25 February, 2012

It's all lies!

It took me a while to gather the courage to let James sleep unconfined in the bedroom.  Between toilet training and the need to chew on everything (just in case it tastes good!), there were a lot of reasons not to.  But my head was filled with warm, fuzzy images of a canine hot water bottle curled up on my toes each evening.  This, I am afraid to inform you, is a falsehood.

In fact, I am fairly certain at this point, that my dog uses me as a hot water bottle.  For the duration of summer he prefers to sleep under the bed.  I don't have a problem with this; this is sensible behaviour given the temperature.  But as soon as there's a slight chill in the air, the dog is on the end of the bed.  Not out of any concern for my toesies, I can assure you.  He'll even sometimes, like last night, wait until I've been on the bed for a short duration before joining me.  He likes his mattress pre-warmed.

And, his fondness for lying smack bang in the middle of the bed leaves me precariously teetering on the edge.  Forget the heating powers of a squishy dog, I'd settle for my fair share of the quilt!  So now, not only do I feel slightly used but my toes are rarely toasty warm.  And a side benefit of having an unconfined dog in the room is that when his occasional, middle of the night spew occurs, it's now on carpet!

The pleasing image of a loyal dog curled by his master's feet, quietly warding off the cold for the length of the night?  Total lie.

On the subject of canine myths, I take great issue with the manufacturer of his worming tablet claiming that 98% of dogs will eat said tablet out of your hand.  No conning required.  No caniving schemes.  No physical force.  What bollocks.  For starters, I have a Labrador.  Fondly known as the garbage guts of the canine world.  Supposedly either too unintelligent or just too hungry to bother considering, before eating it, the intended edibility (edibleness??) or nutritional benefit of just about anything not nailed down.  Therefore, using this logic, I think I can confidently extrapolate that 100% of Labradors should be eating worming tablets without the slightest hint of duress. 

Now, either my Labrador is faulty or the manufacturer is full of crap.  I know this because I spend one morning a month cutting up cheese to cleverly smush around a worming tablet, before proceeding to shove my arm deep into a dog's throat.  And then repeating the procedure several more times.  Each time with a slightly more slobbery tablet.  Each time with slightly less hope.

Next they'll be telling us that most dogs are filled with an uncontrolable joy at the thought of seeing their vet!    Oh wait.  My dog does do that...

21 February, 2012

The hair is everywhere!

The living room has carpet.  It's worth noting that it's not meant to be carpetted.  In fact, the floor covering of choice for the first 20 years of the living room's life were tiles.  Now there is a constant layer of black fur resting on top. 

I did a lot of research before getting a dog.  Like, a LOT of research.  Find a registered, responsible breeder.  Check.  Learn how to settle puppy into new home.  Check.  Compare diets and training methods.  Check.  Familiarise self with all the breed characteristics.  Not so check, apparently. 

I don't know how I missed the fact that Labradors lose half of their fur every day.  I've been a member of dog forums since the decision to get a dog was made.  All I ever see these days is how reknowned Labradors are for their inability to just keep their bloody fur on. their. bodies.  These warnings were nowhere to be found two years ago.  I don't know if I simply read and discarded this piece of information, or what.  After all, dogs shed - this was not groundbreaking news to me.  But, I suspect the more likely explanation is an elaborate conspiracy of some sort in order sucker new dog owners into the breed.  And I'm sticking to that. 

I don't think I'd mind it so much if the hound would tolerate being brushed.  But he hates it.  So I hate it.  Following him around with a brush in one hand and a grubby fistful of dry food in the other is not fun.  I don't know why he's so against the procedure.  Look at the photo - there's actually very little hair coming off him.  It's all fluff!  Lots and lots of fluff.  If I had that much fluff on me I'd be eagerly queuing to get it brushed out.  I thought I hit paydirt the other day.  I caught him outside having a munch on the previous night's dinner bone.  Dog has his own incentive to stay still in one spot - BINGO.  It even worked for half his body.  But by about the fifth time he got up to move away from me the dirty looks had started to appear.  So I gave up and vacuumed the floor instead.  

19 February, 2012

I'm meltiiiing...

It's hot.  Very hot.  Although, not according the mercury.  No, the thermometer (well, the internet) would have you believe it's only hovering around the 30' mark.  This would not explain why I'm roasting in my own skin, so clearly there's been a terrible malfunction somewhere.

To be fair, it's actually quite pleasant in my bedroom downstairs.  It's just the rest of the house that feels like hell. It would be perfect cricket watching weather except I have actually melted onto the leather of the couch, which makes getting up for a drink a very sticky process. 

The dog keeps going outside and dunking his head in the swimming pool so there are odd puddles of water on the floor.  And the arm of the couch.  And he's somehow managed to get the juice from an apple on my laptop screen.  At least, it must have been him - I'm not taking responsibility for it.

Mr Bond often seems to have a genuine interest in sport.  Not at the moment, of course.  At the moment he's curled up on the couch looking thankful that the air-con has been turned on. 

But generally, something about little men on television entrances him.  Not much else does, really.  Some racing pigs on Sunrise once amused him.  And the labrador puppy in one of the old Pedigree (I think?) ads managed to hold his attention for a few seconds.  Sport though, can entertain him for whole minutes on end.  Cricket a little moreso than rugby - I think he likes the contrast of the whites of test cricket.

