Is midday too early for gin?
Don’t say ‘I told you so’, Doreen. Don’t say ‘I told you it was hard, raising a kid like that‘, because it isn’t any of my kids (whatever the chromosome count) that’s driven me to drink.
It’s the dog.
HMP Stripey’s resident Guard Pug is either asleep or behaving like a toddler on crack. Freddie and I were doing some of his school work, researching Christmas in Colombia, when Daughter Dearest (AKA Her Loveliness) popped her head around the door to say she’d got to go out: would I look after Dizzee for half an hour?
Within five minutes Dizzee had shat on the carpet in protest at being left behind, helped herself to a snack of Christmas wrapping paper while I was cleaning up the poo, and chewed the corner off a brand-new, hand-painted wardrobe.
Then I dropped the cap of my big red marker pen. She spotted it where it had landed before I did, snaffled it up and began chewing. I caught her and tried to get it out of her mouth … she gulped … and the cap was gone.
Dizzee weighs 4.8 kg and has a head the size of a Navel orange. I didn’t need a vet to tell me that there was no way that pen cap could pass through her tiny intestines without blocking something vital. I was amazed it hadn’t choked her. As soon as Her Loveliness came back I lugged the pug straight up to the surgery (she wouldn’t walk, the pavement was wet). The vet confirmed what I thought. The cap couldn’t be left where it was, it would have to come out one way or another. Given the size of the thing compared to the size of the dog’s short, narrow gullet, if they gave her an injection to make her vomit there was a good chance she would choke on it on the way back up. If we left it where it was it would inevitably cause a blockage, making her dangerously ill and in need of major surgery. The safest option was to remove it using an endoscope – but for that she would have to be referred to a veterinary hospital that had the required equipment, either five miles across town or 40-odd miles away in the next county, whichever could fit her in first. I was to take her home and wait for a call from the hospital.
Feeling wretched, I took the poor pup back, and while Daughter Dearest tried to arrange an urgent absence from work to be able to take her to whichever hospital it was to be, I slunk back to the table in my room and got Freddie restarted on his school work. As I pulled my chair closer to the table I felt something small and hard under my stockinged foot. Anxious to avoid the risk of our greedy little Guard Pug ingesting another foreign object, I bent down to investigate and pulled out …
… the black, plastic cap off a big red marker pen. Complete with tiny fang marks. It must’ve fallen out of her mouth and rolled under the table.
Her Loveliness made me ring the vet to explain. I felt such a berk. But I’ve never been so happy to look, and feel, like a berk in my life.
To celebrate her reprieve, Dizzee crapped on the carpet again. But this time, as if sensing that she might be just a little bit in the dog house after the morning’s escapade, she decided to clean up after herself.
‘Wait,’ you cry. ‘How does a dog clean up …’
That is exactly what I mean.
She ate it.
I’m quite glad that I never managed to get hold of one of those Yankee ‘Pugs and Kisses’ candles. Because now I know what Pug kisses probably smell of.