Thursday, 25 April 2013

Ahhh, what a cutie... Argh! Get it off me!

You know what's great?

Dogs, dogs are great.  Everybody loves dogs... Actually, I do know there are people out there who don't like dogs, they're odd people, but they are out there.  There are even people who are allergic to dogs, but then there are also people who are allergic to water (Yes, there are - The condition's called Aquagenic Urticaria) so we'll leave them out too I think.

I'll try that again... Everybody who doesn't not like, or isn't allergic to dogs, loves dogs.  I've had dogs myself pretty much since I first left my parents' home some twenty-five years ago and I wouldn't be without one.

Don't get me wrong, they're not all sweetness and light, they wreck your stuff, eat your stuff, urinate and defecate on your stuff, run off with your stuff and get hairs all over your stuff.  In fact they often do combinations of two or more of these things simultaneously.  But even when you come home and your dog has torn all the stuffing out of your new sofa cushions, eaten it, then vomited it all up over your other new sofa - All it takes is that tilt of the head to one side, lolling of the tongue and wagging of the tail and all is forgiven... And it's even more adorable if the dog does it to you, and not the other way around.

I seem to have always had, what the media likes to class as 'Dangerous' Dogs.  So I've had a couple of Rottweilers and a couple of Staffordshire Bull Terriers and they've all, to a dog, been as soft as grease (cue cries of 'it's the owners' from anyone who's ever had one of these)

As you can imagine, after so many years of dog ownership, I have a couple of stories.  These few are about my first dog.


My first Rottie, Saffron was a vegetarian. No, really, she was - Couldn't keep normal dog food down at all, made awful smells out of the other end too - But I think that that's a feature of the breed.  She is also the dog that provided the sauce for this famous recipe.

Now, that particular dog was with me through some pretty bad times, where I was associating freely with people who may not have been regular churchgoers, and had more than a passing interest in recreational pharmacology.

It was after a long, hot, Summer's day that one of my confederates was, how should I put it? Using my small living room mirror for purposes other than that for which B&Q supplied it to me.  Despite no financial transactions taking place, he was in possesion of a credit card and a rolled up £20 note.  All was going well, he had divided up a large amount of... Erm... Product... Into a number of longer and fatter than average lines and absently offered them to the person next to him.

The person next to him however, had gone to the toilet, and had been replaced by a 90lb rottie who proceeded to inhale the lot.

Ever seen a rottweiler that's just ingested a large amount of benzoylmethylecgonine? I have... And I don't want to see it again thank you very much.  They're a strong dog, but not hugely bright, and intoxication doesn't help.  We locked her in the porch, hoping that the lack of stimulus would help her to calm down, it did eventually, a couple of hours later, after her walking straight through the wooden door as if it wasn't there.


In fact, when I first bought her as a pup, the breeder warned me that 'Rotties don't go around, they go through.'  She displayed this admirably one day whilst I was training her to 'Stay'.  Simple trick you might think, make the dog sit, tell it to stay, walk a few yards away from it and then call it - very important thing for her to learn.

But I got cocky, and made the distances that I would walk away longer and longer.  100 yards passed without much of a hitch, I mean, she'd start crying and stuff, but she wouldn't move.  Then I got to about 200 yards, and she adopted that 'hunched' pose where you could tell that she wanted to run towards you but still didn't.  I thought that I'd take it to the next level, so I did the 200 yard stay, turned, called her, and then as she started running, I turned and ran. This is the last thing I can remember, but piecing various eye-witness reports, what happened next was that she sped up, to a point where she became a blur and people in the surrounding area claim to this day, that they heard something like the noise the Starship Enterprise makes when she engages warp-drive.

Then she hit me in the back of the legs and I flew up into the air, summersaulted through 270 degrees and landed on my face.  I awoke some minutes later to hysterical laughter from my co-trainer and ferocious licking from a very apologetic dog.


I was gardening once, no, that's a lie, I was in the garden, with a beer, and things were being gardened around me.  I found a couple of chunks of Aerated Concrete block buried in the soil, a bit like breeze blocks, but for girls... So I threw them into the pile of junk that was destined for the skip.  Moments later, I heard what my Mother (before she died) used to describe as a 'graunching' noise.

Turning around, I saw that Saff had eaten most of one of them, and was starting on the other.  Don't remember it effecting her teeth at all, but I tried to take it off her anyway.  She made it clear that she wanted to keep it in that particularly rottweilerish way of rotating her backside around what she was eating, so she was between you and it and, whilst not exactly growling, grumbling quite forcefully to stake a claim for ownership.  I was having none of this and took it off her altogether, but wherever I put it, she would find it and start eating it.  No where was out of bounds... In the end I gave in and let her eat it, it was easier in the long run.

I could go on all day about this, there are stories involving deck chairs and ice-cream and motorcycles, but I'll save them for another time.

Have a nice weekend if I don't see you before.

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