The one where my dog shat himself ….. and then I screamed DON’T KILL MY DOG

My car is still in for repairs — to the tune of R65 000.00 and change.  As mentioned before, VW Caddy’s are not designed for plowing fields.

Well, you live and learn new things each and every day.

I found out my dog Parker gets violently car sick.

How did I find this out?  You may ask.  On the R300, like you do.

I was driving to Pringle Bay – I decided to take the dogs along, because the kids were not with me.  And because I am scared of the dark, and my dogs make me feel better when I am faced with a large wall of blackness.

Any the ho. I thought this would be a nice leisurely drive. I would stop along Clarens Drive and take selfies of me and the dogs, you know doing cool stuff.  That is how I imagined it.

Reality unfortunately did not receive the memo.

FORTUNATELY. I had placed blankets on the back seat of the car (the hired car) and I put the dogs in and off we went.  I knew something was a bit off when Dexter jumped into the front seat with a look of suprise on his face.  He is a Boston Terrier – guy has huge freaking eyes, for him to look more surprised you must know something big is going on.

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I look at the back seat and Parker – the French Bulldog – has evacuated his bowels, and is now proceeding to try to empty everything out of his body cavity via his mouth.  Onto the back seat of the rental car.

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Of course I am swearing like a drunken sailor —- and it leaves me no choice but to swerve controllably from the right hand land across three lanes and come to a halt on the side of the road.

I do not wish to knock anyone who has real estate anywhere along or near the R300, but shall I say that of all the places you want to stop your car – alone – the R300 is seldom a good choice.

Which probably explains why they do not have those concrete picnic tables and chairs that were ché cool in 1984.

I turn the engine off, and try to assess the damage.

The damage is a large amount of runny shit and a fair amount of dog vomit, which is only being exasperated by the fact that he is now lying in it.

Cheese and rice.  I try and scoop up what I can —- yes we have all scooped up shit and puke, don’t act like you have never had to catch some from your child …this is similiar, it is just a dog and in my car.

I then realise I need to grab a plastic bag from the boot as I need somewhere to safely store the now shit soaked blankets.  I get out the car, careful to only open the door a fraction because the traffic is barrelling down on me.

A fraction is pretty much all Dexter needs to exit the vehicle and go and stand in the lane of the oncoming traffic.

Fortunatey – because it could not get much worse, he froze and just stood there.  As I would have done had three lanes of traffic being headed to me at speeds in excess of 120 km/h.

The way I solved the problem was to flap my hands around hysterically – not dissimiliar to how they do JAZZ HANDS in fancy dance routines.  I also screamed MY DOG, MY FUCKING DOG, DON’T KILL MY DOG …… I am not sure what helped, the screaming, my hysteria, my improvised dance routine or the rather large eyes of Dexter, but traffic managed for the most part to try and swerve around him.

I eventually sat on the tar and tried to coax him OUT OF THE THREE LANE HIGHWAY.  How the hell that dog got out of there and was not killed, or me killed is still a mystery.

Get dog in car.  Have a small yet powerful crying jag.

Go to the boot, get plastic bags – get back into car vacillating between screaming at Dexter for being so stupid, and then kissing him and telling him I am so grateful he is alive all whilst trying to cram shit covered, and now dripping puke, blankets into the now what seem like really small plastic bags.

Just as I am really up to the my elbows in all things chaos, three police vehicles pull over.  These guys climb out armed to the hilt.  I had a vague sense they were expecting more than a hysterical woman in a car and two dogs.

He knocks on the window.  I can’t hear what he is saying as the traffic is so noisy.  I am still a bit hysterical, and I cannot work out how to get the rental vehicle’s passenger side vehicle to roll down.

I have no idea what this guys assessment of the situation must have been — my guess is he was radioing in for backup, or at least some sort of sanitary control vehicle.

I eventually find the go down window button —- now bearing in mind I am still moving between crying, laughing with happiness and retching —- I am trying to say “I am fine”  and I have huge panda eyes of mascara and no doubt a bit of shit on my shirt too.

He does not look convinced.  He leans over and says “Ma’am are you okay?”

Me: Yes ….. I had a bit of a dog incident….

Him: You know you shouldn’t park here …

Me: *glancing around at my surroundings as if I had just noticed I was not parked in the scenic part of town” … yes, I know, my dog just shat himself and puked, and then the other one nearly got run over in the road …….

Him: *possibly removing the safety off his gun* …. are you okay?

Me:  Yes …. dogs you know …. *I sort of shrugged like that would make sense*

Him: *leans over and looks at the dogs* ….. do you need any help?

I am wondering then if it would be okay to ask the nice policeman to help me clean shit and puke of the car seats ….. my guess is his idea of public service is not going to go that far…

I eventually compose myself —- try to appear like I can control a vehicle and two dogs, and merge back into the traffic.

Parker then continued to puke the entire way to Pringle Bay.  Eventually he was not puking so much as trying to disengage his liver and spleen.

It is really difficult for a French Bulldog to look sad — but Parker looked like death.

Clearly I did not do any selfies, no stops along Clarens Drive — and now I need to get a full valet before I return the rental car.