He and I had a trip out to the airport this morning to drop my Mum off.  On this particular route, I like to call him my SatNav puppy.  SatNav puppy came about a year ago when, on my first trip to the airport as a driver, at 5 o'clock in the morning, we managed to get horrifically lost and ended up pulling over at the dog beach to Google Map where on earth we were.  Clearly, he was the only one in charge of directions.  And he has remained the designated navigational device ever since.

15 February, 2012

Deceptively Clever

Wow, bad blogging habits kick in really fast.  I shall do better in future.  I promise.

Monsieur Drama Queen dog thinks himself a sensitive soul.  He thinks that the appropriate reaction to having his ears cleaned is toppling over mournfully.  And his good spirits can only be restored by being allowed to eat a makeup removal pad.

Whilst he isn't intelligent enough to realise that clean ears means a greater likelihood of no ear infections, he is however, still a scarily in-tune dog.  Which is really to his detriment.  A conversation (not directed towards him) about activities that will involve him in future prompts a quick scramble to his feet and the expectation that we're leaving now.  Right now.  Therefore, it's quite hard to plan things in his presence.  And a little depressing really, having to constantly tell him to sit back down, nothing's happening today except for a prolonged nap on the couch.

You hear stories of dogs having selective hearing.  Master Bond has a selective sense of smell.  A stray piece of food can be sitting not two feet away from his arse and it will go untouched until he accidentally stumbles across its path.  But trying to make him go outside, for example, with a feigned throw of a treat does not fool him.  He knows there is no treat.  There never was any treat.  He is staying inside to search for cheese, thankyou very much.  Please let him know when you're not so lazy as to actually go and fetch a real treat to bribe him with.

It is a curious thing, the dog's brain.  And a constant, if frustrating, pleasure to learn about everyday.  

07 February, 2012

James and the Giant Peach

I've turned my hand to gardening.  Sort of.  I have a vision of a delightful little herb and/or vegetable garden.  What this means, when translated into reality, is that I have three little pots sitting on the back steps.

From left to right, we have Tomato, Basil and er... Unknown.  I think it might be a pot of sunflowers?  You see, last year I bought two handy little planter tubs from Bunnings.  I opened the yellow one, inadvertantly threw away the instructions and packaging for the yellow one, dropped and shattered the yellow one, and then promptly forgot about them for two months.  Come January, I found a neat little red tub clearly labelled as "Tomatoes" and a mystery yellow tub.  Nonetheless, they're alive!  This is a positive thing. 

I do hope to add to my little pot city.  I even went so far as to purchase potting mix and several other seed packets last week.  The seeds were then immediately lost.  I have a vague memory of leaving them on the boot of the car before wandering off to do more amusing things.  As a result, I also have a dreadful feeling that they may be now scattered throughout the suburb.

Mr Bond has shown absolutely no interest in eating or destroying Pot City.  One of the wonderful benefits of neglecting to start a puppy journal for the first two years of said puppy's life, is that I can now pretend that my sensible, mature, okay, lazy dog has been like this from the start.

He tore up a backyard's worth of reticulation?  Nooo, certainly not!  Munched on hundreds of dollars worth of Kreepy Krawly pool hose?  I'm pretty sure you're confusing him for some other puppy...maybe Lucy from down the road?  Declared an innocent pot plant to be his nemesis and tortured it mercilessly until it was moved into the Potplant Protection Programme?  Okay, okay, we get the picture.  He had a few bad habits.  That have since been ironed out.  Mostly. 

But, the beauty of it, is that he has essentially received a get-out-of-jail-free card.  In the blogging world, at least.  From this point forward, let the record show him as a peaceful, vegetable-loving dog who would never dream of striking a Happy plant.

...unless the plant started it. 

06 February, 2012

So we meet again, Mr Bond...

...technically, at least. 

Two years, one month and four days ago, a pudgy, little dog was born.  One year, eleven months and eight days ago, I thought I might start a blog about said lump and his amazing, fantastical life.  There have been a couple of feeble efforts in that time.  I think I  may have even reached a second post on one of them.  But not one of those blogs took flight.  Until now. 

I'd best start with an introduction of the hound.  He's two years old and a little short for his age.  He may share a name with Mr Bond but he eats more like a hobbit.  Breakfast, second breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner are all expected in his average day.  Sandwiches and orange juice are his particular favourites.  He is anthropomorphised to within an inch of his life.  Cognitively, at least.  I draw the line at putting clothes on a dog with two perfectly good layers of fur.  But announcements that Mr Bond will be having a "Naked Wednesday" or "Pyjama Saturday" are, sadly, not at all uncommon.

He epitomises the old saying that people start to look like their dogs, et vice versa.  Not physically - I'm pretty sure I'm not yet at the point of looking like a black Labrador - but he has inherited a general laziness, a fondness for spending all day on the couch, mild hayfever and an appreciation for chocolate digestives.

Like his namesake, he has had a successful media career, culminating in an appearance on Totally Wild at seven weeks of age and a still photo on a website.  We've tried very hard not to let the fame go to his head.

And thus concludes the inaugural blog post.  At the risk of mixing up my film references, "I'll be back!".