Writing Contemporary Scottish Fiction

The Dog’s in Charge

I seem to have acquired a dog and I’m not quite sure how it happened.

Allow me to reassure you. I have not taken in a stray or lured away a neighbour’s pet with doggy treats. Rather, it is the work of my third-born. And, clearly, she knows her stuff!

For years, she badgered me for a dog. But my immensely practical head reeled off a list of reasons why we should not have one:

  • Our large garden is not secure (and I wasn’t prepared to spend an eye-watering sum to make it so)
  • We have no one to take said dog when we go on holiday
  • I don’t fancy getting up a stupid o’clock for pre-work dog walks
  • Equally, I don’t fancy doing ANY dog walks when the weather is being particularly “weathery”.

She pouted, I was resolute and we remained dogless.

And then she moved out. Independence called and she struck out. I suggested she buy a kettle, an iron, that sort of thing. She suggested a dog. We compromised. I bought the kettle and the iron and she bought the dog.

You know what’s coming next, don’t you? After flirting with independence, she decided to move back home to save money. Kettle, iron, daughter and dog squashed into the car and made the short journey home.

The dog’s moving in gift was to unearth and eat a Chocolate Orange, leftover from Christmas. Chocolate, wrapper, the lot. Cue our first visit to the vet where he is now known as “The Chocolate Orange Dog”. He also exhibited a prodigious talent for chasing:

  • The Postie
  • The Paperboy
  • The Milkman
  • Anyone else within fifty feet of the house.

But, as time went on, he settled down and he has, by stealth, become part of the family. He is large, rambunctious and we adore him. It’s been a learning curve and, in particular, I have learned:

  • Tinned dog food is icky
  • Whistling a dog to come back is oddly satisfying
  • Dogs have sharp elbows and hard heads
  • They NEVER tire of chasing balls
  • Vet trips are EXPENSIVE
  • Every coat I possess now has pockets stuffed with poo bags and dog treats
  • When he climbs on my lap at the end of a stressful day, I am at peace.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a rambunctious dog to walk. I may be gone some time …

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