Otherwise it was a really lovely drive.

 

 

 

 

For the love of Boston Terriers ….

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I know this is not a boston terrier blog —- but I do so love my dog, and unfortunately you will need to deal with the painful images of my dog.

I do also realise I post more pictures of my dog than my children ….

Dexter … has truly lost the last shred of dignity he may have once possessed …

Hills Pet Nutrition South Africa is running a lovely competition.

It is an opportunity to brag a bit with your dog or cat, and if you have a patient dog that does not mind embarrassing himself totally you can whack some pink bunny ears on him – and he really bedazzles the room.

Hills Pet Nutrition will donate a meal to a needy animal for each photograph entered, each LIKE on their Facebook Page, and every vote cast.  Easy as that.

You vote, a doggie or a cat gets food.

Please pop along to : https://www.facebook.com/HillsPetZA?sk=app_433967206653426&app_data=%7bAction%3a+%27View%27%2c+Data%3a+30901%7d

If that does not work search for Dexter or Boston Terrier.  Or vote for one of the other dogs/cats on the page.

This is the image you are looking for – I do want to say it was hard getting the ears on Dexter, but actually it wasn’t.  And they fitted him perfectly.

It made me suspicious that he might have been wearing them before.  He does have the “please gd kill me now” look about him.

Silly little bunny boy!

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New LIKES of the Hill’s fan page (www.hillspet.co.za/facebook) and new followers on our Twitter profile (www.twitter.com/HillsPetSA ) and retweets from 1 August 2013 to 30 August 2013, 10am will be counted for this charity donation. The number of LIKES and followers as at 1 August 2013 at the start of the competition and at the closing date of 30 August 2013, 10am will be noted and the difference calculated will be added to the number of photos entered, votes and shares – this number will represent the number of meals we donate.

Hills

Good people those folks at HILLS.

I think I caught Dexter watching p.orn

We are going to be having a chat this evening when Kennith gets home, about what is appropriate and what is not appropriate.

It is such a difficult discussion to have with your dog.  But I am so glad I caught him and can chat to him about what he saw, how it will make him feel, and that those feelings are okay.

But not on my laptop.  Or on my desk.

Silly boy!!

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Crushing on Dexter …..

We all know I am obsessed with Dexter.  Our dog.

He is named for the character Dexter Morgan, in the series “Dexter!”

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I am seriously one Xanax away from starting a Dexter Blog.

I am nervous about starting one, because I think when you start writing a blog from a dog’s perspective, and whose highest point of his day is to lick his balls, and biting Annabelle’s nose.

There is a good chance that the blog is going to be a bit more labour, and a lot less love.

I purchased Dexter through Caroline van Deventer, who is a breeder and lives up country.

I had done a fair amount of research on the breed at the point of approaching a breeder, and had seen them at shows, and spoken to a few Boston Terrier people.  I prefer to get my dogs via breeders, as I usually have aspirations of dog showing.

I am not knocking anyone or making judgement or suggesting you change the way you acquire a dog for your home.  If you feel strongly about people getting their dogs through shelters and so on, really that is fine.  My choice is just a bit different.

And here is the key.  It is my choice!

I chatted telephonically and via email to Caroline, and at the end of the day I had to trust her decision.

I had just gone through a 2 – 3 month process with another breeder, that in the end resulted in me cancelling the puppy, and walking away from the arrangement, so I did start this process thinking “well, this may not go well.”

Caroline was professional thorough and like a good breeder was a good resource for advise and suggestions on Boston Terriers.  Dexter was sent to us in a crate and we collected him at the airport in January 2012.

Dexter had managed to shit the crate full — like spray painted the walls in faeces.  I did think this was rather fitting considering his name, and considering Dexter Morgan also started off in a cargo crate sprayed with bl0od.

I posted a picture recently and showing progress on my “dog training” with Dexter through Cape Province Dog Training.

What you can’t see is the other dogs and distractions happening off to the side.

Dexter was following a “stay-sit-stay” command, and I was showing off a bit by dropping his lead.

I am meant to step away from him, and he is meant to remain in the sitting position for a full minute, until I return to his right hand side and release him from it.

Four weeks ago, I would not have believed there was a hope in hell of this ever happening.  So I can’t quite hide my excitement when “dog training” actually appeared to be working, and for a short moment in time, I realise I was in deed the pack leader.

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Dexter is a fine looking lad, and even by Boston Terrier standards he is quite a hottie!

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Caroline posted this picture of Dexter when he was a wee puppy —-

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How freaking cute is that??

Dog trumps cat … sorry Shlumfi, it really is not happening ….

{I got a free box of stuff – there was no pressure or request to run a post — but when someone gives you 9 rolls of 2-toilet paper, well I think the right thing to do is post about it, then toddle off to the toilet with your new gift and put it to good use}

Babysoft are running a Mascot Show Down.

I usually skip this sort of thing, but I think when they start messing with whether to take a dog of packaging to put a cat on it, then really people should not stand idly by while this injustice occurs!!

In the right hand corner, we have the cute and cuddly and doe eyed Contender #1 Softi – what is cuter than a puppy Labrador puppy?

