Thursday, 1 December 2011

Mucky Pup

Some would say, as they see me now, that I was scared. I wouldn’t say that. Cautious may be a better description.

After all, I’ve been on many walks with the Aunties and Uncle. They always run way too fast for my currently little paws to keep up. And when grown-ups run towards you at full pelt, it’s very hard to get out of the way fast enough. That why I am cautious today and keep my distance. When they come to a stop, however, I will make my move and pounce. They certainly won’t be expecting that!

Uncle Ben is fun to pounce on. He doesn’t growl or attack me. Just sort of stands there and takes it. Then there’s Auntie Pip. She always, without fail, returns the favour and attacks back. Can be fun, as long as she isn’t in a very clumsy mood, in that case she would knock me over.

The must fun to pounce on of all, definitely, without a doubt, is Auntie Sheila. She can be a little scary when it comes to showing her sharp teeth in my face, but she does get all noisy and barky and then starts chasing you. Then Auntie Pip will watch and join in when she can, and we all have a bit of a roll around in the grass. Uncle Ben, well, he sort of goes off to eat wood or whatever else he does.

I don’t get any further opportunities to ponder my supreme pouncing abilities, as Pip is watching me with a predatory look in her eye.

“Yes, Auntie?” I ask her, acknowledging her presence. She comes to stand beside me. She doesn’t speak, nor does she pounce on me. I am about to voice this fact when she stops and watches Uncle Ben eat a twig as if it were a can of doggy chunks.

“Enjoying the walk?” she finally asks, making me jump slightly (though I would never admit to that). It is such a mundane thing to start a conversation with, but answer it I must - mum always says it’s polite.

“It’s great, yeah,” I reply, uninterested. I am, however, interested in that puddle of water over there, at the bottom of the hill. I am getting thirsty. Auntie Pip has made no further comment, instead she is watching the same thing I am - Auntie Sheila’s gotten under a gate and is exploring the field next door and rolling in something that must be very nice. She always amazes me with her escaping. Mum calls her an ‘escape artist’. I can only assume this is a good thing.

Speaking of mum, she’s holding that big, black boxy thing with a single, huge eye, that she so lovingly refers to as the ‘Stay’. Every time I come over to her and it’s in her hands, she says ‘stay’, and I suppose that must be the name of the box, for that is all she says. I sit for a while and wait for the box to introduce itself. It doesn’t, at least not with words - just a few clicky noises, but mum smiles and gives me food nonetheless. I wander off again, a little confused. It really is very odd.

Stay is clicking at the moment, and I have no idea why. I don’t speak box. I cast a glance in its direction, but it’s looking at us, still in mum’s hand. Mum’s hiding behind it. She does that a lot. I think she’s shy.

By now, Auntie Pip has wandered off, and I am once again alone on top of the hill. But that water is calling for me, so I make my way down, passing mum and Stay along the way.

Not to be left out, the Aunties join me for a drink. Mum comes too, but doesn’t have anything to drink because apparently, brown water isn’t what humans drink. Uncle Ben is nowhere in sight - oh, wait. There he is. He’s on top of the hill, eating at some grass. Grass is nice, I haven’t had grass in a while. Must make a mental note to have some later.

It is as I am drinking that I notice something odd. Very odd.

The Aunties have wandered off again, and I wonder who to call. Auntie Pip is quite knowledgeable, but what if she doesn’t know? I instead call for Auntie Sheila, as she is the oldest, and the older you are the more you know.

I have to tell them about the dog that’s staring out of the puddle, looking me in the eye. I don’t want to break the eye contact, so I shout into the puddle, confident that Auntie Sheila will hear me anyway, as her ears are very big indeed.

“Auntie Sheila!”

To my uttermost surprise, the dog in the puddle shouts too, at exactly the same moment.

Auntie Sheila comes wandering over, her confusion directed at me and not the dog in the puddle.

“What is it, Ted?” she asks. She almost always calls me Ted now, something about it matching up with Ben and Pip and their three letters. I always remind her that my name is Teddy, but not this time. I’m a little busy.

