Thursday, 19 March 2009

Shut up about the damn dog (again)

"This is why I wanted a dog!" I say excitedly to the CFO as we sit, once again, with the dull inevitability of those very set in their ways, in Café Belga.

He looks blank. "Why?"

"So I could do THIS! Sit in cafés with my dog and feed him small snacks!"

Oscar is lying at my feet looking reproachful but elegant, and accepting occasional flakes of pain au raisin. Toddlers keep lurching up and sticking their fingers in his eyes which he seems to enjoy.

"I thought that was when I was dead? When you would wear fur stoles with lots of legs hanging off them, and smell bad, and drink half and half at nine o clock in the morning?"

"Think of this as practice. Anyway, I will need a much smaller and more bad tempered dog to do that properly"

I wanted a dog for as long as I can remember, with the sole goal of sitting in cafés with an espresso and something pleasingly furry at my feet. This is why the weepette makes me so unspeakably happy. However much of a peabrained asshole it is.

However. I was unprepared for many elements of dog ownership. I am reminded of my frankly ill-thought out decision to have a child 'so I could get loads of time off work'. I am not entirely clear what I thought would happen once I had this theoretical child. I suspect I had not really thought of it as a live thing, more as a decorative object that I would place on an occasional table and admire from time to time whilst enjoying my wildly exciting paid free time. Ha! That went well. (Lashes, when you eventually learn to read English in thirty years or so at the current rate, let me say that although you made a very poor ornament indeed, what with the relentless wailing, the insistence on learning to roll jerkily across the floor collecting dust and the smell, we did stare in wonder at you a very great deal, and I wasn't always wondering if I could get to Heathrow while you slept without anyone realising).

Things I did not realise about having a dog

I was prepared to clean up a lot of bodily fluids, which is good, because that is exactly what I have been doing. However, there are other things I was less prepared for.

1. I would never eat unobserved in my own home again. Fuck OFF Oscar. This is my bagel. Seriously, go away. You are not getting any. No. Oh, alright, have this bit of crust. Now go away. What, the bit with loads of melted butter? Argh. Ok, but only if you sod off. Oh, for god's sake, take the whole damn thing, you've sucked all the pleasure out of my breakfast anyway.

2. I would have to make conversation with strangers at 6am. I do not make conversation with my dearest friends at 6am. I can barely muster a death rattle. What could we possibly have to say to each other? We are watching our animaux domestiques defecate. There are no words.

3. Far from my rosy vision of trotting deliciously around the streets swinging expensive paper bags with an obedient furry accessory at my heels, walking Oscar is Living Hell. It is not glamorous. It is not enviable.

First, he attempts to dislocate all joints in my right arm by lurching his disturbingly muscular neck forward in a way that pulls his whole body diagonal. "Heel" I rasp, hopelessly, brandishing snacks. "Heel, you stupid fucker!". He looks up uncomprehendingly and continues, far too fast for me. He is causing irreparable damage to my joints, which were already knackered. We provide comic relief for the innumerable workmen in the area, who lean on their pneumatic drills and laugh openly as the bony twerp drags me in pursuit of an interesting looking shadow.

Next, of course, we must stop at every piece of filth in the neighbourhood, and ideally we must also eat it. I really need surgical gloves to remove the old chewing gum, dead pigeon parts, chip shop nasties from his jaws, but of course I can barely remember my keys.

Finally, there is apparently something inherently ridiculous about Oscar, because he makes men laugh. Women are more merciful, but all the men I pass on the street either smirk, laugh openly, or call him a "ratte".

I cannot even go into the kind of boutiques that would lead me to have expensive paper bags on my arm, because an incontinent weepette is not often allowed. Curses!

4. I would have to demonstrate ceaseless vigilance in defending Oscar from the attentions of Fingers. Fingers loves Oscar very much, but is often to be found "stroking him with my foot" or "not sitting ON him, sitting ABOVE him" or "not cutting his tail off, just trimming the long hairs". I am just waiting for "not crushing his skull with the rolling pin, just giving him a vigorous massage".