Well, I can tell you not the cat named Shlumfi – Shlumfi looks a bit red eyed and I think he lost it for me when he was referred to as “highest pedigree”

You either have a pedigree or you don’t — a high pedigree is just an idiots way of saying that they have never seen a dog or cat’s pedigree papers have have been duped to pay far more than the animal is worth.

Also Shlumfi looks a bit goofed on cat nip if you ask me …. I just do not think we should endorse a mascot who is clearly out of it most of the time.

That besides, the Lab is clearly the winner – I tried to get Dexter in on the action – he was like “Bitch, please …..”

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Boston Terriers … t-shirts that rock!

This is probably my fav0urite t-shirt in my cupboard.  I purchased it from Shannon McGovern who runs a Boston Terrier Rescuing and Re-Homing Scheme via Facebook.

I don’t wear t-shirts.  But I LOVE this t-shirt – I could wear it every day, to anything.

Kennith is heading to the States soon.   I have instructed asked him to put anything Boston Terrier into his suitcase for me.  I am just assuming there will be Boston Terrier stuff lying around in every shop.  Because it is the United States.  That is where Boston is.

Well, I sort of hope.

I do love all things Boston Terrier.  If you ever come across anything Boston Terrier related that costs just a bit less than a kidney on the black market, do let me know — or add it to my Xmas Stocking!

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I really adore my dog ….

I have had Dexter since January 2012 and he really is such a cool dog, I absolutely adore him.

He bounces around the house like he owns it.

He is the perfect size for a dog – has enough muscle and substance to not be able to fit into your purse and at the same time is not big enough to throw your hips out of their sockets when he sits on your lap.

I like that he has a bit of an attitude, and he is such a “busy” dog for the kids.

The kids have a trampoline, and Dexter will jump up on the trampoline and bounce with him.  He has such a ridiculous looking face, that one cannot NOT love him.

I have never owned a Boston Terrier.   I can say I am not in any way disappointed by what he brings to the party.  Any occasion with Dexter is a party because he always looks ridiculous looking.  And he looks like he is always wearing a tuxedo, so you can so imagine him talking in a Sean Connery voice ….. as he lies and farts on the couch — Dexter, not Sean Connery, because that would just be all sorts of weird, and a bit shocking!

On Sunday I took Connor and Dexter and we went and joined the SPCA PURINA Woefie Wandel.  It was a 4km stroll around the D’Aria vineyards with a few thousand other people and their dogs.

Dexter forgets he is only three apples high, and carries on like a rabied half-wit when he is among that many dogs.  But once he got over the rather cramped start, we had a nice little stroll/fast walk and it was a nice morning out.

It was a well organised day.  There was tons of water stops for the dogs and everyone had a good time.  The parking was well organised, they had set up gazebos and there were chairs out — really nice day out for us and our woefie.

There was even a photo booth where you could get a photo with you and your dog!!

Connor and Dexter  {one of them is really happy, the other is like “bitch please …..”}  —

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Dexter selling his soul as a brand slut …..

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Dexter and me hanging out like the cool people we are ….. I also really need to botox that groove between my eyebrows ….

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The one about a rat and projectile vomitting … otherwise a stunning day in Cape Town

{there are images that may upset sensitive viewers ….this might change your opinion on spaghetti bolognaise for some time ….this might make you reconsider having children …..ever}

Yesterday I am working in my home office and I hear this noise – a rustling sound.  I don’t think much of it as Jackson, my Maine Coone cat, lies under my desk (or on my desk as this image shows) and I naturally assume it is him making the little scratching sounds I keep hearing.

At some point I glance under the desk, and realise there is no Jackson, and I glance around the room and assess I am alone.  Clearly something is not right here.

The short of it is, the noise is coming from under the two seater couch.  I move  the couch, whilst I am on the couch, as I am petrified what ever it is will run over my bare feet.

I call Priveledge who comes in. After much to’ing and fro’ing where we both realise that between us we are terrified, I lift the couch and she looks under it.  Priveledge manages to get up from a full crouch position, leaps backwards about one and a half metres, to find herself standing on one of the kids plastic chairs – in what can only be described as with catlike grace and flexibility.

Impressed, didn’t realise she was that athletic actually.

I make a leap from the couch onto my desk chair, and there the two of us stand.  Priveledge says that she saw a HUGE rat.  Connor (who was home sick) brings in his own designed and manufactured mouse tral (don’t ask).

Priveledge looks at the trap and says it is not big enough as the rat is REALLY BIG.

Not really the news one wants to hear as one is standing on a plastic chair in the middle of one’s home barefoot.

After mentally working through several options – none of which included me getting within 2 metres of the rat – I called Roderick – our faithful, able and I hope brave. garden guy – and asked if he would please come catch the rat.  He came over and caught the rat.

It was not HUGE, but I really think when it comes to a brown sewer rat, size is not really an issue.  The issues are whether it is dead, and how quickly it can die.

I am all for “saving animals” but I think when you are dealing with an animal that has had such bad publicity like the rat i.e bubonic plague/black plague.  It is going to need to be the cure for cancer to even make a dent in that sort of publicity.

