Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To meat or not to eat

Frank and I now walk to work and back every day.
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

The Day Frank Went Bonkers

I'm fuming.
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?
Your ball?
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

Wash day

There is little as soul-enhancingly comical in our lives presently than the dismayed sight of Frank post shower.

Jess and Frank

What the hell is this stuff?

The temperature plummets outside, the wind whips up and the air grows whiter. It's wild. No weather for Whippets.

What the hell is this?
With Nell on the Downs

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rabbit puzzle

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.