Poor dog, he gets the blame for so many things and nine times out of ten he’s probably innocent.
Most dogs chew, be it slippers, shoes, furniture, car upholstery, bedding, and I even know of one Jack Russell that developed a liking for soap powder cartons (no, he didn’t fart bubbles). Chewing one’s owner’s possessions is usually a sign of boredom and/or love. If there is nothing better to do, no-one to play with and they’re not sleepy, that nice chair/table leg/wellington boot/feather pillow/whatever is a tempting morsel, especially to a pup getting his adult teeth. Somehow that rubber squeaky chicken doesn’t quite cut it for them (forgive pun). They can still smell you when you aren’t there and so try to get close by making themselves comfy on or in your bed/ sofa/ favourite chair and lovingly licking your slippers/socks/shoes to a soggy death. The biggest mistake us as owners make is going berserk when discovering the damage and chastising the poor creature who has no idea what he’s done wrong as it was 2 or 3 doggie sleeps ago. It’s the same with toilet/house training. You need to be there to correct it at the time so that he understands exactly what has made you cross and what is expected of him. All he wants to do is please you afterall.
I invited a friend for Sunday lunch one weekend, intending it to be 2 or 3 weeks ahead. He took it to mean the coming weekend, and if it hadn’t been for another acquaintance saying how much he was looking forward to it, I would have been totally unprepared and none the wiser until he’d actually knocked on the door! When it came to return the favour though, on the morning of our expected arrival we had a phone call to say his dog wasn’t well, and could he put us off for a couple of weeks. No problem, until we saw him walking said dog with someone we didn’t recognise. He avoided us for months thereafter, so it came as no surprise that the friendship died and with it his invitation.
Many years ago when I was looking after a family with healthy appetites, I used to cook the Christmas turkey overnight thus leaving the oven free for roast potatoes, yorkshire puds, and all the other yummy things that go with a traditional festive dinner. The two dogs slept in the kitchen, and it was not unusual to find them sitting patiently in front of the glass oven door “watching TV” on Christmas morning. I took the bird out and pushed it back on the counter as far as it would go. Daft really, even if it looked pretty safe. I was only gone 15 minutes, but in that time, so had a drumstick. The GSD was the only culprit that had the reach to pinch it, but looked innocently in the direction of the collie who had the evidence sticking out the side of his mouth. I swear both were smiling! I’m still not sure which one had the liking for mince pies, but that could well have been a mouse of the two legged variety so I kept them frozen until required after that.
Kids will say the dog ate their homework if it’s not ready on time, or knocked over Nanny’s favourite vase as it lies smashed on the floor. It’s usually the dog’s fault too that the window got broken because they were a useless goalie. Our canine friend is also to blame for that ‘particular offensive odour’ when you have visitors rather than the true party owning up. We say ‘smell’ to ours and the poor love disappears in a rush with her tail between her legs, and she hasn’t done anything!
Am I making an excuse for the dog? Yep, but even I have my limits.
Years ago when I was working as a bank teller, an elderly lady came in with her border collie. She made him sit when she got to my window and withdrew a plastic bag from her coat pocket.
‘Charlie ate it,’ she said and proceeded to try and push the bag under my screen. ‘I waited for nature to take its course, and hope you’ll be able to give me a replacement as I can’t afford to lose twenty pounds.’
Holding a hanky to my nose and using a pencil, I passed her the relevant form (and plastic bag) to claim direct from the Bank of England.
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