it would be expensive when we travelled abroad and not fair on the animal to leave it because they fret....a dog has no idea you're only off on holiday for a fortnight and you'll be back. Perhaps if we ever get to the point where we can't get out we might get one, but to be honest,. if I get to that point, I might just get myself a big bottle of paracetamol and a bottle of scotch instead. lol

Charlotte Castle said...

Oh, Jane. I've not laughed for a long time. This made howl, if you'll pardon the doggy expression. Hope all well at the Mad House. Casa Castle beginning to calm down. Much love Cx

Mike said...

Dogs don't yell at you or tell you what to do. They love you no matter what. How can you not love dogs for that?