Category: Dogs

How come it’s OK for men to piss in public?

How come it’s OK for men to piss in public?

Sorry for the rather crude headline, but I thought it might grab your attention.

I’m not just talking about homeless people here, it now seems any man can get his todger out and start spraying the London landscape, willy-nilly. Just yesterday I was out with the mutt in our local park and a man was leant up against a tree giving it full flow. Seeing him, the dog had a quick pee in solidarity, but close by were children and unaccompanied members of the clergy.

My wife says men are filthy creatures and we’ve always done it. I disagree, I think a change has occurred and men now think this is acceptable behaviour. Perhaps the council is to blame for not providing enough public loos, but I don’t like it and it stinks.

Whatever the case, you probably want to go and wash your hands after reading this post. At your convenience, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

What’s up dog?

What’s up dog?

Dogs, they have an interior life. Who knew? I haven’t had a dog living in the house since I was a kid and just assumed that dogs were simple creatures; if you took them for walks and gave them bones they were happy and if they were hungry or not well looked after they were unhappy. Perhaps I was thinking of men not dogs. Anyway, it turns out it’s a little more complicated than that.

While we were sunning ourselves in Florida, the Mighty Bucket, AKA Rusty, AKA Battersea Bucket was being looked after by a local dog sitter. On our return we were told that Bucket had not behaved well, had peed everywhere, had not got on with the other dogs and would not be invited back. Oh dear.

Despite being pleased to see us, she was not the happy Bucket we had left behind. The tail was almost permanently down, she wasn’t excited about walks and didn’t even chase squirrels – unheard of. It took her around three days to be restored to storm force Rusty. So, what is going on in that little head of hers?

Every time we pass Battersea Dogs & Cats she gets excited, pulls to go in and quite clearly has fond memories of the place.

I tie her up outside the local Sainsbury’s when I’m shopping. The other day another dog was leashed outside. Was she thinking: ‘Poor dog, wonder how long the owner will be inside and what the hell do they get up to in these places anyway?’

I let Rusty off the lead on walks and only put her on when we are near a main road. Does she think:

A: ‘Why the hell do I need to be put on a lead?’

B: ‘Yeah well fair enough, I am a little nuts and will probably go play in the traffic.’

I know this is all anthropomorphic nonsense, but If anybody knows what they’re thinking, do let me know.

Dog talk: Bone of contention

Dog talk: Bone of contention

“From a dog’s point of view his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog” says Mabel Robinson, but I’m not so sure. When some canny (canine?) entrepreneur started selling videos that taught how to test your dog’s IQ, Jay Leno remarked: “Here’s how it works: if you spend $15 on the video, your dog is smarter than you.”

Cunning or not, Rusty came to us from Battersea Dogs and Cats five months ago and an unexpected bonus is that strangers, who would normally run from talking to a tall, middle-aged man like me are now more than happy to chat.

Having a dog is like having a baby, they render the owner, that’s how I like to think about my daughter, harmless. Obviously having a cute dog makes this easier. If you own a devil-dog that’s covered in tattoos, then people may not be quite so chatty. Bucket and I look at the dog first and if we’re not sure we look at the owner.

Last weekend Rusty and I were walking down our street just as a family (mum, dad and two kids) were knocking on a neighbour’s door. Bucket clearly thought they looked interesting, latched on to them and when the door was opened shot into house. Bucket is a four pawed, self-styled ice breaker. We didn’t know these neighbours before, we do now.

Out walking, I’m on first name terms with Max, Fat Otto and Scampi (in your basket) what their owners are called I have no idea. It’s like a Freemasonry of dogs but without the weird handshakes. Someone once raised the reasonable question: Do other dogs think poodles are part of a weird religious cult?

I find it strangely liberating and desperately un-British that people will start petting your dog without permission. I should say that Bucket is entirely promiscuous and is happy to be petted by anyone.

Apparently, the polite way to go about talking with other dog owners is to praise their mutt’s look, and general loveliness. To stir the pot a little I recommend saying: Blimey, that’s a great hairy thing you’ve got there. It usually gets results.

Meet the mutt

Meet the mutt

Meet Rusty – AKA Rust Bucket, Police Dog Rusty or when out for a walk usually just BUCKET! She is the newest and most welcome member of the family and came to us from Battersea Dog’s Home.

We love Rusty; the cat (Ziggy) not so much. In fact, there’s a Mexican stand-off going on. Ziggy now lives upstairs, is spitting tacks, and making occasional sorties downstairs to eat the dog’s food in an effort to really piss-off the interloper. Meanwhile, the dog, located downstairs – baby-gate in place – thinks the cat is probably a cleverly disguised squirrel, and as according to Rusty squirrels are an abomination, must be destroyed. Keeping the peace is tricky, but we live in hope.

If you want a dog I’d urge you to get down to Battersea. Their service, a sort of Tinder for dogs and humans attempts to match you with your perfect pet.

First you register then face a not very rigorous interview to prove that you are fit to rehome a hound. Then comes the fun part of matching the type of dog you want with what they currently have in stock. (You can do this online but beware the pooch that looks perfect might already have found a new home.)

Process complete and with two or three dogs that might be right, you get to meet the mutts. Astonishingly, Rusty was the first dog we saw, and loved right away.

Battersea Dogs Home provide a fantastic service; Rusty cost us £135, but came with collar, lead, dog food, all the necessary shots, was neutered and had had a bad tooth removed. You also learn the dog’s history,  if it wasn’t a stray. There is aftercare too, so if you have problems you can take your dog back to see a vet in the early days after adoption.

Now we can’t wait for the Battersea Dogs get together in Battersea Park next summer. Right Bucket, walkies!