5. I would haemorrhage money to the vet, who must be brushing his teeth in Krug. There is nothing WRONG with the dog and yet he has already cost me the price of a pair of Louboutin hot pink Décoltissimos (I do not want these shoes. I am Making A Point. The shoes I actually want are these, but Oscar would have to go to the vet at least once more. Oh yes, I am all about the journalistic accuracy).

6. It would grow so damn FAST. You are three months old, Weepette. I am within my rights to still have a puppy. And yet, here you are, all gigantic and dog like and practising your thousand yard death stare on Fingers and his waffle (yeah, good luck with that, Oscar).

Look! You used to look like this!


7. You would not necessarily love me best. This is the hardest blow of all. When I stagger downstairs in the morning I find you sitting, faithful hound style, on the CFO's knee occasionally staring up at him with quiet devotion. You do not look at me like that. You ignore me unless I say "bonbon". Why, Oscar? Why? €650 should buy me unconditional love, damn you!

8. I would become a sad, dog obsessed bastard, drearing on about my dog and alienating everyone I know and love in the process.

Ok, now I shut up about the damn dog.


Titian red said...

Oh, we are all like this. Adoring stupid, wanky dogs that we thought would adore us, and then realising they just adore your food and your other half (like the children actually ) Some of us are sooo stupid we do dogs twice, and as there is an irrational need to have a horse but can't, decide the largest dog will be an adequate substitute.
Note to self: Horses don't push you off the sofa, horses do not belch parfum du tripe into your face, horses don't jump through windows to eat windowcleaners, horses don't (often) eat much loved shoes, bags and earrings. Dogs do. Then again, at 1m at the shoulder and weighing 70kg I think the choice is his !

Mrs Jones said...

Note to Titian Red - ah, but horses cost more than dogs IN EVERY WAY. They crap more than dogs and you have pay someone to take it away. They need all that tack and rugs and haynets, not to mention the hay to go in it. You have to have their crap inspected for worm eggs. But you can't really sit on the back of a dog and have him carry you through magnificent scenery, so you may have a point....

Ooh, wv is 'cobaking' - I imagine this to be making fairy cakes with a good friend. There's a cheering thought for a sunny day while I'm cutting glass to make jewellery & listening to Wagner at the same time!

expateek said...

I know LaBelletteRouge won't agree with me, but I have one word: The Dog Whisperer. I know, that's three words, technically, but catch him on Sky (National Geo planet I think, or Sky3 in repeats). It's a lot about being the 'pack leader', which at first seems ridiculous but after months of feeding your pain au chocolat to an ingrate (the weepette, not the CFO or children!), may begin to hold some appeal. You can even use your new pack leader skilz on the children, and then on the CFO. Good things abound for pack leaders.

Besides, Cesar Milan, even though he's only about 5foot 3, is smokin' hot.

Parisgirl said...

Plan B.
Get the Louboutins. Men will NOT laugh at you in these even if you are being dragged along by the Weepette and the heels could come in useful when the vet presents his bill.
Just an idea...

Anonymous said...

Just to commiserate. I have had to shout at my moronic labrador to spit out another dog's crap, whilst on a walk. She likes to pretend she is head of the pack. She can do this by getting on our bed whenever we leave the house and sitting on the pillows. She is black. She sheds a lot. At times I loathe her - ooh she is also flatulent. I no longer have any memory of the cute puppy.

Liberty London Girl said...

Hmm. maybe the weepette needs to meet the Posetta Baddog & then maybe they cld have a thousand yard stare competition. LLGxx

Liberty London Girl said...

ps weepette porn fair brightened my day. Mille mercis LLGxx

Potty Mummy said...

Love the shoes. I can't make any intelligent comment on the weepette as I can't conceive of wanting to give house-room to anything - other than my own children, obviously - who's poo I need to clear up...

Mutter said...

hasn't someone written a dog manual yet called 'The Rules' ? Rule one: behave or I will swap you for expensive pink Louboutins. No contest.

katyboo1 said...

I like that you have a dog, because he is cute and funny and you write about him so that it makes me laugh. This is all good.

On the other hand, everything you write makes me yet more grateful that I never, ever, ever want a dog, ever.

I hate that they smell of dog. That is the fundamental problem with dogs. If only they smelled of other things I could manage the crapping and the begging, after all, I do have kids, but it is the smell.

