Pavlova the Wonder Puppy
It has been Another One of Those Days, which I feel there have been far too many of lately and this run of blerg and arrrgh can stop any time thank you. There was one bright spot today: Fiona and her mum were coming to Mauncester for Christmas shopping and we arranged to meet up. Well. We arranged. And then we rearranged. I rearranged. And then we re-re-re-re-arranged. And then I was late. Later. Um. . . . As I said, blerg and arrrgh. What a good thing texting is. I’M ABT 15 MIN LATE. NO, 20. 25. LEAVING NOW. 30. SEE U SOON.* How did we all get along without it?
I brought Pav with me to Mauncester, of course. IT’S ALL SOCIALISATION. She’d managed to put a foot through several of my necklaces sequentially** which I’d taken into the jewellers’ for mending, tactlessly by myself a week or so ago and was more or less told that if I wanted to see any of my precious baubles and fripperies again I’d better bring the puppy next time. So I brought the puppy. Who was much admired. Who enjoyed being much admired.
But Mauncester was gruesomely, first-week-of-Decemberly*** mobbed. Mobbed. MOBBED. I was hyperventilating. Pavlova was a star.† I wouldn’t go so far as to say she has good lead manners but she has a clue that she’s supposed to be coming along with me, and she does. We wound our way through crowds of people of all shapes and sizes and smells†† and thunderousness of footgear, and including screaming toddlers and pushchairs and a few wheelchairs, and balloons, and other dogs, and street musicians, and hawkers hawking items of mostly dubious worth, these latter also including those creepy monster frame things that you can hang your wares from and then wear the whole business.††† Pavlova looked around with great interest and didn’t flinch at anything.‡
Of course she then ruined the effect by rushing up to Fiona and FLINGING herself up Fiona’s leg, leaving a generous swathe of muddy puppy prints. I used to be able to train my dogs not to jump on people. I’m getting old and soft.‡‡
* * *
* When I finally saw Fiona waving at me my greeting was Don’t tell me what time it is.
** I seem to be learning to get out of her way faster. I think. It’s like the permanent scars I have on the inside of both forearms, especially the right one, where she kicks while I rub her tummy and, I don’t know, tummy-rubbing must let off endorphins in the rubber because I don’t notice till I see my blood on the puppy and freak out because SHE’S injured. Yes, I could cut her toenails. NO. ACTUALLY. I COULDN’T CUT HER TOENAILS. TOENAIL CUTTING DOGS TERRIFIES ME. And yes, the vet will do it, but how pathetic is that? So . . . she has long sharp claws on her hind feet. And I have permanent scars on the insides of both forearms. But the hasty sweep across of the not-so-little forepaws aiming to take out another necklace is improving.
*** By next week Gandalf could be coming to Mauncester and inviting me to meet him for a cup of tea and three wishes^ and I’d be saying, sorry, not till January, mate.
^ 1. A singing voice more beautiful than Marilyn Horne, Janet Baker and Cecilia Bartolli all rolled together.
2. The ability to glance at a blue line and be INSTANTLY able to ring any method. With flawless striking.
3. An iron digestion which can not only deal with ANYTHING but, furthermore, makes all superfluous-to-requirements calories GO AWAY.
. . . You mean I was supposed to wish for sensible things? How would that be fun?
† Although if one more person blanches and backs away from my belly-down, butt-up, tail-wagging-furiously, flat-eared ADORABLE PUPPY, murmuring through palsied lips, But it’s a . . . bull terrier. . . . I’m going to tell Pavlova to EAT THEM.^ For pity’s sake guys. Does she LOOK dangerous?^^ I admit I’m a little worried about when the Notorious Bull Terrier Nature kicks in—I thought it had a week ago, when I spent nearly three hours that evening STANDING on her—but maybe she’s not only a mutant, but she’s going to stay a mutant. We live in hope.
^ FOOD? FOOOOOOOOOOOOD?
^^ Unless you have a face like a bowlful of kibble.
†† Not a fan of perfume. Not. And cigarettes. . . .
††† Ha. Ha. Want to hear a Really Bad Joke, compliments the gang at the South Desuetude tower? Usually I’ve managed to forget this week’s bad jokes by Tuesday.
I had a friend who drowned in a bowl of muesli. He was pulled down by a really strong currant.
‡ This is however the same puppy who, on walks in New Arcadia, regularly stops, turns around and stares, one forefoot delicately raised, at NOTHING, for however long it takes me to get bored or creeped out and chirp her into moving again. Maybe she’s just an urban girl.
‡‡ And she’s a BULL TERRIER. EVERYONE KNOWS BULL TERRIERS ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO TRAIN. Hunh. She sits, she downs (sometimes), she knows her name, she only gets under my feet when we’re out on lead when nothing else more interesting is happening, and the last time she peed on the floor was because I’d kind of forgotten to take her out for about six hours.^ We are having a little difficulty with the DON’T FRELLING PULL YOU FRELLING PUPPY when we’ve turned to go home and she knows there will be FOOOOOOOOOOOD there. But I figure it’s worth having this argument for the reinforcement of her WANTING to go home.
^ Of course that means I’ve ruined her forever. Ask the Evil Dog Training Man.
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