Dogs: Sleep, eat, crap, repeat

Dogs by Tom NashMy pet history is not a long one. The first animal I remember my family keeping were stick insects. They bred like mad, escaped and my old man ended up having to vacuum millions of them off the living room ceiling. Next it was a series of hamsters, a pair of giant African land snails (named after runners, naturally) and the occasional tank of fish, but since the age of about twelve, my home has been an animal-free zone.

That’s all changed. Now I live with both a dog and a cat. While plenty of people I know own one, the other, or both, this my first time sharing a house with either.

You know what I’ve found out?

Dogs make you say fucked up shit
Sentences I’ve found myself saying to the dog in the last week:

‘We don’t rape the cat.’
‘Stop licking the cat.’
‘Stop licking the door.’

The weirdest thing about it is that you never realise what you’re saying until you’ve said it… What’s that about?

‘Dog talk’ and ‘baby talk’ are the same thing
I’ve realised since being here that I talk to the dog in exactly the same tone I address my ten month-old nephew. Right down to the nonsensical gibberish. It can’t be a good thing.

You don’t even need to own a dog or baby to find out if you do the same. Next time you come into contact with either, count how many times in a row you ask them if they are ‘gorgeous’ or ‘the cutest’ or anything similar. If it’s more than once, shame on you, too.

Picking up shit is never pleasant
Goes without saying, yes, but if I have to suffer the little bastard bending out a turd on a busy road and scooping the warm, soft, stinky chunks of awfulness up into a delightfully, if a bit too subtly, scented shit-bag in front of numerous witnesses, then carrying it around until a bin appears, then through the power of words, you lot shall suffer it too… You’re welcome (I hope you weren’t eating, by the way).

Dogs as status symbols… Really?
Think your staffie makes you look double-hard? It doesn’t, it makes you look like you’re on benefits. People aren’t crossing the road because of the dog, it’s because your lack of control over the animal makes you look like you’re probably not a very pleasant person. They’re right, aren’t they?

You know who does look like he could be a bit tasty in a ruck? The bloke who can hold his head up while he walks a Labradoodle, Chihuahua or some other fruity looking mutt that’s called Muffin or Princess or anything else a small child would choose… Fucking nails, mate. As in ‘hard as’.

Broody? Get a dog before you go bare-back
I’m no expert, but it is my understanding that in order to stop social services taking your children away, you need to feed them regularly, not allow them to sleep in their own shit, provide somewhere indoors for them to sleep and if you can, keep them entertained… The RSPCA works to similar guidelines but if you fuck up, the prison sentences and tabloid newspaper coverage are a lot less life-changing…

I’m off to annoy the cat to see what that does.