Anonymous said...

I like how Fingers keeps his toes tucked away just in case Oscar doesn't succeed with the waffle.

Anonymous said...

I Want A Dog!!

Send Oscar over to me and I'll reciprocate with the Louboutins. Promise!

Anonymous said...

Something to cheer you up over at mine!

The Spicers said...

His thousand-yard stare is priceless!
And I think most pets are destined to become hopelessly devoted to the person in the house who loves them least. My cat rolls about at my husband's feet making adoring faces every morning, even though he's completely ignored. I think he sees it as some kind of challenge.

Waffle said...

Titian - I had the rabbit as sublimation of unrequited pony lust when little. It made a very poor show jumper, though. Your giant hound probably better.

Mrs Jones - yes, terribly terribly dear but sooo desirable. I have finally faced the fact I will never have my own horse. It's hard.

Expateek - will try. CFO seems to have pack leader status. I am lame low status runt.

Parisgirl - Oh, but I fear they would, when idiotic dog pulls me into gutter.

Ali - we are idiots, clearly.

LLG - oh yes. That would be a serious match. We could take bets on who makes Fingers crack (he is HARD).

PM - I know. it's insanity.

Wife - this is too sophisticated for peabrained weepette. Barely understands NO.

katyboo - I was about to tell you how very unsmelly weepettes are but I think that's just Stockholm Syndrome actually.

Jenny - it was very prescient, because in the next pic, Oscar, driven wild by waffle scent, is trying to climb onto chair.

Mud - ooh, thank you. Oscar as dear as 2 pairs of Loubs. Seriously, stick with the shoes.

Anonymous said...

I am not great at dogs. you know this. or animals generally.

but in those two pictures Oscar is the same, right? or is it one of those low brow magazine quizzes where you have to spot 5 differences in two pictures of some rentaceleb?
not that your blog is low brow. quite the opposite.

i am missing the point? (rhetorical)

Waffle said...

Iheart - is a cruel truth. Children the same. Sigh.

BMF Are you BLIND? Poll: does anyone except for BMF think that 'Oscar looks the same in those two photos'??

livesbythewoods said...

Ok, good advice re: dogs that was of great help in the WithaY house when we were still (vainly) trying to train our much-loved hound not be such a complete bastard:

1) Feed him AFTER you have eaten, he needs to know he is at the bottom of the pack
2) Don't let him go through a door before you
3) Don't let him on the furniture, or on your bed.
4) Don't let him put his head on top of your head, it's a dominance thing (this works with men too)
5) If he tries to use the thousand yard stare, use a newspaper/trashy/glossy mag or similar to block his view, thereby showing him that he is of no interest (and therefore at the bottom of the pack).

Sadly it all ended in tears for us, as there was a lot of biting involved (the dog, I mean) but before all that, we had a lot of success with the above stuff.

And yours was a gorgeous puppy. I still remember with some sadness tha day I looked at ours and realised his cute puppy face had gone.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the reason Oscar seems to love the CFO best is because the CFO doesn't clean up his crap. This is my husband's theory about our cat. She loves me best, but I am not the one who clears out her litterbox.

Or, maybe Oscar acts so "devoted" to the CFO because Oscar is confident that you love him, but thinks the CFO might chuck him out when you're not looking. The staring thing might be an ingenious plan to a) trick the CFO into liking him more, b) keep a steady watch on the CFO for signs of imminent weepette chucking behavior and c) drawing your jealous attention to the CFO, so that if the weepette-chucking commences you'll be sure to see it.

Z said...

My advice is to make yourself the pack leader. Be tougher, make him earn your affection, then he will adore you. Learn Dog as a language, which is mostly in the lift of the eyebrow and the curl of the lip. To start with, you also have to growl, but not very much when dealing with a sensitive weepette.

Once you are the boss, you can afford to be lovely again, because he will then think he has pleased you and try even harder. Honestly, I promise you. I have studied dogs for half a century and it took me 35 years to get there, but now you know the secret you will arrive in a trice.

Z said...

Oh! It occurs to me that you might need specific advice.