I do think they need to start a reality show where they have Spin Doctors and they get given really difficult campaigns and need to create an interest in a product./item/country/animal that no one would touch.

On the final show between the last two Spin Doctors playing for one million dollars, they need to come up with a campaign that makes the sewer rate loveable.  I would think a next to impossible ask, and if you can do that and change public sentament about something so repulsive odds are you deserve the money.

Rat caught, we dropped him into a dog carrier box, and took it down to the nature reserve and released him there.  He squealed and he was jumping in the box, and it was really not a warm fuzzy feeling.

I did not take a picture of the rat, he seriously freaked me out ……. like made my skin crawl.

In this story Connor is home, that is because he got sick the night before, and has been throwing up and complaining of cramping and just not looking good.

I collect Georgia and Isabelle later in the day.  We get home, and as soon as dinner is presented Georgia starts moaning she is not well and she is going to throw up.

To understand Georgia, she is a total hypercondriac.  If you sneeze, she will fake sneeze twice.  If she knocks her knee, it will be broken, and she will dig out her crutches and be a cripple for three days.  Within all this one tends to ignore her when she indicates any signs of illness – especially if it mimics what someone else has.

Georgia had spaghetti bolognaise and then a bath.  She was sitting on her bed drawing when the spaghetti bolognaise made a second appearance.  The bulk of it got absorbed by the duvet, pillow, sheets, mattress and her pyjamas.

She ran to the bathroom, puking as she went.

{This image makes me feel like Dexter at a crime scene, but instead of blood spatter, I deal with puke splutter …. my speciality….}

Got to the bathroom just in time to drop the mother load of partly digested spaghetti bolognaise, unfortunately not quite in the toilet.

Now I had two children retching – not always in turns, often at the same time.

My shortage of buckets became apparent.  So kids are violently ill, Kennith is away on a work conference that entails him overnighting at a wine farm …. you can imagine the heaps of sympathy I am feeling for him at this juncture.

Last night was fun, but did not allow for too much sleep.  There was much up’ing and down’ing to hold hair back, and give sips of water and basically time for me to look towards the ceiling and wonder where for art my help shall come from.

Today the toilet broke — I have no idea if it is in anyway related to the amount of spaghetti bolognaise that was being forced down it, but I am getting a plumber in later this afternoon.

I am bitterly disapppointed that I have a large hulking cat that is forever hunting, but could not hunt and catch the rat.  I also expected Dexter, the Boston Terrier, to at least smell the rodent and look for him.  Nada. Both of them are clearly hopeless.

Otherwise, how is your day going?

Hey Santa, check out my list …. assuming you read blogs ….

Charlotte over at  The Stiletto Mum Blog has outdone herself this year.

Charlotte has been working like a Trojan organising Secret Santa, primarily aimed at Bloggers, but a few Tweeters/Twits (is that the correct term?) have climbed aboard.

She has more than 100 Secret Santa participants.  Listen if I had to organise 100 people’s details, you would find me drunk and asleep at the end of the garden, just after I threw a shit fit asking why people were not responding to me in time!!!

I am thrilled Charlotte has taken this EPIC TASK ON, and she has done a fantastic job getting everyone on board.

I can’t imagine that there is much difference between this and herding cats.

If you do not know what Secret Santa is, and really there is no shame in asking, the basic idea is an Organiser = Charlotte, gets a group of names together = 100 blogs, and then she assigns each name with a name.

I receive a name (via Charlotte) and that is who I buy a gift for.

The person I am buying a gift for is not necessarily buying a gift for me, but I have no idea who is.

So 100 people receive gifts in the mail (or via DHL or however you want to get it there) and you in turn send something on.

There is no point in it, other than the whoop-whoop sound you make when you receive your gift, and then wonder if you spent too much and overshot the mark when you sent your ‘secret’ present or are mortified because you realise you have shopped at the Crazy Store, and clearly everyone has bought really expensive gifts!

Big HIGH FIVE to Charlotte for pulling off this epic Secret Santa, dude, no one else would have gone this far, so this is totally a shout out to your inability to say no and restrain yourself, but that is why we love you long time!

My ‘secret santa’ is going to need some assistance with what to purchase for me – and actually this works as a really good list for ‘stuff I want’ in general.

I need to draw up a list of “Hey Santa, check out my list’ as no one enjoys walking around PEP stores for an hour wondering whether to get you the white or beige coloured granny panties ….. so here is my list – in no particular order:

1.  I do love Typography – stamps, lovely paper, anything typography in nature.  There is a store called TYPO – everything in there is lovely.

I find this typography pun … really funny.

2.  I love pens — fountain pens or ink pens are my favourite.

3.  I love note books, pretty thick paper that has a texture …. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm – who am I kidding, you can pop in to PnA and buy me a school notebook and 5 black Pilot Hi-tecpoint pens and I will get wildly excited – like really excited.

4.  I love all things Boston Terrier and French Bulldog.  There are some products out there with images of either breeds.   Love them. Want them.  Check out this Boston Terrier Salt and Pepper shaker.

 

Love these Boston Terrier tote bags.

5.  I love all things pantone.  I love pantone swatches and I adore the whole move of products that have pantone swatches on them.

