Monday, August 16, 2010

Petiquette and losing the sofa

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.

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