Five days till puppy
FIVE DAYS. TILL PUPPY.*
I’d gone to the big pet warehouse last week to view my options. The place gives me the whimwhams: it’s the size of Hyde Park, they should issue you roller skates at the door.** First you pass the glassed-in seas full of fish***. Then there are the vast enclosures down the centre that you have to skate/pony trek around, which contain 2,011 varieties of rabbit, plus hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, chinchillas, wombats, armadillos, capybaras, kinkajous, marmots, and rock hyraxes. By the time you get to the dog-paraphernalia section you’re losing the will to live.
And then you look at the prices of the kit you’re going to have to buy and you finish losing the will to live.† GIBBER GIBBER GIBBER GIBBER EEP EEP EEP EEP. Dogs are expensive.†† You don’t want a dog. How about a nice diamond tiara? The initial outlay is less, and the upkeep’s . . . a steal.
I had a run at the hellhounds, because the majority of their kit was rolled over from the previous generation of whippets. After that it was just food . . . except they don’t eat . . . and vet bills. Olivia is selling her puppies with the insurance already in place and, never having had pet insurance before, I’m doing it this time. I’m just about tearing holes in my cheque with the nib of my pen, I’m so doing the pet insurance thing this time.††† Meanwhile, back at the containment issue. . . .
I did have one bright idea. On my way to the pet warehouse this time I stopped at the farm store. They have some dog stuff—including crates. I bought a slightly less flash item, it’s missing out the gold tassels‡ and the cubic zirconia, but it’s essentially the same flapdoodling crate, for ONE THIRD of what it cost at the pet warehouse.‡‡ The cheezy plastic carrying crate, which I had to buy at the warehouse, and which Pavlova is not allowed to outgrow till she and the hellhounds are excellent friends‡‡‡ cost ten quid more than the medium-large proper metal crate. The plastic carrier is already riding around next to the hellhound box in Wolfgang, to hellhounds’ mild but disinterested puzzlement. Oh how little you know, you poor trusting innocents.§
* * *
* I think I’ve got her call name sorted. Peter asked, and I told him, and he said, what about her nickname? I said that for the moment she’ll remain Pavlova on the blog, but I added that there had been other suggestions, and his vote is May for Mayhem THANKS SO MUCH, MY SYMPATHETIC, SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND. PAVLOVA IS GOING TO BE YOUR LITTLE NIGHTMARE TOO FOR SEVERAL HOURS A DAY, YOU KNOW, EVEN IF YOU GET TO TELL ME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT PUPPY, AND I WILL TAKE HER AWAY AT NIGHT.^
^ Very late at night. You could suffer a lot before I take her away.
** Well. Possibly not roller skates, precisely. I never really got over the ‘dangerous’ stage of roller skating. But a pony would be nice.
*** Don’t try to buy any of these. The clerk will look at you with deep suspicion, and send for their specialist, who will emerge from some dark hideaway bearing a clipboard and a condemnatory expression, and she will then ask you 4,312 questions very few of which seem to have anything to do with the possible purchase of fish, and, when you’re worn down and off balance from trying to remember the name of your aunt’s second dog^ and whether perhaps you have a secret crippling aversion to live bloodworms^^ they spring it on you that you will be obliged to buy not merely a tank, but a circulator, an aerator, a heater, a punkah, a punkah wallah, a widglebadget, a plastic statue of a deep-sea diver and special water from Atlantis. And their home visitor will be in your area next week, and will need to approve your set-up (in triplicate) before you’re allowed to take your guppy or your goldfish home. And did you wash your hands before you came out? And did you comb your hair?
^ My aunt didn’t have a second dog. Which explains my failing in this respect.
^^ Any sane person has an aversion to live bloodworms. But I fed live mealworms to my robins and pieces of cut-up day-old (pre-dead) chick to the raptor on my wrist during that fabulous Day with Raptors a few years ago . . . WHICH WAS TOTALLY GROSS. But it didn’t ruin the experience. I could learn about bloodworms.
† Speaking of losing the will to live. THIS COMPUTER CONTINUES TO DRIVE ME FRELLING INSANE.^ Plus little teeny minor issues like re-frelling-inputting all my auto-text and shortcut-key things, like the symbols for my footnotes: AND WINDOWS EIGHT HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN HAS SHEETS MORE SYMBOLS THAN XP DID, AND IN NO BETTER OR MORE LOGICAL ORDER THAN XP DID. How many ways can I say ARRRRRRGH??
^ And furthermore I’ve just had an officious little pop-up from my argleblarging virus software for pity’s sake telling me I should close and reopen IE because it’s taking up too much memory. GET. STUFFED. FRELLINGLY.
†† . . . GO AWAY. I’VE NOW GOT SOME FRELLING RESEARCH WINDOW POPPING UP AND SAYING, WE CAN’T FIND ‘††’ WHAT DO YOU WANT US TO DO ABOUT IT?
I DON’T WANT YOU TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I WANT YOU TO LET ME WRITE MY BLOG ENTRY IN PEACE.
Um. Where was I? Dogs are expensive. Yes, but, quarter-gram by quarter-gram, nowhere near as expensive as fish.
††† Although PAVLOVA IS GOING TO BE SCINTILLATINGLY HEALTHY. SCINTILLATINGLY. HEALTHY. IN EVERY WAY. AND A GOOD EATER.
‡ She’d only chew the tassels off anyway.
‡‡ Salaries for the specialists, including CPD^ seminars in scowling and intimidation, are extortionate.
^ Continuing Professional Development, over here. Don’t know what it’s called elsewhere.
‡‡‡ If I’m lucky she WON’T outgrow it. No channelling of inner standard [size^] bullie grandmother, please.
^ Standards can burgeon up to eighty pounds. Minis SHOULD TOP OUT at half that at worst. I’m kind of assuming a short-legged square hellhound. But she’s a girl,+ she might be smaller. Yessssssss.
+ And I am going to like having a girl around again. I bought her a pink food bowl. It’s one of these Guaranteed Does Not Tip Over things. Hahahahahahaha. Whoever they are, they have never met a real puppy.
§ GUILT GUILT GUILT GUILT GUILT. No, no, they’ll love her, they’ll think she’s a terrific idea, they’ll all get along great . . . eventually.^
^ Because I don’t have enough to worry about I was thinking . . . I have been planning to do the rolling-generations thing this time since I brought the hellhounds home six years ago because Life Without Dogs is unbearable but while you’re in the early grieving stage you can’t just go out and buy another dog(s) . . . and as you begin to get over the early grieving stage you start thinking do I really want to go through this again. Staggered generations is obviously the answer. But I wasn’t actually planning on doing it this soon. So does this mean I have to buy or adopt a FOURTH dog when Pavlova is six and the hellhounds are twelve?
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