Stories from my Sketchbook . . .
For the past week my girls and I have been playing host to a lovely wee dog called ‘Cinder’. I am not sure Cindy is quite two years old yet (she might be just short of that) but I have to say, after living in her exuberant wake for the past week, I reckon Jerry Seinfeld’s blender analogy is spot on . . .
Cindy has stayed with us before but not for a whole week and I was a little concerned about how that would go. Earlier visits had only been for a weekend or a few days and I had been at home to supervise. This time I was going to be out working for a good part of her visit, and, as anyone who has fur-children knows full-well, you are never entirely sure what’s going on at home when you’re not around.
I tried to prepare my girls for Cindy’s impending arrival with constant reminders—‘Cindy’s coming to stay for a while. You remember Cindy, don’t you? She’s a lovely girl. You liked Cindy . . . ‘ —so they had plenty of time to brace themselves but, unfortunately, as little dogs are wont to do, they often hear only what they want to hear. The look my my Mabel gave me when Cindy actually launched herself through our front door . . .
Now don’t misunderstand me, Cindy is a lovely girl and a very sweet-natured dog. She’s polite, affectionate and well-mannered and there isn’t a mean bone in her body, but my girls are all grown up now (I still can’t quite believe they are all now classed as ‘senior’ dogs) and they like their little routines and their quiet life . . . and I guess we had all kind of forgotten just how much energy a young dog can have!
Take going for a walk, for instance. Walking my girls these days consists of a short saunter to the park where I let them off their leads so they can bimble about in the undergrowth and check out (and pee on) all the new smells that have been deposited since our last visit, followed by a slow wander home. It’s all quite sedate. Not so this week . . .
I quickly discovered I couldn’t let Cindy off her lead at all. I did try once, in the early early morning when there was nobody else around and I imagined there would be less to distract her. I don’t know what I was thinking. Apparently anything can distract you when you are not quite 2. I spent the next 30 minutes trying to coax her to come back to me. She would come juuuust within reach and then . . . whoosh . . . she was galloping off again, laughing madly as she went. Cindy thought that was the BEST.GAME.EVER.
(I, on the other hand, was terrified she would fixate on something really exciting and head off into the swamp . . . or the river . . . or across the road and down the street . . . and I’d be left having to explain the dire consequences to her mum!)
But, differing energy levels aside, it was a good week. My initial concerns about leaving Cindy alone in the house with my girls all day proved to be unfounded. Apart from a couple of thoroughly deconstructed and de-stuffed doggie toys (it’s astonishing to me how much stuffing can come out of one little toy) and, on one occasion, coming home to a rather wild-eyed and ruffled Molly (who Cindy occasionally tried to use as her own personal squeaker toy) there were no major dust-ups or dramas and yesterday Cindy was delivered, happy, excited (and unharmed) back to her mother.
Today we are almost back in routine. Most of the debris has been cleared away (although I am still finding stuffing in the oddest places), special favourite toys (which I had, thankfully, the foresight to store safely away before our visitor arrived) have been returned and much needed nap-time has been (and, in some cases, is still being) caught up on.
It’s all good.