Monday, 17 October 2011

The Pawshank Redemption


I have returned.
After four days in dog jail for a crime I did not commit.

Which, readers will note, is a MONTH in dog time.
And while I am actually back in the dog bed at the cottage, I feel that I should now be in an open top car, heading for an old sailboat on a Pacific beach.

It all started innocently enough. When I saw B packing up Piggywig , the wubby and the bag of birthday doggie doughnuts,  I just presumed we were off camping again, so I jumped willingly into the car. Twenty minutes later I found   myself outside a strange building being bundled into a cage. Yes a CAGE. And then he was off. Leaving me there with a bunch of barking mutts, who would have been banging their tin mugs on the bars if only they’d had any.
There I was,  left in a wire run, in a yard with some other collies and big dogs.  To add insult to injury, just across the yard were the socially superior dogs, who had their own apartments. Honestly.  They had bedrooms with TVs and four poster beds.  These were mostly little yappy things – the ones that Weird refers to as ‘Handbag Dogs’. Talk about how the other half live.

The yard itself had a definite Shawshank feel, with a big Setter next door called Red and some predatory-looking Rotweilers across the way.  I felt I brought an Andy Dufresne-style influence to the proceedings...

I could see why some of the boys took him for snobby. He had a quiet way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn't normal around here. He strolled, like a man in a park without a care or a worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place. Yeah, I think it would be fair to say... I liked Andy from the start.
In the end, apart from the appalling injustice, the stay was just about tolerable. My cellmates were friendly enough – and one of them could open doors, despite having only one front paw – so that was impressive. There was much brushing, hosing and jet washing – which have the potential to keep me fascinated for hours – and we got to run in a field. 

To be honest, what with barking, eating and sleeping, I didn’t have much time to plan my escape.  I was just getting onto it when B suddenly appeared from nowhere and tempted me into the back of the Landy with a pig ear. 
Of course, had they been away longer, they just might have found an empty cell....

In 2011 Mr Bounce escaped from prison. All they found of him was a muddy set of paw prints, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub. Oh, Bouncy loved geology. I imagine it appealed to his meticulous nature. An ice age here, million years of mountain building there. Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes really, pressure, and time.
I love my new blanket
Postscript:  Big thank you to Jodie the Staffy, who sent me a lovely new dog blanket for my birthday. It was waiting for me when I got out of jail. At least someone loves me.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Birthday treats and broken bones

Listening to some birthday tunes

Well it’s been an interesting month in dog world.
The main highlight was my first birthday, which saw me presented with a bag of Sainsbury’s doggie doughnuts (highly recommended) and a new green rubber thing on a string which has become my favourite possession. W keeps calling it my ‘wubby’, which I find more than a little patronising, but what can a dog do? 

Actually, if I’m honest, that was the only highlight.
The first challenge came when Beard disappeared for a while and then came back wearing a leg brace and lay on the settee in the style of a Jane Austen character with an attack of the vapours. Meanwhile W ferried him an endless supply of sandwiches and cups of tea. Skydiver Liz turned up and instead of the usual dog treats, brought jelly babies. To my total disgust he ate the lot, on the grounds that they would make me hyperactive.

Apparently all of this fuss arose because he had been in hospital.
I quickly realised that B had timed the whole hospital thing to coincide with the Rugby World Cup, so we watched most games snuggled up together on the sofa while W made food, tidied up, went to work and generally rushed about getting in the way of the television.

Sadly for me, her daily itinerary included taking on dog walking, at 6.00am and 5.00pm.  I have to say, the morning sessions were marked by excessive grumpiness, which generally started when I ran upstairs and jumped on her head at 5.30am.  One morning I ate her bra straps in all the excitement and, quite frankly, she went mental.  Well, come on... none of this would happen if she didn’t leave it on the floor.
Evening sessions were marginally better, although she did get quite a lot of mosquito bites. B nicknamed her ‘grumpy lumpy’ but I’m not sure she saw the joke.

Then, a couple of weeks into Beard’s convalescence, everything went badly wrong.
Early one Sunday morning, the Grump and I had left B snoozing and we were on our second circuit of the Cow Field, when a black Labrador appeared in the distance.  It came across two fields like a speeding bullet.

And then it tried to steal my green thing.
I am not proud of what happened next, but in the melee, Weird’s engagement ring got caught in my collar.  To be fair, we stopped fighting when we heard her fingers snap.

So now B is hopping about doing the chores while W awaits surgery with her arm in a plaster cast. And we have run out of dog food because apparently Sainsbury is not within hopping distance.
They both have to take me on walks now, but because they can’t actually get very far, they stand at different ends of the football field and kick the ball from one to the other while I shuttle between them. On a positive note W is developing some impressive ball control. If they ever want an angry pre-menopausal woman to appear on Wayne Rooney’s Street Soccer, the girl’s in with a chance.

No chance of a walk then?