I point at the puddle dog with my paw, and I notice that my once white legs are now all brown and muddy. That would be fun, and I would jump up on mum had I not been otherwise occupied.

Auntie Sheila moves in closer so that we are almost nose-to-nose. To my dismay, there are two puddle dogs now - and one of them looks like her!

“Who are they?” I ask her.

She studies my face for a moment, before looking down to the puddle again. The puddle dogs do the same. Then she giggles. Actually giggles.

“Oh, Ted,” she sighs. “Those are our reflec-”

She doesn’t get a chance to finish, as I am convinced that one of the puddle dogs has made a confused face, mocking my own, and they must be stopped.

I pounce.

For some reason, as the puddle dogs are under attack, Auntie Sheila moves away. Which is good, as I don’t want her to witness this brutal attack on the puddle dogs. When the puddle settles, one of the puddle dogs has fled, and I am left alone with the one that doesn’t look at all like Auntie Sheila.

“You better watch out, buster!” I say loudly. It is like a battle cry, and the puddle dog must have heard it too, as it also pounces. At the same time.

I give it a good pawing over, and it appears to have run off. I stand, triumphant, and look to mum and Stay. She is bent over, laughing, still hidden behind Stay, who is clicking again. What is so funny?

As I have been idle, staring at mum and Stay, the puddle dog has returned. I look at it crossly. It looks cross too. I decide to give it the same treatment that Uncle Ben gets when he’s stolen my cookie - a nibble to the ear.

Somehow, the puddle dog moves with me, and as I reach for its ear, it reaches for my nose. And we end up… kissing. Eww!

I make a hasty retreat, jumping backwards and onto the grass, though when I tell this story to my grand puppies, it will be a story of how I won and the puddle dog made a hasty retreat, as that makes me sound better.

The Aunties and the Uncle are all standing/lying down in a small group at the field gate which leads to the yard. I think they must be tired of this walk, because they are old and all that.

Another puddle lies between me and them, and I must walk past it to reach them. I skulk past, pausing as I lay eyes on that very same puddle dog, looking equally skulky. I move on, only to run back and land one last pounce.

Mum and Stay walk past me, giggling and clicking, and join the others at the gate. She’s opening it, I can hear, and I hear her counting them out.

“One… two… three… where’s four?” A pause. “Teddy!”

This is my chance to run off without calling it retreating, so I do so and join everyone else in the yard.

“That’s everyone,” says mum as she closes the rusty gate. I walk over to her, and notice that Stay has splotches of mud on it’s skin. It stares at me with its eye.

“Sorry, Teddy. I don’t have any treats left,” says mum sadly, shrugging with one hand.

I stick up my tail and trot off, when I spot everyone congregating at the door to the house. It’s lovely and warm in there, with lots of toys and food. It’s snuggly, and you get even more cuddles than usual. I want to go in. Auntie Pip has managed to claim the top step, and I join her. Uncle Ben has wandered off again, and Auntie Sheila is sniffing at the car. I don’t move. I want to get into the house.

Mum and Stay catch up. As Auntie Pip and I wait to find out who’s going in, Stay clicks again.

Then mum grins. It’s never good when she grins in this way. Smiles I can handle, grins I cannot.

“You can come in if you have a bath first,” she announces, and Auntie Pip all but jumps off the top step. I keep my ears flat in an attempt to be all cute, and I see mum’s eyes soften a bit.

I notice that I am completely alone. The Aunties and Uncle are nowhere in sight. That worries me. This ‘bath’, whatever it is, must be very bad. So bad, in fact, that it is worth sacrificing the cuddles and warmth that the house provides.

So I make myself scarce.

6 comments:

  1. Oh that was very good!(big grin on face)
    Do we get any bath photos?

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  2. What a fun story with the Best "Illustrations"!

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  3. Playing in the mud? I think they are the happiest dogs!

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  4. Rooo rooo I have one of those mud puddle doggies in the window of our oven! I used to bark at it a lot when I was a puppy :o)

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  5. Looks like you had a great time playing in the puddles. :)

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  6. Oh isn't mud fun!

    Stop on by for a visit
    Kari
    http://dogisgodinreverse.com

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