As I reflect on my 15 months as a first-time dog owner I realise certain aspects of my life can be summed up in film titles. Try the quiz below and see if you agree. (Answers below – don’t sniff!)
1. It is 6pm. The Big Ben chimes ring out on Radio 4. Dog hurries into kitchen, inspects food bowl, discovers food bowl is empty, nudges food bowl, confirms empty state, dances around me. I pretend to ignore dance. Dog runs to and from bowl, then increases dance movements to leaps, accompanied by squeaks. I pretend to ignore leaps and squeaks. Dog lies down by bowl in mock despair. I feed Dog.
2. Once upon a time I bought Dog a toy Christmas cracker made of rubber which squeaked when chewed. At first I was highly amused when Dog duly chewed on this. The wild squeaking caused much laughter in our home. Later, as the wild squeaking became almost continuous my amusement faded then turned to annoyance and then anger – especially when the racket interrupted crucial episodes of The Archers. All attempts to hide the rubber cracker failed and this was one toy Dog seemed reluctant to reduce to small pieces. Deafened by wild squeaking I plot to destroy the rubber cracker, but Dog loves it so…
3. Dog so enjoys daily visits to the nearby fields as this is where tennis balls are thrown about and much running can take place. Dog is not put off by the rain: ‘action this day’ is the watch-word, even when – as has happened a lot recently – the nearby fields are reduced to the state of an extended mud bath. Back home on such occasions there is a strict cleansing routine before Dog is allowed indoors – but occasionally the target escapes and, despite my cries of woe, rushes into the living room to perform an extended version of the Michael Jackson moonwalk on my best rug.
4. Dog is fed regularly on crunchy turkey-and-kibble from James I’m-So-Rich. In an effort to achieve some catering economies (aren’t we all in this together?) Dog is switched to crunchy turkey-and-kibble from Bogstandard Supermarket. Dog eats as normal (see 1, above) but after eating exhibits extraordinary amounts of flatulence, causing alarm and despondency throughout the household (and among visitors, whose numbers decrease at this time I notice). After a fortnight I reject the idea of catering economies and switch back to James I’m-So-Rich, with predictable odour-free results.
1. The Hunger Games
2. Toy Story
3. Dirty Dancing
4. Gone With The Wind (Yes, I know – but the old ones are the best!)
Back soon with more serious May post