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.