Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Dogs that lick loudly

As any regular reader of salma knows, I think my dogs are among the most fantastically amazing creatures on the planet (yes, even The Worst Dog In The World). But having dogs brings with it several unpleasantnesses, including but not limited to dog farts (which actually make me angry I find them so offensive), large quantities of money that could better be used to buy wine having to be handed over to the vet, and a car backseat that will never be the same again.

But it wasn’t until a particular unpleasantness was confirmed by my friend Amanda that I realised there’s yet another annoyance that certain dogs come with: loud licking.

Now, I know most dogs lick. The Worst Dog In The World licks everything all the time. (She tries to lick me dry when I get out the shower. It drives me completely crazy.) But that’s kind of general, all-purpose licking, and it’s usually not too noisy.

Loud licking – the schlurping, schnuffling, slooshy kind – usually happens at night, when all else is still. And loud licking is one of the very few unpleasantnesses that can be ascribed to Sara the Wobbly Dog aka The Best Dog In The World. But goodness me is it unpleasant.

Both my dogs sleep in baskets beside my bed and often I wake up in the (otherwise) quiet hours to this noise, which can only be described as very, very nasty. It sounds like a humungous vampire bat sucking every last drop of blood from its equally humungous prey; it is actually Sara, choosing the inappropriate hour of 3am to give her bottom a jolly good wash.

Not wanting to wake up completely, I usually lie still and scream as loudly as my sleepy vocal chords will allow, ‘Shut up!’ (I often have to remove a cat from my head to do this.)

This frequently has the profoundly unwelcome result of sending The Worst Dog In The World into barking frenzies, so is clearly not the solution.

Lately I’ve taken to sitting up, switching on the bedside light, and then staring in mute but total outrage at Sara (often while removing a cat from my head).

Sara then instils gigantic guilt in me by stopping her loud licking immediately, but also freezing as if in mortal terror; sometimes she will roll her eyes and stare back at me, her expression infinitely sad (as illustrated).

It reminds me of when my father would take my three siblings and me to the Milky Lane in Hillbrow on a Sunday afternoon for an ice cream treat, and I’d order a chocolate double-thick and, lost in pleasure, I would get right down to the bottom and then suck through the straw with all my strength to get the very last drop. As the strains of the massive slurping sound died away, I would look around, immensely satisfied, and realise that my father was staring at me with an expression that told me very clearly that the minute we got back into the car I was going to get a big fat walloping. And that, apparently, is the expression I now use on Sara.

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8 comments:

Muriel said...

Amanda has emailed me to point out that the loudly-licking dog was (a) not hers (she was dogsitting); and (b) stone deaf and a little blind. I'm not sure if that excuses the hound in question...

viki said...

I quite agree, much as I love my Ridgeback, her licking in the wee hours, usually coupled with the bone shaking snoring of my (usually) beloved, is enough to drive a woman com-PLETE-ly batty...

I have just discovered your blog in the last couple of days - thank you for the much needed tears of mirth!

Muriel said...

Hello Viki and welcome. I also have a beloved who snores - Johann, who fortunately almost always sleeps elsewhere. But he did sleep here on Sunday night and I was forced to seek refuge in another room. He didn't get tea in bed in the morning.

Lynne said...

I have the same problem,l and have solved it by keeping a spray bottle by the side of my bed. I hear a lick, the dogs get sprayed with water. Actually, its got to the stage where they just hear me moving the bottle and they stop.

It works really well, except for the occasions when I am so asleep that I aim the bottle in the wrong direction and spray myself!

viki said...

that spray bottle tequnique sounds like the perfect answer...god help the pesky night time noise makers!

Muriel said...

Yup, the spray-bottle sounds like the way to go. I don't have great aim at the best of times but I'll try it and report back.

My friend Sally had an exuberant rottweiler who would cheerfully hump anyone who sat down near him (and had other antisocial habits too). She used a spray bottle to great effect.

Johann said...

If you aim a spray bottle at me I WILL BITE you. Be warned!

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