6.  I drink copious amounts of tea. My favourite tea is Twinings Earl Grey, which I consume all day.

7.  I love the smell of lavender and jasmine – it is stuck all over my garden and all over my house.

8.  I adore wine and chocolate, in an indecent way.  But I have started Atkins eating plan, and it is going to be several months before I see either of them, so please do not tempt me.  Each day is a challenge right now so please please do not send me anything I can stick in my mouth!!!

9.  I love african animal wire art with or without beading – I especially love the wire ones like the rhinoceros pictured below.

10.  Big Blue is probably one of my favourite stores, I love nearly everything in that store!

11. I love thing that are connected to Sherlock Holmes/Star Wars/Star Trek – a Darth Vader memory stick for instance would totally rock my world, as would plasters like this:

12.  If you pick up an item and it makes you laugh and you say anything like: “Hey I remember this from 198___ then odds are I will like it too.  Darth Vader sweat shirt for instance is so awful, that it is divine!

13.  I love books – I ADORE BOOKS, but I think I have enough books until 2015.  So please do not send me any books.  Book marks, and book accessories are always good to have, and will always come in useful.

13.  I adore photography and my big ticket item for Santa would be a CANON lens : Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens, maybe with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

Be still my beating heart.

14.  I have a million picture frames, but a few more will be wonderful.

15.  Stationery tins – something funky and vintage to keep my pens and pencils in would be great.  I use an old pink water jug at the moment, but need something else.

16.  I have a desk at home which I work from – anything that would fit that would be great – stationery stuff, cute desk stuff.

17.  I really love Miglio jewellery, and there are several yummy things in their catalogue which I would be more than happy to take off your hands.

18. Of course I love perfume – which girl doesn’t?  Just avoid anything that has any hint of liquorice in it …. liquorice makes me projectile vomit, which seldom works well on a night out with friends.  Adore Black Xs Perfume by Paco Rabanne

19.  Lulu Belle stock Lou Harvey purses and other bags ….. they are too gorgeous.

Hopefully that gives you some ideas if you are thinking about buying/making/crafting/knitting me a little something-something.

My dog bit my child …

Dexter is a really lovely dog.  He has such a goofy expression that you cannot but love him.

That being said he has one or two serious behavioural issues.

1.  He sprinkles his urine for no apparent reason.

He could be outside for 72 days, you let him in, and 5 minutes later he will take a piss.  It has if he has been holding it in so he can put urine in your home.  He never pees on a surface that is easy to clean, he will pee on the corner of your pot drawer, your curtains or on your shoe.

2.  He takes a crap in the most bizarre places.

Again adding he has unhindered access to the great outdoors.  He will be outside for ever, walk right in and take a crap.  Never on an easy to clean surface, but right in the centre or your prized zebra skin, or in this week’s case, right in the centre of Isabelle’s bed!!  Crap and a giant piss!

3.  He is brilliant with the kids, but will growl at them now and then – when he is eating something he thinks they might want, or when he is sleeping and has a really good spot.

We teach our dogs from the time they arrive in our house that humans (even small humans) are permitted to touch them and take food out of their mouths. Dexter is find 85% of the time, but then for the remainder he growls and his hackles go up.

I am not one of those people who refer to my dogs as my children.  I used to, and then I had children.

I now understand that clear line between the two. One you can lock in the kitchen when they irritate you, the other you can’t.

So I treat dogs as dogs, I understand the pack mentality, I understand that they behave a certain way, and I can get all Caesar Milan on your arse.  Really got it.

Dexter has become my kryptonite.  I understand what he is doing is wrong, but I am absolutely powerless to stop him, because I do not understand why he does it, and also does things in a non-consistent way.

I buy the dogs a hoof each to chew.  Annabelle (our Staffordshire Bull Terrier is 12) – I decide okay let me put her outside with the hoof, as she will eat Dexter if he comes near her whilst she is chewing it.

I put her outside – also because she is standing at the backdoor asking to go out.

I leave Dexter inside and he climbs into the dog basket, happily chewing the hoof. First time he has had a hoof, so it took him a few moments to grasp the point of eating a bovine’s discarded foot!

Dexter in box.  Isabelle (note the dog and child have similar names …. long story) anyway Isabelle sees Dexter and walks over to him to give him a hug.  Dexter thinks Isabelle is after the hoof and takes a bite of her arm.

It nearly broke the skin, and I was amazed by the bite pattern.  Dexter is a Boston Terrier, so their bite is totally ridiculous.

But back to me and said SCREAMING CHILD.  Isabelle is screaming like someone stole her Nuttella sandwich.  I look at Dexter and the communication between my eyes and his brain was: “You little shit, I am going to kill you!!”

I did not kill him, though for a moment (if you add the crap on the bed to the week’s mix) I was seriously considering giving him away on gumtree.

I really really think if he has bitten her in the face, this conversation would be different.

I really love my dog, but cheese and rice I love my kids a lot more.  I really have a lot of work to do with Dexter, but I can promise you if he ever bites my child again, I am so going to gumtree his arse!

Dexter if you are reading this – and I know you log on with my password, take this as your FINAL WARNING mate!  You are very cute, but you will still be cute stuffed with sawdust on my TV cupboard.  You my friend are on probation!!

