Dog happy

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You can’t be precious with dogs in the house.

I love my dog. I really do.

Total damage this morning, one straw hat, one cloth hat, one poster, numerous bits of cardboard, miscellaneous bits of plastic and a packet of old spectacles earmarked for the optician.

I swept it all up with the dustpan and brush he’d also eaten. Yesterday it was my husband’s Regatta baseball cap and a pair of trousers. The trouble is, he’s now tall enough to reach the table and pull stuff off, so clearly back into his cage he must go at night – he cannot be left out and about. 

I was hoping he was over the chewing-everything-in-sight phase, at eight months, but since he had the snip a week ago, he seems to be reverting to puppyhood somewhat.

Thank heavens, the castration itself has been problem-free, unlike poor Zola, who developed a hernia. We kept Cézanne dosed up on Zylkene for a couple of days and he lounged about on cushions, out of his box. When we allowed him out it was only to toilet, and strictly on a lead.

He took it surprisingly well for a dog that is normally out of the house like a greyhound from the slips. Our normal routine is to rattle the key in the lock, open the door, shout ‘Rabbits’ as a warning to the poor prey creatures in the driveway, and off he goes. Zola is down to a stately trot now, conserving his energy with his failing heart, while Cézanne is boundlessly bouncy. 

Nevertheless I’m finding owning him surprising easy. I was warned that spollies were ‘mad and thick’, which is true, but he’s still delightful. As long as he gets about 45 minutes tearing round the countryside off-lead, he’s as happy as a clam. I’d really like to get him up to an hour or 75 minutes, as this is the walk I used to do with Zozy before his heart began to fail, but I’ve also worked out that if I walk a bit more slowly, Cézanne gets more exercise as he tears off in one direction after deer or partridges, then back again to me for a lovey. 

As I type, both dogs are charging round the living room, play-fighting. Zola used to be the boss at this, but Cézanne has topped him out now and he finds it more difficult to put a paw on his shoulder to assert his top-dog status. We have to be more careful than ever to preserve the status quo, feeding Zola first, biscuiting him first, allowing him on the furniture and the sprollie not, allowing him upstairs and sprollie not. 

When we got the sprolls, we weren’t sure for certain sure that it would be a good idea, but our cunning plan to give Zola a new lease of life, and spare ourselves the terror of an empty house when Zola goes, for the time being seems to be working out just fine. Just keep bones, balls and food out of the equation…



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