… The most ‘what’ I’m not sure, but it certainly wasn’t patience.
The only real event of any note during our absence was my decision to offer my services to a friend in need – to dog-sit.
For a week.
Yes, I think I took leave of my senses.
Louis (a shih-tzu cross) and Woody (a bichon frise) were collected from across the river, replete with toys, food, bed and a twin lead that the Devil himself had designed, and escorted to the comforts of our home.
The experience was so drawn-out and torturous that to replay it would be masochistic, so I shall keep it to the key points.
They were very close to one another. And to you. Woody is a lap-dog in the truest sense, and so when you stood and moved, he followed, and so Louis followed. Smashing; twelve little legs to trip me over while I get the milk out the fridge, instead of just four.
Louis was not fond of having his personal space invaded. Jasper, of course, thrives on invading personal space. Thus, much snapping, snarling and chasing ensued.
Woody barked. A lot. At sneezes, crisp packets rustling, the TV, outside noise, noise that wasn’t there, knocking at the door, post through the door, talking, laughing… The list is endless. And because Louis is Woody’s shadow, he started barking too. Excellent.
At their home, they are both bed dogs. This was an interesting opportunity to see how the other half live, and Andrew has clamoured for some time to let Jasper to bed. More than anything, though, I was keen to maintain as much of their routine as I could. So they came. I quickly remembered, though, that I dislike sharing my bed even with another lump of human, let alone two sniffly, wriggly, fuzzy animals. Never again.
Food. Their routine was to have a bowl down throughout the day for them to help themselves – “fine” thought I. No. Not at all. Turns out Jasper helped himself instead. And when I put his own down to entice him away, Louis and Woody decided they preferred that. ARGH! So I spent my days chasing one dog or another away from one bowl or the other, stuck in a cycle of canine ridiculousness. I bet they were bloody laughing at me, the shits.
Louis, the shih-tzu, did his business exclusively indoors. All his business. Lumps in the lounge, cascades in the kitchen and long, meandering dribbles all down the mat in the hallway. I promise you this was not for lack of walking or outside opportunity, he just preferred – through fear, spite or inexperience, to shit on our new carpet. We’ve never gone through a bottle of carpet cleaner so fast, I tell you.
And lastly… Oh, so very lastly… The lead. Whoever devised such a contraption should be hung with it – it is wholly unfit for purpose. Whilst a split lead seems efficient for walking two dogs, the split itself happened almost at the top of the lead, meaning there was ample rope left for Louis-the-bastard-shih-tzu to happily – and repeatedly – walk behind you and tie your legs together. ARGH!
It was an experience – and one I’m glad helped out a friend – but I have learned. Never. Again.