Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Not so stupid, my Wobbly Dog

My Wobbly Dog’s favourite things are, not surprisingly, walks and food. (Oh, and my daughter, who cheerfully permits her to chew on her hands, sleep on her bed, eat her slippers, etc.)

Walkies time in our house is around 4pm, when we run the noisy gauntlet of our dog-infested street (me dementedly screaming ‘Shut up!’ to the barking neighbourhood curs all the way, Sara twisting herself into pretzel shapes from sheer excitement), up to the school playing fields, where I let Sara off her leash and she spends an hour or so in a frenzy of sniffing, excreting, chasing, and running headlong for short distances with speed and style to rival a greyhound (a bit of which, given her shady past, she could conceivably have in her blood).

After we get home she has a cooling-off period of about half an hour before she gets supper.

That’s how it’s been for about the last 18 months and, if it were up to me, that’s more or less how it would remain.

But Sara has other ideas.

Recently, she’s been preparing herself for Walkies earlier and earlier. It started about two weeks ago when, at around 3pm, she came to where I was being industrious at my keyboard and nudged my mouse hand, causing me to inadvertently send a filthy email intended for a close friend to a business associate.

‘Are you mad?’ I spluttered, frantically pressing keys in the hope that I could avert catastrophe (but, as anyone who’s mistakenly pressed ‘Send’ knows, there’s no retrieving an errant email once it’s been winged on its way).

Sara was utterly unfazed. She stared at me adoringly and wagged her tail.

‘Go away,’ I said to her, and sat down to compose an apology to my colleague.

But she continued to hound me (there’s a reason for that verb, I’ve discovered) in such a determinedly optimistic way that, at 3.30pm, I finally gave in and we went for an early Walkies. Which also meant she got fed a half-hour earlier.

A few days later, around 2.30pm this time, she was back at my desk, giving me searchingly enquiring looks. I’d learnt a nasty lesson (the inadvertent addressee of my email had been very much less than amused), so I quickly removed my hand from the mouse and said to Sara, ‘No! It’s not time yet! Go and play with the chickens!’

But she wouldn’t. Instead, she positioned herself about a metre from me, sitting bolt upright, tail wagging slowly, and fixed her soulful brown eyes on me. Every time I looked at her she smiled widely and her tail did the fandango.

Finally I could take the pressure no longer and off we went again, on early Walkies. And she got an early dinner.

A few days later – yup, you’ve guessed it – she was back at her old tricks again, this time around 2pm.

‘Look,’ I said to her. ‘I’m not just your walking buddy, okay? I’ve got work to do. How do you think I pay for your astonishingly expensive dogfood made exclusively of hand-reared baby ducks? Go and find someone else to stare at.’

She didn’t. She just sat there and stared at me. And stared at me. And stared at me.

This time, though, I didn’t give in, and I stayed at my computer, typing furiously, avoiding looking to my right (where Sara sat, and sat, and sat), until 4pm. Sara’s always excited about her walk but this time, when I finally stood up and said, ‘Okay, now we can go,’ she went completely bananas, leaping around my study, knocking things over, barking, walking on her hind legs, etc. ‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ I said. ‘Cheesh, calm down! We’re going, okay? We’re going!’

Today, on the dot of 1.30pm, Sara came into my study and sat down, tail wagging gently, and stared hopefully at me.

But I’ve had time to think about it, and now I know what she’s up to. I think that she thinks that if she goes Walkies an hour earlier each day, finally she’ll manage to wind the clock back an entire 24 hours – and gain an extra walk and an extra dinner in the process.

I turned to her and told her this. And I swear she smiled, shrugged, and went outside to play with the chickens.

It’ll be Walkies as usual at 4pm today, with dinner to follow, but you can’t fault The Wobbly Dog for trying.

Left: The Wobbly Dog, fresh from a muddy puddle after a walk, relaxes on the sofa.

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BecauseIcan said...


Brilliant dog!

I can just see wobbly dog getting her own way most of the time..

so cute man,lol

meggie said...

Your Wobbly Dog is beautiful.
You have to admire her for trying.
I swear, that among their many talents, dogs can accurately tell the time, at any given second.