Barney is back .. that stupid purple singing dinosaur …

When Connor was a baby/toddler he was never allowed to watch television at will.

He was only allowed to watch the things that we put on for him.  Part of the reason (and this was before the joy of ceebeebies) was that I did not want him to be exposed to the adverts and also there was not a dedicated channel dedicated to younger kids, and Cartoon Network did not exactly fill me with joy, actually it still doesn’t.

So he got all the usual stuff Teletubbies, Postman Pat and Bob the Builder.  We had tons of Videos {look at us rocking it old school, but in our defense this was back in 2001, so videos were a bit more popular than DVDs back then.) and we could glue him to the tv for 3 weeks solid with the amount of stuff we had, so it was not like he was starved of choice.  Connor liked Teletubbies and he also liked Bob the Builder.

We had Barney but Connor was not interested and only showed an interest in Barney at around 4 years old.

My kids do not appear to be interested in Barney when they are smallies, but take to him around 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 or older.  The result is we get a few years break when we forget about Barney and the precocious children who sing along with him, but then someone pulls a DVD out and then it all comes back to you in horrific colour.

Isabelle has proved she is not the exception.  She has never shown an interest in the annoyingly happy purple dinosaur until about two months ago, but now she is hooked.

When she comes in to the tv room, she goes over to the cabinet where all the DVDs are packed and points at the Barney one and she goes “MUM, MUM, MUM….”

Late last week she does the usual, sits on the couch, Dexter (our Boston Terrier) hops up, and the two of them sit there absolutely dumb struck as Barney sings his way through “I love you, you love me….”  I am sure Dexter wanted to make a run for it, but Isabelle decided to hold him near so he wasn’t going to be going anywhere.

I am not sure the expression (for both of them) is love and enjoyment, it looks a lot more like shock and despair!

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The one where the puppy shit was a problem …

Pepe is our maid.   She has been with us for more than 4 years and she is what keeps me remotely sane for the bulk of the year.  There are a few months where even Pepe can’t help me, but that is another story.

I regularly preach the gospel of “Hire a full time, sleep in maid, if you have a child …. really do, it will save you hours at paeds and somehow life will have more meaning.  Really!!  Really.”

I have waking nightmares that she might leave me, and I regularly look at her with a twinkle in my eye because I love her so very much.

I really depend on her for all things that are good in the world.  If it was not for Pepe I might have shot someone or myself, long, long time ago.  She is my sanity, or at least the thin thread that keeps me tethered to it.

Dexter is our new dog.  Dexter is 8 weeks old.  Dexter has the shits.  Dexter has not learnt to poo outside.  Dexter is still learning.

Pepe appears not to like Dexter. Pepe refuses to clean up after Dexter.

Dexter poo, because that is what puppies do.  It is not a Dr Seuss poem it is just the way it is.

Our entire house has tiles or laminated wood, so there is no carpet – cleaning the floor is not exactly challenging.  Pepe has decided to leave it – the poo – until I get home.  From work.  At 6pm.  To runny, on it’s way to be dried shit.  Which I know has been there since early morning.

This has been going on all week, and I am a bit at my wits end.

Pepe’s job is to look after the kids, and to look after the house.  What ever that entails.  But she has decided that Dexter is not “her job” and anything he does is left until I get home.

Seriously?  Yes, seriously.

Contrary to popular belief I hate confrontation and will avoid it at all costs.

Mr CBT gave me a handout after our Monday session on the difference between non-assertiveness (basically avoidance) vs assertiveness vs aggression.  I think if your doctor starts photocopying notes from his doctor book then it is time to maybe start focussing your attention on an issue.

I know I avoid confrontation, and the problem is that it leads to anger and frustration, because I feel like I am standing mute in the corner.  I see the thing or the issue that drives me crazy, but I just cannot speak out.

All the right words are in my head.  But I look down, purse my lips and say “okay” when actually I mean “NO, NO, NO, hear me…” but I don’t say anything, and this clearly compounds the fact that “you” cannot hear me.

I explained my pepe-versus-dexter dilemma to Kennith last night.  Kennith is a take charge guy, like Captain Underpants, but with a slightly larger belt buckle and less shiny underpants.

Kennith spoke to Pepe and asked her if everything was alright, and if there were any issues.  She said no.  He then asked her what is the issue about cleaning up after Dexter.  She said it was not her job.  Not her job.

I sipped wine in the tv room, and turned the sound of “Ridiculous Large Cake Bake Off” <<or what ever it is called>> up louder so I could act I was not listening to any of this.  I just wanted it to be all unicorns and rainbows and not puppy shit and unhappy nanny-who-keeps-me-sane-who-I-am-terrified-will-leave-me.  Can you say co-dependence?

Kennith chatted to Pepe. I thought great that issue is resolved.

I woke up this morning with a spring in my step, and an almost smile on my dial.  I spoke to her this morning with a certain chipper, high-pitched tone in my voice.

I went to work.  Pepe sms’d me: “Don’t forget to buy milk and your dog has poo’d in the bathroom.”

I thought cool, I will buy milk, and thanks for the poo update.  Strange, but okay …..

