Friday 12 November 2010

Unexpected urination, wild wind

15st 8lb, 2.5 units. Well, what a surprise. After the usual five minute struggle with the top of the child-proof bottle, I gave The Dog his allegedly delicious flavoured tablet when we got back home from the vet’s last night, and he spat it out on the floor and gave me his “Why exactly are you trying to murder me?” look. So I moulded a piece of Cheddar cheese around it and gave it back to him. And he chewed it thoughtfully, ran the tablet around his mouth and spat it back out on the linoleum before treating me to the same look as before. We did that a couple more times and then he swallowed the pill, letting me know that he was only doing it to humour me and because he rightly suspected that I would lose my temper and kick him into next week if he kept it up for too long. But that he wanted me to know that he could have maintained the routine indefinitely if he had so wished.

Then we repeated the self-same rigmarole with the small white tablet that wasn’t deliciously flavoured, but did not need to be because it was so easy to conceal. Yeah, right.

All this was entirely predictable and unavoidable. Well, apart from the difficulty with the child-proof bottle tops, which I could have got around by handing them to The Boy, aged 17 months, who has spent the last week cheerfully opening bottles of Calpol and Amoxycillin and handing them to me or his mother, with an Oliver-like request for “More!” But, as luck would have it, he was busy having his daily bath at the time.

This morning we repeated precisely the same rituals, then I took The Dog for a little walk before loading him into the car so that we could go for a lovely weekend hillwalking in Northumberland. He did not want to go, but then he never wants to get into the car so I attached no particular significance to that. Indeed, he is the only dog I have ever met that, given a straight choice between getting into a car and staying at home alone, will plump for home alone every time. My previous Border terrier, by contrast, would leap into any car when the opportunity presented itself, even if it had just arrived home and was simply in the process of being unloaded and garaged. And he had had the unsettling experience of being in a near-fatal head-on collision, so might have had some justification for feeling mildly nervous.

We had completed less than two hours of our 4.5 hour journey when I was distracted from the wireless by an unusual noise that sounded a bit like running water. I looked around, and finally glanced at The Dog in the rear seat with the aid of my mirror. It WAS running water. The Dog was wearing the same look of bafflement and distress that I last witnessed in the day room of a twilight home, and the towel on which he had been sitting appeared to be quite comprehensively soaked.

What to do? I was bowling merrily along the M62 on cruise control at, ooh, let’s say 70mph in case the police are monitoring this blog. Having an incontinent dog on board hardly seemed the class of emergency that would justify screeching to a halt on the hard shoulder, even if I did not immediately have a vision of a filthy Romanian HGV ploughing into my car while the lorry driver was focusing on his computer game rather than the road. So I drove on to Wetherby services where I let The Dog out for the pee he no longer needed and exchanged his wet towel for a dry rug.

To be fair, the vet had mentioned that the small white pill was a diuretic. Memo to the vet: it is surprisingly effective.

When I finally reached home I rang Mrs H to share with her my and The Dog’s distressing experience. She laughed uproariously, and I found myself wondering for the first time what sort of monster I had married. Which at least finally gave me an insight into how she must have been interrogating herself several times a day, every day, since 28 February last year.

I had the car serviced in Alnwick this afternoon, and popped into town for a spot of lunch while it was going on. It was so windy that my scarf blew off somewhere between Blackmore’s regrettably bankrupt boutique hotel and Taylor’s newsagency, where I went to buy some reading matter to ease me through my meal. Anyone finding a green, black and white Barbour branded scarf (which looked much nicer that it sounds) in Alnwick that day is encouraged to make contact with the author, who will then start to think about a suitable reward.

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