2013 wasn’t my favourite year but compared with 2014 (so far) it was a piece of cake.
The first half of this year has been truly awful but I will not dwell on it. At least I have my pal Roger. OK, he takes up too much of the bed. He also insists on trying to get on to my little two-seater sofa with me (and he’s a lotta dog who takes up a lotta room) but he’s gentle and friendly and, sometimes, he’s even obedient. He waits patiently while I spend hours in the attic staring at my computer screen trying to find words to build into stories. Sometimes he lies at the foot of the ladder, sometimes he rouses himself from his bed to come up and see where I am. I have to come down every so often and make a fuss of him so he’s reassured that I haven’t abandoned him. Maybe I’m too soft but what’s the point of sharing my life with him if I don’t spend time just enjoying his company?
I haven’t got very far with the stories – I’m better at loving my dog – but I live in hope.
Although I only have the one hound, I do take a full and active role in the lives of St F’s animals. Followers of this blog may remember that my first doggy pal was Floyd the Jack Chi. He who needed rescuing from Moriarty the wicked black cat. He who spent every night on my bed when I lived at St F’s before the arrival of Eric. Floyd and I are still mates, though it is harder to spend time with him now that there are four dogs bounding around. Poor Floyd, being only slightly larger than Moriarty but smaller than all the other dogs and even smaller than the ginger cat, Rufus the Eternal, gets trodden on and bowled over regularly. Especially by Roger who has no spatial awareness and no concept of how big he is. Poor old Floyd. His problems are compounded by the fact that Molotov, the fiery cocktail foster dog is now a full for-ever member of the family and is in season. We would have had her spayed by now but she had a kind of pre-season and the vet advised us to wait … Floyd is the only entire male among our menagerie and boy is he randy. We cannot take our eyes off him or Molotov for a moment. So what do you do in this situation? Well you send one of them to Roger’s house, don’t you? Mainly it’s Molotov who comes home with me and Rog. She’s at that age when she will chew anything that’s left unattended. She has consumed several loaves of bread that my nephew, Semtex has forgotten to put away and, she’s had at least three tubs of margarine. St F is at her wit’s end so Molotov is with me until her season ends. So far she has only chewed a roll of Sellotape at my house so I consider that progress. Is Roger pleased to have a house guest? No, not really. Is my niece, Medusa happy to have her puppy tucked up in my bed? No, not really. Am I getting enough sleep with two big dogs curled up in my small double bed? Definitely not, But hey, I love Molotov. She is sooooo naughty. She has a face built for sulking and although Roger growls when she clambers over him to get to me, he not only tolerates her, he snuggles up on the sofa with her when I’m not looking. They have a huge memory-foam mattress to share so why they insist on stealing my tiny sofa is anyone’s guess.
There is a huge advantage to having Molotov to stay … Walkies. I don’t need a ball or a frisbee. I have a Molotov. Take her and Roger up the hill to an empty field and they will chase each other around and around until the thick, pink meat of their tongues is hanging out and their breath is coming in short, sharp gasps.
After all that running around they both sleep well. Result!
Last night, it was Floyd’s turn to come and stay. Medusa needed to reconnect with her Molotov and so I spent the night with the largest and the smallest of our canine family. While Roger was prancing around the bedroom waiting to be invited into bed, Floyd jumped up and made himself comfortable among the pillows. I lifted the duvet to allow Roger to burrow underneath but, unfortunately, Floyd chose the same moment to slide under cover. The two dogs met beneath the duvet, Floyd snarled, jumped forward and bit Roger on the nose. Roger whimpered and shot across the room. Cheeky bloody Floyd! After all, this is Roger’s home. I banished Floyd to the floor while I reassured the big guy that, yes, this is his bed and, no, Floyd wasn’t going to push him out. The rest of the night passed peacefully because I had to sleep between the two of them. Roger wasn’t going to risk being next to Floyd and slept on my side of the bed with his head on my pillow.
Tonight Molotov is back and she has pulled off a coup. Usually she sleeps across the bottom of the bed (and takes up a disproportionate amount of room) while Roger crams himself next to me but not this time. Earlier, I took them both down for a last wee in the garden and Molotov beat Roger back to the bedroom. Now she’s lying next to me, snoring like a chainsaw. Roger has been shoved to the bottom of the bed. He doesn’t seem unduly bothered though.