I get home from work today.  Go in to the bathroom, and there is the poo that Dexter made this morning still there.  I am like WTF!  I go outside and the poo’s he has made on the paving outside the door is just lying there.

I clean up the poo and wash down the paving.  I purse my lips.  And then I get angry.  And then I realise I actually can no longer stand in the corner with my mouth closed.

I go and pull an old job description out.  When Pepe joined us we had two dogs.  Part of the description was to take them for walks, and all sorts of other things including cleaning up the yard after them, as I did not want flies-on-poo near my children, or near me for that matter.

I have no issue cleaning up my dogs poo – I have an issue cleaning up your dogs poo.  But I do not want flies on poo then on my kids, so if there is poo in the yard, clean it up before it becomes a health hazard.  Simple enough.

Dog poo’s, you see it, you clean it up.

But right now Pepe refuses to clean up after Dexter.  It is not her job.  So I get home from work, and then I face old dog poo, which has been there all day.  So now a rather simple issue, has become AN ISSUE.

Today I decided that this is now an issue that I can not look past.   Possibly because I rushed in, dying to go to the toilet, I was trying to, Isabelle was opening the door, I was looking at the mound of shit in the bathroom that had been there since the morning, Connor was hanging through the window and talking to me … and I just kept thinking “Can I not make a shit in peace …. is that really to much to ask??”

I pulled out an old job description, explained that actually it is “her job” and really there is dog walking and all sorts of other things that she no longer does, but that is not the issue.  I need her to do this, and why is she getting her back up against this.  It is one dog.

Today I just need her to clean up after Dexter.   She can leave him outside all day, really that is fine, but if he happens to stumble inside, then seriously clean it up – why leave it on the floor until I get home?  If there is a point then I am seriously missing it.

On Tuesday Isabelle starts school,  so from Tuesday there will be no kids at home.  Taking care of a puppy seems like a fair swap for three kids, or am I missing something?

Pepe got thin lipped and looked at me with disdain.  I began to gesture and repeat myself.  I tried to remain calm and remember that if I go hummmmmmm and put my fingers in a circle shape on my crossed knees it will be okay ……. I really tried … gawd knows I tried …….. I failed, but I tried.

I decided to make the final point: “Here is the old job description, go over it and see that your job does include cleaning up after two large Staffordshire Bull Terriers, who are no longer here, now I have one puppy.  This is part of your job.  Read it.  If I come home tomorrow and this problem persists, I will issue you with a verbal warning and then we can go from there.  I don’t want to.  This is such a stupid issue to sour our relationship after all these years, but I am not going to do this any more.  Go and think about it.  Talk to me if you need to, but tomorrow evening if I get home and walk in to this again, I will give you a verbal warning….. and that is the end of it”

I think I might have repeated the same phrase about 12 times.    I was nervous, and confrontation really makes me uneasy and bumble like the village idiot.

She glazed over at one point.  I slid the job description over, and did my best to give her a look of firm resolution – rather than whimpering fear that I felt.  I suggested she read through it and if there is an issue raise it with me in the morning.

Fk, I really do not want to lose Pepe over a stupid dog.  But seriously, I need to get out of the corner, stop covering my mouth and say what I need.

<<Please bear in mind that I am trying my utmost to restrain myself and not sms Pepe and tell her I am so sorry, and please will she accept a kidney she can sell, and I will pay her triple, and hire someone to come in and pick up the doggy poo, and I will rub her back with body butter, and I will plait her hair, and please, please, please for gawd sake do not leave me ….. or something to that effect ….>>

Introducing Dexter ……

I have been on a “get a dog mission” for several months.  I uh’med, I aa’hed, I rethought it.  I drew up a list.

I have been chatting to a breeder in Pretoria for a little bit about a litter she has, and about getting a male from her.  I like dog shows and my thinking was to look at a dog that I could start showing again.

We have had Staffordshire Bull Terriers for years, and I truly adore the breed.  Since we lost Annabelle, I really have not quite felt like getting another Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  I kept waiting and thinking “okay I will feel like a SBT soon…”

Part of it was, I think, that Annabelle was a real handful, and I think helped to jade me somewhat to the breed.  We have had several SBT and some were gentle giants, but then we had Annabelle.  Annabelle was like Robbie Williams on TIK in a small room, with no access to money and a dealer waiting to be paid …..all of the time.

I do feel a bit “embarrassed” about changing my breed, as I have been a staunch SBT supporter for years.

On Friday Kennith and I went along to SAA Cargo and collected Dexter.

Dexter is a Boston Terrier, and his eyes are so big I think he has 300 degree vision without having to move his head. He is only 8 weeks old, so he has not quite mastered the many facets of life and his funny legs at the moment – his ears sort of shoot off in different directions and pick up the landing signals from Cape Town International Airport.

Poor guy had a runny tummy in his crate, and what met us was not the that milky sweet smell of a puppy, but rather a rather forlorn looking puppy covered in his own faeces.

Since then, there has been a fair supply of faeces and urine.  Not always deposited in the garden.  Saturday afternoon I seemed to get some in my hair, which was somewhat disturbing, but the thing with faeces (and baby puke) in your hair, is a good shampoo and a really strong body scrub and you feel much better.