When he's eating his dinner, stop him. If he won't stop, take it away. If he growls, growl back. If he bites (I doubt it) grab his muzzle with your hand and eyeball him. After he gives in, give his dinner back. Be lovely afterwards, because you're rewarding him for acknowledging you as pack leader.

When he watches you eat bagel, do not see. If you accidentally make eye contact, narrow your pack leader eyes and ignore him. When you give him the best piece, make it clear that it's your choice, not his.

He doesn't care about his crap, so make no remark about clearing it up. You're boss, you want it. He isn't allowed yours.

If you have occasion to shout at any other member of the family, make a great fuss of Oscar afterwards, so that he sides with you and not with him.

I repeat, once you've done it you will be the pack leader and you don't have to keep it up. Just an occasional reminder will do.

He has changed in the photos so much. In one he is a dog, in the other he is a puppy. The only oddity for those, like me, unaccustomed to weepettes (six hundred and fifty Fucking Euros? No wonder I stick with cheapo mongrels) is that his puppyribs show. Most of the pups I've known have been chubby.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

I would go with the Dog Whisperer - don't tell La Belle Belette! He is cute, and does give good info on getting the upper hand, while still loving the woozle.

Thank you for your avis yesterday, I am not coming back as a Weepette, even if it does mean sneaking buttered snacks and surreptitious waffling in chi-chi cafes!

Waffle said...

Ooh, advice! I love you all. I am not good with ' this 'authority' stuff. I am living proof of WHY HIPPIES SHOULD NOT OWN DOGS. But I shall try because you are wise and because I like my bagels all mine.

LBTW - I do know all this and have read about it. I am just really really stupid. And I like nuclear fueled weepette heat in my bed. I am resolved to do better.

J your theories are very cunning but attribute a lot of savvy to Oscar that I find it hard to believe he possesses. Will look into his reproachful eyes and try and fathom.

Z - I totally love you and your advice is wonderful. I can do narrowed eyes. Taking food away will be hard. Presumably I can't get Fingers to do it? He would LOVE that kind of power, but then I would still be bottom of the hierarchy runt of the pack. He runs away whenever there is shouting and hides.

Woman - clearly I must see the dog whisperer. I will go check him out on youtube.

Z said...

It's for moments only, I promise. The message is "it's mine, but I'm letting you have it because I'm kind". Just a raised hand above the bowl will do fine. Nothing to frighten.

Kate said...

i love the dog. and i'm happy to hear about it. i don't have one. and i want one. and you showed shoes, so how can i complain?

Anonymous said...

am inconsolably in love with boyfriends great dane, duchess.. if it were not for damn dog, would have left him long long ago (utterly serious here).. why is she so damn silky and gorgeous?!

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Bonbon! Yeah, I had to rename my dog "Treat".

You have the most prolific commenters I've ever seen.

I was just going to say OOHH CUTIE PIE PUPPY!!

Mya said...

Just don't become one of those stout calved loons who enters dog shows, wears knitted 'comedy' weepette jumpers and bellows orders like 'back and stay' at the top of her voice. Please don't.

Mya x

Waffle said...

Z - I have just eaten a bagel without even glancing at Oscar! I feel empowered, though also something of a heartless bitch.

Kate - I do like it. Whatever elusive thing was stopping my house feeling like home is mysteriously cured by putting a dog in it.

tragicanon - I can tell you are going to be GREAT at confessional (tonight! venez nombreux!)

Steam me up - they come from pity and a sense of obligation. My honorary social.

Mya - usually they are unflattering sweatshirts aren't they? Purchased from special weepette stalls at Crufts and stretched over gigantic monoboob. I do not have natural authority for that. I look like a dazed hippie being pulled around my a rat, sois rassurée.

Travellingone said...

I'm going to look at a puppy tomorrow. Fortunately he's small so I can lift him up and walk off with him should he act up.

Or ask the cat to discipline him (she keeps us in line).

Queen Vee said...

I third/fourth/however-manyth the dog whisperer advice, though I've only known about the female one (Jan Fennell).

I also have a weepette, whom I adore (Griffin, and the calm-assertive thing really works. On walks, what I've found helpful is to take a treat and if he starts pulling, to walk in the opposite direction and entice him to follow me with a treat. There were a few walks where we went round in circles, but he soon got the idea that pulling was not allowed.

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