Hiya! (I said I was bilingual).
Well, I’ve been here a week now and I have to admit, this is better than kennels any day.
I have been very good – well – apart from the slight accident with the edge of the settee when my Mum spoke rather harshly to me and I had to stop mid-pee. I held on though whilst she scrambled into boots and coat, found my lead and took me outside. No accidents since.
The gates are a bit of a nuisance; although I tried to get through them the first night here, especially the old one, no chance. I like the old gate best because I can see the car and the road and maybe even – CATS. I can smell them.
I have my own room; it used to be called the catservatory but now it is most definitely the dogservatory or Scoob’sRoom. It has a bed where I can keep my bones and toys (and sometimes sleep when they put me here and shut the door). It has blankets that smell of my Boy; he had them on his bed for a week before I came home so that when I’m shut in here I can smell him. I like that.
They’re pretty quick on the uptake, my Mum, my Dad and especially my Boy. They can tell the difference between me being happy, wanting food, wanting to go out, needing hugs and wanting to go out again. I like going out.
The first night I was here I did a lot of sniffing; they’ve had cats in this house and I can smell all the places that they used to go but it’s an old smell that doesn’t set me off now I’m used to it.
My Mum is an early bird who comes downstairs when it gets light and takes me out to the garden for an early morning sniffle and wee. She has learnt that before she lets me out of my room, she should unlock the patio door, get her boots and coat on and be ready for my excitable greeting – a couple of circuits of the living room with my tail wagging madly should do it and then a BIG HUG.
Then we come indoors and she tells me how wonderful I am and gives me more hugs. I sit patiently by the kitchen door whilst she makes her breakfast and I flump on her feet whilst she eats it. I am mellow – for a while.
Stairs – I don’t do stairs. I can manage the first step but the stairs are made of wood and I don’t like the sound my toenails make when they clatter against them. My Mum and Dad don’t mind about the stairs but my Boy would dearly love to have me up in his room and keeping him company. That’s where I’d be if it wasn’t for the stairs but as it is I have learned to sit at the bottom, look sad and wait patiently for the humans to come back down to me.
I don’t do chairs or sofas either. I’m a dog and I like to keep at least two of my paws firmly on the floor and if I’m really tired I like to lie down on the carpet (oh carpet – after eighteen months of concrete floor – I SO love carpet) and if I can put my snout or my paw onto the foot of one of my humans then all the better. They are mine and they are tethered to me.
I don’t whine. I don’t bark much either. Now that I have taken possession of my humans and I’ve got used to my new home, I am proving my worth as a guard dog and I like to think that my basso profundo woof would put off the most enterprising intruder. I am very pleased to meet visitors however – a bit too pleased as apparently not everyone likes having 30 kilos of happy dog in their face. Why? I particularly like to have a standing (or a sitting) hug with my paws on my human’s shoulders, grinning happily with my mega-tongue lolling inches from their face. What’s not to like? My Mum has told me that we’ll have to turn that down a bit for visitors though and she’d quite like it if I tried not to knock her over with my happiness. No problem with my Dad and my Boy – they are taller and more steady on their feet.
The food here is good too; the Boy did research on his laptop thing and I have the best doggy food there is, no cheap tinned stuff or dried stuff full of fillers that gives you the runs and makes you windy (well – I am a bit but the humans just wrinkle their noses and turn this fan thing on for a few moments – a dog’s gotta do what a dog’s gotta do). I get treats too; lots of hugs and nice things said to me but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the treats.
The walks are the best though. When I was at the RSPCA, my Boy and my Mum walked me up the road, through the woods and back by the field. I got excited when I saw the kennels but more excited when they took me round for a second circuit and then once we’d got to know each other better, a third. Now I’m home – well that is a totally different matter. After my early morning bounce round the garden I wait patiently till my Dad gets up ; sometimes he has his breakfast first and sometimes he can see that I need to go out NOW! We run. He likes to run because it is good for his back and I just like to run. He is still getting used to walking me because he’s never had a dog before but he says lots of nice things to me and doesn’t mind me sniffing for cats. When my Mum walks me she doesn’t like me to pull so she slows down and stops until I get the message. Our walks take a long time as a consequence and we don’t go very far. My Boy is the master when we walk. He is in control.
Nappy sacks (scented and biodegradable) are much better than pooh bags which have a nasty habit of tearing when you scoop da poop.
The car is cool. It has big windows and now that my Dad understands that I like to put my nose out of the window, snort and drool horribly at the fresh air (baby wipes are good for drool removal) I am very happy in the car, so happy that the windows steam up from my happy heavy breathing – zero visibility – good job we have air con. My humans talked about putting me in a cage for car journeys but bought me a special harness instead. I would prefer to be free to leap around in the back but I suppose the idea of being hit by a jet-propelled pooch if the car stops suddenly isn’t a very good idea.
My Mum and my Dad (the Boy was still in bed) took me for a long car drive to the seaside. It was very windy and there were loads of other dogs (including one that was so small I though it was a cat and started to get excited, then it did a little woof and I relaxed). My Dad and I ran, and ran and ran and ran until my Mum sat down on a bench in a huff. We came back and my Dad and I gave her hugs as she explained that running was good but it was better when we turned round and ran back to her again.
What is this thing about day and night? Apparently humans have to go to bed when it gets dark and that’s when I get put in my room. If my Boy can’t sleep he comes back downstairs and lets me out for a while and we sit on the floor together and watch ‘Mythbusters’ and films about guns and war. We have good hugs when everyone else is asleep. This worried my Mum a bit but she did some research on HER laptop thing and discovered that us dogs are polyphasic – which is a difficult word but it means that we don’t have day and night in Dogworld – we just sleep when we feel tired and wake up again when we want food, walks and cuddles – and when the post man calls – Big Woofs.
Yesterday I took all three of my humans for a walk to a place called Spike Island – loads of sea and woods and old concrete buildings that looked as if you could have a good sniff and wee round them but my Boy said there was broken glass there and kept me away. My Boy smiled a lot and my Mum and Dad held hands and looked happy too.
So, at the end of the first week, I think that we can agree that I’m here to stay. These humans are shaping up quite nicely and what they lack in experience they make up for in enthusiasm and big hugs.
Adios or Ta Ra Chuck – whichever you prefer.