Friday, May 20, 2011

The Meany of Frank

In the book Owen Meany the tiny and mysterious protagonist makes the narrator endlessly practice flinging him skywards to dunk a basketball.

At the end of the book, when the same, now effortless action is speedily employed to dispose of a ticking bomb seconds before it kills people in an airport, the reader suddenly realise what the odd Owen Meany is on the earth to do – and that he's known it all along, one way or the other.

When Frank killed His first baby rabbit in friston Forrest yesterday, in front of three of us on bikes, I had a similar realisation.

I tussled with emotion.
He runs at his fastest when he's chasing rabbits and squirrels. And I love to watch him run. So I've never dissuaded him, for the good it would have done.
But although I knew it was a possibility, he's never caught anything before. And I sort of assumed he wouldn't do anything with it if he did, more than a nuzzle a bit.

But he picked it up and shook it like he's been doing with that toy rope in the garden for months. Exactly like that. Exactly like Owen. It was practice. Shook it dead.

As we peddled on, after I'd made him drop his prize and tried not to be angry, happy or too much of anything with him, there was silence. The death of anything is not nice to witness, and a young rabbit with all its innocence and cuteness, I've realised, is a loss a soul feels sharply. It's not at all nice.

The fox might have got that rabbit, I said to Adam.
Or another dog, said Adam.

Frank looked for the next.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eye or IQ test?

Frank's taken to chasing things which aren't rabbits or squirrels, on the off chance. It's an interesting development.

Does it mean he's obsessed, blind or dumb?, we wonder as he belts off towards a small dog (or sometimes distant large dog) - avoiding the inconvenient truth, as is our parental privilege.

Real rabbits, identifies correctly (often with our proactive assistance), our whippet chases at startling speed, blind to the world, ears back, long neck horizontal and wide smile. It's majestic. But rare.

And on occasions when he actually realises a dog approaches Frank does not belt. He advances with prances or runs away.
If I'm jogging he more often loops around bigger hounds I pass. He's an undeniable whimp or a docile playmate. Not an obsessive, fearless hunter.

With this latest development however, mid sprint realisation inevitably dawns and he slows to a prance or, much more hilariously, scampers full circle and whizzes back past us for cover.

Fuck me Dad. Did you see that rabbit turn into a Great Dane?!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Jog of shame

It got too much for Frank at about three miles. He yanked me towards home, and did not relent.

He pulls often. I'd like to say he's improving at walking to heal, but it would be a lie.

Today he was pulling as his master, clad head to ankle in tight, middle-aged-man's black lycra, 'jogged'.

Jogging, for me, is a matter of precision judgement. If I pace myself extremely carefully I'll last up to an hour. But it's an equilibrium. One over exuberant fraction of distance and the implications are often devastating within the context of my own personal war with the road.

Frank's intervention was proving costly.
He was making me work harder, both by running faster and pulling him back to stop him making me run faster.

Earlier as I'd attempted a hamstring stretch Frank licked my face, unaware of the approach of this new, unappealing version of going for a walk.

'Why are you wearing that?,' he pondered rather obviously via tilted head.
'You look stupid. Really.
'I know Jess says you don't. But you do.
'At least you're in the house.'

I should have known not to take him with me them and there.

'Aghhhh, Stranger, STRANGER! I don't know who this person holding my lead is... aggggggh!!!'

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Obedience king

A man looked at me today as though I was a good person.
This is somewhat against the run of things.

I should say; a good dog-owning person, rather than a good actual person.
Nonetheless, I wasn’t sure what was happening.

Frank was to thank. No really.

You see there was a child, on the prom.

And he wanted to say hello, like he does with all people of a height where assessment indicates a free face lick is in the offing.
I didn’t see this parent’s horror as he pranced up, but I’ve seen many others.

For once though, voice and gesture firm, he responded to me. Correctly.

And the man, who in my mind is telling friends as we speak, looked up as we walked past, me between him, child and dog, and smiled.
Said thanks.
Thinks I can do that when I want.

Har har.