I have grown used to the television – quite fascinating at times, although my attention span is not the best so I give the documentaries a miss. I have become accustomed to the constant stream of visitors that seem to come to the house and I have negotiated the stairs but what in Dog’s name are these fearsome, metal monsters that scream down the road?
I met my first last Friday. I was behaving extremely well considering I had The Boss tethered to me by a long red piece of leather. Referring to the five golden rules for dogs for which I have to thank my predecessor Jess, I noted that the lead is there for a reason, primarily to comfort the human who is at the other end. So, I tried to do my duty and jump ditches and tear across fields for her enjoyment but she just wasn’t having any of it. Humans can be strange sometimes.
Anyway, there was I, just having sniffed a particularly pungent pile of horse dung by the ditch at the side of the road, when all hell broke loose around me. The first terrible metal monster appeared in the distance. Funny really, it looked so small on the brow of the hill but as it drew closer, I don’t mind admitting I was petrified.
“Flossie, sit,” the boss ordered calmly, gathering the lead close to her and straddling me with both legs. Sit? I was already slithering back towards the ditch, all sense of propriety gone. It was all the boss could do to hang onto my fast disappearing, panic stricken body. To her credit, she managed the task pretty well and so avoided ‘ditchdom’ – just.
Meanwhile, with my collar up round my ears and my face buried in the Boss’s skirts, I thought my heart was going to jump right out of my chest but then the fearsome creature was gone, as quickly as it had appeared. I pulled myself together as best I could but the whole experience has left its mark, not least on the boss who kept me on a very short lead for the rest of the walk.
Today, I suffered the final indignity of being fitted with a harness. The Boss says it will help her keep hold of me and avoid me slipping out of my collar when I try my fast reversing trick the next time a metal monster chances by. To me it is just this itchy thing that makes me stop for a good old scratch every few steps.
Clad in my new day wear, we head for that doggie wonderland – the Common. We travel to the common in the Boss’s metal monster which I am happy to say, sits quietly in the garden until roused. It looks far better from the inside. The Boss doesn’t think I can manage both the walk and the run on the common in the heat. She is proven right.
Ol’ Keano runs ahead and I do my best to follow, hampered as I am by the harness and the length of leather which still attaches me to The Boss (A longer leash today – I travel much further before being pinged back to her side.)
However, we are only half way round the common when exhaustion overtakes me. I am unable to go another step in the midday sun. “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,” so I hear. Young pups and their Bosses should stick to the shade.
Spotting some tempting shadow, I abandon all decorum and flop down on the cool grass. As I lie there, panting, the Boss is taking photographs and laughing at me. Hardly fair given that I have tried my best to give her a good walk. I would stay here longer but Keano nudges me and reminds me of my duties.
Reluctantly, I get to my feet and tug at the Boss’s lead until she too begins to move. The Boss has this annoying habit of stopping dead in her tracks whenever I am about to pull her somewhere really exciting. I have her sussed though. She stops, but she will start again if I go back to her side, sit and look pretty. I try it today and it works like a charm, off we go again! A few more tries and I’ll have her trained, you’ll see.
So, we are back in the house now and the water bowl is filled. Never has water tasted so sweet. “Ah, she’s hot and exhausted,” the humans coo as I flop down on the cool kitchen floor, “Poor Flossie … she’ll sleep for hours.”
It is some little time later that I wake to find myself alone in the kitchen with a basket of freshly washed clothes. I have had possession of a temptingly tasty sock, neatly nibbled and stretched in preparation for a good chew, for precisely 5 minutes and 21 seconds before someone spots me…
It’s a Pup’s life!
Flossie aged 13 weeks.