Friday, November 14, 2008

dogs

For the first time ever, The One had been conniving behind my back to find a little puppy, a pug in fact. But then, in a moment of weakness, he revealed all his plans to me. We bought a pup the very next day.

The little black pug was called Winston to start with. But The One didn't approve of the name and Winston became Alfred. I must confess that I liked Winston and thought it quite appropriate since he reminded me of Winston Churchill. In retrospect, however, I am glad that we didn't call him that, because I have since remembered that there is a brand of cigarettes called Winston. Most people, in this country in any case, would associate the cigarette rather than the man with that name. Maybe he would look like a little lung to them, blackened from smoking, who knows?

When we discussed taking the plunge and investing in a dog, we decided to get two dog right from the beginning so that they could keep one another company when The One and I was unable to attend to them. And so, suddenly, there was two when we bought Jeffrey a few days later. He is a champagne-coloured miniature maltese.

We ran into a little problem when our dogs did not want to eat the very expensive puppy food that we bought them. We tried almost everything, but to no avail. In desperation we made a mixture designed to replace their mother's milk that consisted of evaporated milk, egg yolk, corn syrup and yogurt. The One made a mistake when replacing the corn syrup with sugar and put in about twenty times as much as needed, but no apparent damage was done. We force-fed this mixture to them using a huge syringe with a propensity for seizing up, causing many dirty little faces and many mutinous looks. Then, one night while eating steak, we gave them a tiny morsel of the meat and they went insane with desire. And so we discovered that our dogs are sworn carnivores. We've been feeding them all kinds of meat, mashed up with vegetables since. They think that they are in heaven.

Potty training has been a bit of a roller coaster ride so far. We've discovered that puppies want to go the the loo as soon as they've eaten, as soon as they've woken up and at any time in between. At the moment, almost the entire floor of the apartment is covered in newspaper, which serves no purpose at all since they prefer the feeling of the cold tiles against their bums when doing their business. They have become very adept at finding the tiniest spot that is uncovered. While most people followed the American Presidential Elections, we followed our two dogs with a wad of toilet paper, ready to clean up. Sometimes, however, they will get up of their own accord, go to the designated area in the bathroom and do their business on the newspaper there as if they've been doing it like that all their lives. It feels as though they just want to remind us that they are actually in control.

Sleep has also been a rather large adjustment, to say the least. Our little ones like to wake up at 3:00 AM for a trip to the toilet and a spot of playing. We found out very quickly that they want that toilet trip the second they wake up in order to avoid childish accidents. Which we've found daunting, being asleep at that ungodly hour. But our biological clocks have slowly started adjusting and now, most nights, we avoid accidents. I think it fair to say that I have never washed the bedclothes as often as I have been these three weeks.

When taking our pets to the vet for their inoculations an dewormings, we discovered that, while Alfred was six weeks old when we bought him, Jeffrey is a week or two younger than that. The woman we bought him from must have been desperate for the money. Or perhaps he is simply a slow developer.

I have gained the utmost respect and sympathy for the parents of all babies, dogs or otherwise. Our entire lives have become subject to the happiness and comfort of our two little boys. And we are loving the ride.

Written by I
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