I have two dogs, one 8 year old pug that I initially bought for my mother whom I inherited when she passed away. We have always had pugs in our life and often they are called ‘splodge’, my one is called exactly that. He is inherently lazy and only has to look at food to put on weight. He will eat absolutely anything and I really mean it. Last year he scoured the garden for fallen apples, he ripped all the strawberries out of my planter and then worked on the rotten vines growing around the door. I know those things aren’t meant to be good for dogs, but it seems to affect him not a jot.
Splodge has always lived on his own, ie no other dog. He led a very sheltered life with my mother in a bungalow. She didn’t see many people so he had not too many social interactions with other people or dogs. But he did have a girlfriend, a great big greyhound, very sweet, who happened to belong to my mothers best friend.
When my mother passed away, poor old splodge had rather a shock in more than one way, he moved to London to live with us at the time in a rather slim but high house, ie lots of stairs, the ones leading down to the kitchen wooden and shiny. He braved the stairs very well, but that was not all he had to contend with. We have two cats. The first time he met my girl cat, she was in the basement, sitting at the bottom of the stairs looking up, he was sat at the top, looking down. Occasionally he would just turn and look at me, then look back. My heart raced and I thought “oh goodness what do I do?” “Is there going to be some massive fight, will splodge’s bulbous eyes get clawed (my mother was always paranoid about his eyes), or will my cat get torn to shreds, or should I do the what will be will be attitude?”
I waited, he waited, she waited. She came up, slowly step by step, the tension built up, it was too much, I felt sick, I watched him, he just sat watching, she got closer….and closer….and closer…..he sat “was he waiting for the final moment to make her dinner?” She proudly came up right to him, looked at him then walked past and went on her way. He just sat, let her get close, did nothing, she went by and he just looked at me. I just shrugged my shoulders and said “well that was uneventful, I guess you are friends or at least acquaintances”
However, I have a boy cat, ginger, called PeeWee, there is a reason for his name and it’s not pleasant. I got him from the RSPCA, I was told he was a she and called PeeWee, I then later was told she was in fact a he and not called PeeWee, they did not know his name but it stuck and for good reason.
He does not like the rain, he does not like the snow, he does not seemingly like too much wind (and I mean the outside kind of wind, I need to clarify that when living with four animals and three males). When this happens he takes to yes peeing in the house, not just in one area, but all over. This summer we had someone in to look after them for a week. The first night they stayed, he lovingly went on the bed when they were in it, they thought “awe isn’t he cute” and went to stroke him. Oh no, he peed right on top of the duvet on their legs, yep that was how he introduced himself, good old PeeWee.
Anyway I have always said he is not as sharp at my female cat and that is not a sexist remark it is just borne from observations. So when he met the pug he decided to run out of the cat flap, then come in. My usually very docile lazy pug watched this and suddenly hoooorah thought it was a game (he usually doesn’t event like games), so he started to join in, leaped forwards and barked. PeeWee went out the cat flap, splodge chased him. PeeWee came in and saw splodge who was waiting and fled and went out again. This went on for a while and gave splodge some small amount of amusement as I have to admit us.
So splodge had to also get used to going on a bus and a train, oh yes he became a well travelled pug, but nonetheless on his own.
I must have had some sort of crisis but I decided he needed a friend. Yes after all these years of surviving he needed a friend. What a good idea, lets go and get a puppy. I had seen years back a French Bulldog in Paris and from that moment a love was born.
So I got a puppy french bulldog, called him teddy. He is a pedigree, having a dad who was 2nd or something in crufts and is the biggest french bulldog I have ever seen with quite a harem around him of bitches tending to his every need. The breeder let me watch him as he sat there and lifted one paw. Immediately one of the bitches would run forwards and lick his paw. Then another would come and lick other bits I won’t mention. Suffice to say I think my husband really wants to be a dog in his next life.
So yes, splodge now has a friend, a puppy, how nice? The puppy sits in the cage quite nicely to begin with and splodge sits outside and watches, almost protectively. The puppy comes out and splodge embarks on some weird licking thing, which almost at stages looked like he might eat him at some stage. This went on for a matter of weeks under close supervision. It was almost looking like a steak being tenderized before consumption. The puppy aka teddy systematically decided to chew everything. Not just his toys, oh no, he liked the few antique chairs I had and tables. Then he decided to go under chairs and gut them too, he was rather good at that. Splodge just watched him, oh no he didn’t stop him, just looked on bewildered.
The puppy got bigger and bigger, then the puppy started to like nibbling splodge’s legs for fun or his ear, or going to the far corner of the room and leaping on him. In the basket, teddy would lie on top of splodge literally, so I got a bigger basket, fit for 10 dogs and still teddy lies on top of splodge. So splodge is now 8 and teddy is a year and a half.
Teddy is pretty manic, he reminds me of my youngest son, I sometimes wonder if the household accentuates the temperament of an animal or perhaps we are just attracted in the first place on some primitive subliminal level to the animal that might fit in best? I am probably now talking rubbish. So teddy still chewed, my alexander teacher grows chillies and various people told me to put crushed chillies in to some oil like a paste and put it around where he was chewing and that this would soon stop him. At first I thought “oh how cruel”, then I looked at my furniture in tatters and handed the chilli flakes to my husband.
My husband isn’t particularly an animal lover so he had absolutely no conscious guilt over giving the dog this paste. I stood behind the babygate to the dog room as my husband systematically painted the furniture with this paste. Teddy watched. My husband came out. We both stood the other side of the babygate and watched. I was feeling quite stressed on more than one account but my husband just merely amused to see the reaction. Teddy went around the furniture and licked it all, yes folks, he licked the whole lot. He then came up to the babygate and looked up at us. I held my breath, thinking “oh my goodness he is going to explode or keel over”. Oh no, teddy looked at us and licked his lips, then licked it again and again and sat and waited to be let out. I turned around to my husband who is a chilli lover, and said “it appears the dog is a chilli lover too, go figure the chance of that?”
However the long and short of that particular story is that teddy did in fact pretty much stop his chewing, I don’t know why but he just did.
I started this post with a story in mind but have not in fact told it, but I think I had said enough for now on teddy and splodges journey together, it is as some might correctly imagine a colourful one!
All doggy and other kinds of comments heavily appreciated! wooooof wooof