RogerBW's Blog

Life With Dog 10 April 2019

We are looking after a Dog for a couple of months.

She isn't our dog; she belongs to my wife's son and family, who are performing an international relocation which would be traumatic for the hound. (Especially as they're going via a holiday in New Zealand.)


(And that's a thing too, the default gender for dogs is male just as the default for cats is female. People who meet us at random use he/him as the standard pronoun.)

Anyway, she's mostly collie, with a quarter of Huntaway, which is a New Zealand sheepdog breed that's quite distantly related. I don't have much experience of dogs, but she is the cleverest one I've met; she will sometimes charge off in anticipation of the throw of a ball, but she fell for a fake throw only once, when she was very young.

My wife is handling the two walks a day. But the thing that's striking me, living with a dog for the first time for more than a few days, is how much adjustment I'm having to make. If I get up before my wife because I'm going out somewhere, I have to allow time for letting the Dog out to defæcate; she'll take care of it without being supervised and then come back in, but it's an extra thing to think of. If I have something to do outside, I need to close the front door behind me rather than leaving it on the latch, or she'll follow me outside to see what's happening; even walking near the front door generates canine excitement. If I walk across the main room there will probably be a dog-toy in the way. We can't, as we normally do, both go out at the same time without first having to think about where the Dog should be (with one of us, or at home, where she can be left safely but it would be cruel to leave her alone for a long time).

Every time I walk through while she's lying about in the main room I say hello, because it seems polite, and she wags. (Even if lying on her tail.) I am sometimes prone to fits of glumness, and a dog who wants to play with a knotted rope is surprisingly effective at knocking me out of them.

I absolutely don't want to have a dog as a long-term pet, but I'm quite enjoying the company of this one.

Tags: real life

  1. Posted by Michael Cule at 12:01am on 12 April 2019

    I always feel upset on Monty's behalf when people call him 'she'.

    I will admit he has no more practical interest in sex but he is clearly a masculine cat by his demeanour and personality.

    This is perhaps rather too empathic of me.

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