Wednesday, December 29, 2010
This is a good thing.
I feel fitter, and Frank chases more squirrels.
I compensate by eating and drinking more. Frank compensates by eating less.
We're still struggling to find food he likes which is not food we like; namely hot, tender, preferably marinated, meat. And to this end I continue to initiate discussions with other whippet owners in the park.
To our horror we discovered that Lupin's otherwise charmingly down to earth owners make her a batch of steamed vegetables to accompany daily menus of the meat we like, mostly steak.
It's no bother, said one.
One batch lasts a few days.
The expense? I fought not to exclaim. Jess is better at hiding her emotions and simply laughed as if she were being told a farcical fib.
I'm not buying frank real meat, he can eat elbows and feathers like the others. Or he'll go hungry. He's a dog, and he must learn. When he's hungry, he'll eat. All of which I said or thought or repeated.
He heard all of it. And ate nothing for 24 hours.
I panicked, as he knew I would, and bought a chicken.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Usually, where the dog is concerned it's delight, love or laughter.
Today it's fury.
I have no evidence. It could have been Murphy, Nancy or Sid. But really, I know it was Frank.
As I toiled this afternoon, upstairs in the office, down in the kitchen Frank knocked over a plant pot, threw the clump of soil around several rooms, then laid into the carpet and then, more violently, the newly exposed underlay.
Finally, and not until the soil and underlay were everywhere, he pissed on the lot. And Murphy's bed.
Mischief complete inside, when I angrily evicted both hounds into the garden (to begin clean up) I looked back a moment later to see Frank disappearing into the neighbour's yard, after scaling the wall and tiptoeing along a thin rear fence.
Please can I have my dog back?
No, my dog.
I smacked him on the nose. More than once.
Dad claims this is ultimately a necessary evil with dogs who step out of line.
It felt horrible.
Frank sulked. For a split second.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Last night Frank had a dream.
He crept into our bed, put his head against mine, and shared it with me while we both slept.
I saw him standing in a field of wild baby rabbits.
His coffee cake icing colours were complemented by pastel greens, grays and blues and we dreamt in soft focus.
He pranced deliriously, then ran and hundreds of bunnies scattered like a zip opening.
He stopped to look at me for a moment, both of us smiling.
To my knowledge he's never seen a rabbit. But I think he instinctively knows, like Shane Warne did when he was first flung a cricket ball.
Ah, I've been waiting for you. This is why I was made, I just know it.
Earlier in the week a part of the rabbit puzzle slotted into place when he discovered squirrels in Gildredge Park.
Initially there was confusion. Initially there is always confusion.
But where as cat encounters have variously ended in cuts to Frank's hard to miss nose, squirrels presented him with an entirely different instinctual conundrum.
I don't think I want to play with it, Frank pondered, head tilted in curiosity at the creature.
I don't want to sniff it's bottom.
I don't even want to frolic.
But I am suddenly quite hungry..?
It was written across Frank's expressive exterior about as enigmatically as graffiti.
Fuck me, I want to sodding kill it.
He looked at me for a split second, and we both knew there was nothing to be done.
He ran at the pea-brained rodent as fast as he'd ever run at anything, faster even than his favourite Frisbee Jess cack-handedly lobbed over a park-adjoining garden wall last week.
Squirrels can give a nasty nip, I'm told; and aren't prone to letting go either.
But there was little fear of success on Franks side, even when the squirrel put in the species' signature pause into its otherwise rapid departure, just to keep things interesting.
For all Frank's speed he is yet to learn anticipation, even to the extent where the lolloping Murphy (pictured), can corner him in the garden with ease. And the animal dropped its shoulder a couple of times, altered course and was up a tree for some just-out-of-reach taunting, lickerty split.
I'm just going to hang around by this tree for a bit, Dad.
No reason. You go on.
Maybe he thinks rabbits will be easier to catch.
Monday, November 08, 2010
Neither of you two are up to it.
Everything Jess owns is pink, and I've no idea what your shit looks like because it's not allowed out of the loft. I can only imagine it must be worse.
Monday, November 01, 2010
The park is out of bounds, unless you’re one of the neighbourhood’s 12-year-old smokers, so where do all the dogs go?
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Monday, September 06, 2010
Friday, September 03, 2010
But sir, I don't think you understand, said the man with his foot on my chest and Frank in his arms.
He is without doubt the most beautiful hound I've ever seen. You must submit.
Oh my, his cappuccino colours.
See how his tilted head woos.
Dear, shall we take him now?
This is getting ridiculous.
I'm alternating walking routes, looking for quiet paths, mutt-less cuts where normal dog owners fear to flounder. But escape, there is none.
Another corner another cooer. Each more heartfelt, impassioned than the last. He's so beautiful. I must have him and not any other.
And how does this affect Frank?
Whippets are sensitive, and you must be careful not to impart your own emotional baggage on them, for fear it shall be reflected back; so goes the threat of the expert.
Frank offers no argument to the contrary, as his tiny, nose-dominated head swells with self assurance for all to see.
He's due a fall, that one.
You can see it in the eyes of the dogs we meet as their masters fall to their pathetic knees.
Out on the bike last night. First time in a while. It was rather good.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Frank the whippet arrived a month ago.
He moved in with Jess and I suddenly. One day he wasn't there, the next he was.
The next, a line I am pretty sure I'm pinching from another Whippet owner Terry Darlington, he had my slippers on.
Right now he's sleeping in the best spot on the sofa with my girl. There's no getting on there.
I’ve also noted a whiff of routine about the development, so I decided to start blogging again.
Things I've learned since Frank arrived:
1, I'm not ready to have children
2, Petiquette isn't in any of the books I've read.
What do you say while your dog is sniffing another's arse, to the other person holding a lead? In particular, since the dogs decide the length of the encounter, how do you end the conversation swiftly and cleanly, at literally any moment?
'Bye' seems too short, too flippant given the intimacy you've both witnessed; in a way, shared.
So far, 'Have a good day,' is all I've got.
It's not enough. I'm not pretending it is.
Also, Frank is pretty.
There's no point denying it.
Eventually he'll look scrawny and lopsided like all whippets, but right now, at 12 weeks, he's a delightfully subtle light browny grey colour with white markings on his legs and bum. He's got blue eyes and tilts his head at all the right moments. So people tell him, relentlessly, in the park, before he sniffs their dog or them. And, I'm sorry, but I've got in the habit of saying 'Thank you.'
I know this can't be right. It sounds wrong as I say it - which is probably a sign.
But what's the alternative?
'But you're too kind, sir. For your dog is the infinitely more beautiful.. My what a looker.' (?)
Anyway, today I also started reading a book about looking after your dog, perhaps belatedly.
Skipping the chapters on choosing your breed and pet, which we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed about, I’m on to ‘the first few weeks’.
I’m, er, dog-earing the pages Jess should read too. Which is a lot.
Tonight I’m going to put him to bed the way I should have done since we had him. That is to say, not carry him across the room and poke him through the crate door before rapidly shutting it, pulling down the cover and running out of the room before he starts yowling.
Odd how I thought this could be the right way.
But tonight Frank will be ‘led to the crate with a toy or treat, and settled down quietly with stroking…’ etc until he doses off.
Cesar Millan makes it sound so simple.