When I moved into my own house last year I knew it was only a matter of time before I succumbed and bought a dog of my own finally. So at the beginning of January this year, I found myself standing in the kitchen of a miniature schnauzer breeder; a fluffball in my hands that was squeaking at me. And I believed it to be squeaking "BUY ME, crazy lady! BUY ME NOW."
When I went to visit him again a few weeks later he had changed a bit. Squeakiness had developed into cheekiness. Fresh from a LOST marathon, I decided to name him Sawyer, and unbeknownst to me at the time, face a lifetime of blank looks when I tell people his name. (Obviously no-one in my town watched it. Fooooools).
The day I finally brought Sawyer home, he immediately peed in the living room and pooed in the kitchen. I wanted to cry a bit. My house needs to be impeccably tidy or the earth will explode and all my family will die. (It's true).
'This looks like a clean floor... how about I mess it up for you FOREVER, LULZ!1'
Sadly getting a puppy led to all sorts of not at all patronising comments such as 'you must be feeling maternal'. Not to mention people calling me Sawyer's 'mummy'. To clarify:
- A dog is not a baby.
- ...or a baby substitute.
- I got a dog because I wanted one. Not to fulfil some kind of yearning for a child, which apparently, at age 31, I am supposed to have. (I don't).
- I am not the dog's MOTHER. I did not give birth to the dog. If I had I'm sure I would be in some lab at this point. (Laboratory, that is. Not labrador.)
The best dog I ever knew belonged to my Uncle (on account of the aforementioned not-being-allowed-my-own-dog thing). He was a golden retriever named Dusty, a big lump of manic fun who enjoyed running up and down the fields, bouncing about in barns and stables, taking a dip in the ditch... basically anything that got him muddy from nose to tail. He died in 2003 and forever more shall be The Dog That All Other Dogs Have To Live Up To.
Therefore any time Saywer misbehaves, he is sternly told "Dusty wouldn't have done that." (I'm not entirely sure that puppies can be put on a guilt trip but my God, I try.) It's times like that that I conveniently forget the time I stupidly set my lunch down on the floor and Dusty ran off with it in his mouth, or how he used to jump on top of me after a trip through the ditch, covering me in mud, or the time as a puppy he was sick all over the carpet. I don't tell Sawyer and HE DOESN'T NEED TO KNOW, okay?
His list of crimes and misdemeanours are many. A sample:
1) He has wrecked 2 sofa throws. Now I might have to go to IKEA for another one, and I may get lost amongst all the flatpack.
2) He is incapable of seeing a shoe without chewing it/dragging across the living room. And I have spent at least £10 on some of those shoes.
3) Having seen him try to grab my credit card off the table a couple of days ago, I am 99% sure he was the fraudster that spent over £1000 on my card recently. If he takes himself off to Hamburg to see the David Haye fight on 2nd July with 6 other tickets, I will know I've rumbled him.
4) He prevents me from having a lie-in at the weekends because I have to get up and feed him. Admittedly this means I get to see all of Saturday Kitchen, which I have a weird affection for.
5) He embarrasses me frequently. Oh, the embarrassment. Bark bark bark bark bark bark. At the neighbours, at people in the park, on the street, at the groomers, at friends and family, at people walking past the window. He will bark at anybody, the attention-seeking little git. Also embarrassing was 6 weeks of Puppy School. Although, to be fair that wasn't really his fault. I don't hold him responsible for the weekly torment of having to get up in front of a large group of people to show off all the things my dog was supposed to learn that week but did not.
6) Lastly, and worst of all - he makes me interact with other. human. beings. The horror. Turns out that humans gravitate towards puppies - I failed to realise this before buying one. Now I'm forced to make conversation with members of the general public when Sawyer and I are out walking. Yes, he's cute. Yes, I suppose your snotty-nosed kid can stroke him. Now please leave me alone because this animal's barking is doing my head in and all I want to do is go home and hope he goes to sleep very, very soon.
So yes, he's a total pain in the arse. But look at the face! He makes me laugh (almost) every day, and he's an awesome hot water bottle to boot.
I found a quote which seems apt to end on.
'Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies'.