Dexter has managed to poo spray the entire house and Pepe is about at the end of her tether with him.

Thank goodness he arrived with a bit of a gutsy temperament.  I was concerned he would be sitting in the corner and shaking when he was faced with our family – but he seemed to take it in his stride.

This morning I went to say hello to him, and I was really chuffed he had poo’d on the paper.  Dexter was also really excited, and wagged his bum so much he fell over into the runny poo, and the more I tried to move him away from it the more he stepped into the runny poo.  The final moment was when I pushed him out of the runny poo, and he jumped up against my white towels.

Meet Dexter.  Affectionately referred to as Mr Stinky Pants.

We have very strict rules about dogs NOT sleeping on beds ….

The dog that got away ….

Dogs, kids, paintings, lavender – all falls into a similiar category for me “Project!”

Once I decide on a course of action, I make a list, tick off what needs to be done, and it is on like Donkey Kong!

I started the year not wanting a dog.  I sort of warmed to it in the middle of the year.  We dog-sat Satan’s dog mid-year.

I decided I was happy never having a dog in my home. I rethought the thought.  I researched.  I mused.  I sat and day-dreamed.  I obsessed.  I decided I was very keen on a French Bulldog or a Boston Terrier.  Or one of each. Or two of each  <<ssshhh don’t tell Kennith>>

I saw some lovely French Bulldogs. I gasped and sighed.  I will have to wait for the next litter to be considered.

I started chatting to breeders about Boston Terriers.  There was nothing available until next year.  I met a breeder who had a litter.  We spoke.  We emailed.  I named him Dexter.

I was very excited.  Money changed hands. Promises were made. I bought a puppy bed and some puppy food.

The “relationship” went sour.  My money was returned.  I mourn the “loss” of Dexter.

I am back on a waiting lists.

This year will not be “The Year of the Dog” in our house. Kennith suggests we pop down to the local rescue society and pick a dog up.  I have said no, I feel strongly that I want a specific breed from a specific breeder.

Kennith shrugs. I appear resolute.  We do not talk about “getting a dog” to the kids, we talk in code “when will the package arrive?”

So, no dog this year.  I am very disappointed about the nearly-our-dog-Dexter, but I will just need to wait it out like a patient potential dog owner.

I have started internet dating … and I think I have met someone ….

It’s been more than a year since we had a dog in our house.

I have never been dogless.  I have been legless, motherless, and sometimes senseless, but I have always had a dog.

We babysat a dog earlier this year.

I really would like to tell you it was a good experience. I really would.

I got very angry that a family had probably had this dog, and given it no discipline.  They decided to move (probably to get away from the dog).  The dog then got passed along to a variety of people, but the dog really was too much dog for anyone.

I really want to find those original owners and make them listen to Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you” on a loop so their ear drums bleed.

I felt so bad for this dog.  I called a dog behaviorist and thought I would take it on the chin and keep the stupid and annoying dog and train her.

I have never met a dog I hated. I hated this dog.  Like day-dream-about-hate.

Towards the end of our “dog-sitting” time, I started wondering if I could kill the dog myself.  I also thought that maybe I could just leave the gate open and the dog could just run away.

I blame the original owners who did not love this dog enough to teach it manners.  They in theory should be found and slapped.  Hard.  With a spade.

Basically they metered out a death sentence for Maya.  And they made me totally shift my thinking regarding ever taking in a “rescue dog” (hate mail email address is along the side, feel free to drop me any hate mail you would like, really!)

In the end, the dog was poisoned.  Not by me, but clearly by someone who had slightly less patience than me, and maybe needed a bit more medication.

So that was my experience with a dog this year.

It jaded me to “thinking” about getting a new do in our house.  I really was not up for it.

I thought about a dog a few months back, but was not ready.  Flash backs of the black-bitch-from-hell kept playing through the VCR in my head.

A few weeks ago, I thought I might be.  Maybe it was a hormonal imbalance, maybe I missed a pill that day.  Who knows.

I started looking around and looking at what I wanted in a breed, and one thing led to another.

I decided that I wanted a French Bulldog or a Boston Terrier.  Then I realised I loved both breeds and I want both.

Recently online I met Declan.  I call him Dexter.  I love the sound of Dexter.

I sometimes say his name out loud in the middle of the day, to no one in particular.

I find Dexter very handsome and he makes me smile and giggle a bit.

I get excited every time I get an email from his mom.  I am quite “in love” with Dexter, but I am trying to act more aloof than I feel.

He comes with his own bowl, lead and collar.

I must confess I am quite smitten.  The only problem with internet dating is that you really do not know who you are talking to.

Dexter could be a 6-year-old Maltese Poodle, with bad breath and a hernia, masquerading as a Boston Terrier!   He could be.

I need to meet Dexter at the airport on the morning of the 18 November …… he comes with a box, as all good dates should.

His mom has asked me to deposit a large wad of money before she sends him, which makes me suspicious that our relationship is not founded on true love.  It has made our relationship a bit less “magical” than it was before.

I am still meeting him at the airport on the 18 November!