Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Dog and Donkey Show

All my life I have wanted a puppy to call my own. I wanted one that would fit in my pocket, that would follow me around, ecstatic in my mere presence. I wanted a fluffy one, with a round belly and big eyes. I wanted a little dog that was small enough to be an inside pet, one who would lay at my feet and no one would notice.

And what Yours Truly wants, Yours Truly generally gets - that is, of course,  after Yours Truly begs, pleads, cries, whinges, creates convincing Powerpoint presentations, gives the silent treat
ment, stamps her foot, carries out nationwide surveys and calls various radio stations to rally behind her cause.

Never give up on your dreams, kids.

Anyways, that is how The Boyfriend and I ended up bungled into his truck, rattling our way up the mountains to procure the cutest canine ever known to man. I had him all picked out - a white Maltese Shih Tzu cross, the eldest of the litter, a healthy, bouncy cherub of a dog. I could barely contain my excitement. The Boyfriend struggled to steer as I gripped his entire head in a hug of gratitude, weeping tears of joy, praising all the gods I could remember the holy names of.

"This is the best day of my LIFE," I proclaimed, turning down the radio for the seventh time so The Boyfriend could hear me utter these heartfelt promises for the seventh time. "This is going to be AMAZING. He will be the best-behaved dog in the WORLD. I will buy BOOKS. I will buy INSURANCE. I will buy you a PINT."

The Boyfriend's eyes were fixed firmly on the road, his lip set. He'd been uncharacteristically quiet. I felt like he knew something I didn't. I didn't care.

The lady who owned the dogs was enormous, her jovial presence made all the more overwhelming by her protruding stomach. She led us to the litter.

The puppies were about the size of a babies fist, blindly trotting around, bumping into the cupboards, yelping and nibbling at one another's ears. They were the stupidest, most beautiful things I had ever laid eyes on. I glanced at The Boyfriend, whose expression had also softened. My heart swelled - I wanted to take them all home.

I spotted the white one I'd been besotted with. I picked him up and he was pudgy and lovely, but as I did so, a weird little brown and white one caught my eye. His teeth poked out over his upper lip. He walked in a diagonal line. His ears were perky and lopsided.

"The runt," the large lady said, nodding in the brown and white dogs direction "The others won't let him near the milk. He's a bit weaker than the rest."

The breeder might as well have performed a cleverly choreographed dance in a bikini, holding a flashing billboard with my name in luminescent letters pointed towards his little face. The runt was curled in my arms minutes later, a giant hole in my purse and a big smile plastered on my face.
We got home and Alfie - I'd his name picked out for the last two years, which might give you some indication of the extent of my obsession - started to pine. He keened all night long. I woke up and held him like a baby, which didn't help at all. I assumed my lack of fur and excess nipples was doing little to assure his motherless heart, and cried with him.

I cannot imagine that there was ever a more poignant moment in The Boyfriend's life than at half two that morning when he was rudely jilted from much-needed sleep by the dual high-pitched wails of his new tiny dog and his girlfriend, the latter crying rivers through her Sudocrem-slathered face, hair askew, nose running alarmingly. I could see in his eyes he was weighing up the positives for remaining in this beguiling relationship. He closed his eyes, resigning himself and lowered his voice to a whisper.

"What. In the name of God. Are you doing."

"Alf..Alfie m-m-misses his maaaaaaaaaammmyyyyyyy..." My sobs broke anew, making the glass shake in the window panes. "I...I...I'm supposed to be h-h-his mammyyyyyyy....!!!"

The Boyfriend responded by pulling his pillow over his head, not in the mood to deal with that particular bout of insanity. I picked up Alfie in a snotty huff, and stormed down to the bathroom, where the dog proceeded to spray me with the runny excrement that seems to be the token of all new borns.

The first weeks were tough. The regular bowel movements and incessant barking aside, I literally threw myself in front of a car the day Alfie escaped the front garden and tried to scare down a passing 4x4 by plonking all two pounds of himself in front of it and growling. It was a lot of responsibility for a veritable disaster-piece of a human being such as myself but I persevered -under the ever-watchful eye of the well-rounded Boyfriend.

Alfie shat - a lot.

He urinated - more than I thought a dog that size would actually be capable of expelling.

He howled.

He hated his walks, and dragged on the lead.

He was quick to snap at Dobermans and German Shepherds, a lack of unawareness of size and stature only matched by my own idiocy while inebriated.

But even with all that said; even though we had finally been granted our visa, and even though we were finally making the long-awaited plans to get a house of our own with a long lease - Alfie was the first thing that made Australia feel like home.

No comments:

Post a Comment