Editor at Large: Dog Day Afternoons


Posted by to The Blog on October 14th

The Dug is a bookworm, I can prove it, all the books on the bottom shelves of the bookcases have their covers chewed off, but hey, they can still be read. Apart from the thrillers which, mysteriously, all seem to be missing their last pages. 

He has a predilection too for those DS Thomson annuals you get as Christmas presents: The Broons, Oor Willie, and Ma Broon’s Recipe Book. All are in shreds. 

Expensive art books, giant Sunday Times atlases, sets of Oxford dictionaries, nothing is off the menu. Not even my full set of football programmes from Dundee United’s run to the semi final of the European Cup.   

You can tell who is “out of favour” in our household by whose shoes he steals from the bedroom cupboard before dragging them to his lair one at a time (always, curiously, in matching pairs) to chew over at his leisure. 

My boots are no longer boots; rather they are shoes as the uppers have been obliterated. My shoes have been refashioned as flip flops due to the upper heels being decimated. N.B. That ability to pick pairs of shoes is doubly impressive given that my other half’s footwear pile would put Imelda Marcos to shame.

As far as food is concerned The Dug could be a food critic for The Scotsman (move over Gaby Soutar). His, “tailor made for all your dog’s requirements”, kibble and soft food, from the excellent Tails.com, remains resolutely uneaten to the point where I’ve had to cancel the order. This has elicited a flurry of emails all but asking if ‘they can come round and study this strange creature in its natural habitat’. 

The freezer remains full of packets of unused Butterbox.com precooked chicken, lamb or beef mince, all with carrots and peas, which remain resolutely uneaten. I’m seriously thinking of adding a dash of Marmite and Lea & Perrins and having them with some spuds – or perhaps tomato puree and ketchup for a makeshift Bolognaise. 

Meanwhile Sir Fussalot will don his napkin and tuck into smoked cod with black beans and roast tomatoes, vanilla ice cream with ginger cookie crumbs and apple, followed by Aged Gouda cheese with oatcakes.

The Dug is a martinet, a little Sergeant Major, and the wrens are the bane of his life. They flutter outside the window, like tiny brown, furry balls on wings, mimicking his posture with their sticky up tails. He goes apoplectic with rage, snorting through his nose – a noise that can only be described as a ‘phoof’. If he were human it would be a harrumph.

You can tell who is “out of favour” in our household by whose shoes he steals from the bedroom cupboard

He screams down the stairs into the back garden and scatters them, never of course catching them.

The wrens regroup and proceed to dive bomb him, alternating this with deliberately sitting on branches that are mere inches out of his reach.

This brings on his ‘woo wooo Woooooooo’ noise:

If the moon was out he would be seen to be howling at it.

The wrens depart and he sets to stabilizing his territory, marching back and forth, chest puffed up, harrumphing all the while. The only thing he is missing is a drill sergeant’s swagger stick. Boundaries secured, he allows himself a contented sigh, and starts scratching his arse. All is peace.

And then the squirrel comes. ν

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