Did I mention that WE’RE GOING TO HAWAII in a couple of weeks? Of course I did.
And, as you can imagine, it has been hard to contain the feverish excitement of the old man at the prospect of shopping in Honolulu, taking long, guided bus tours with complete strangers, and our first Luau.
But, like most parents, we’re experiencing the guilts about leaving our baby behind. We don’t have the boat, money or influence of Johnny Depp, and we hear that the Americans can be really quite scary when it comes to illegal immigration, so this time we are leaving her at home in the hands of a couple of baby…er… dog-sitters.
Note to self: remind aforementioned babysitters that “The Princess” doesn’t actually identify as a dog.
And because our dog isn’t any normal bone-chewing, butt-sniffing mutt, I envisage that the poor sods left in her charge will require some sort of book guide to her habits. She is, after all, a woman of a certain age, with special needs, who (suffice it to say) does not suffer fools easily. So, here’s some advice I’ve come up with so far:
Sometimes, she eats breakfast, but more often than not she sniffs at the dog biscuits in her bowl in disgust and then death-stares you until you give her a treat.
She has a part-time job as a door bell. If someone so much as breathes in the street, she becomes the true Rottweiler she was born to be – although she has also been known to sleep through several break-in attempts.
Her favourite snacks are toast and Scotch fingers (preferably dunked in Lady Grey tea at 50 degrees). She will death stare you if you dare eat either of those without sharing.
She is getting on in years now and has come to despise long walks. If she senses that a trek is on the cards – i.e. further than 2kms – she will tug on the lead in a type of doggie morse code to warn you to turn back. Such blatant abuse of her trust and freedom may trigger a depressive episode.
Maintaining a body like hers requires a lot of water.
“The Princess” likes to space her poos out on walks, to make the event more of a ritual. One log here, another a few metres on… She particularly likes to play this game when you are low on bags.
Her two favourite meals are roast chicken and veggies (as in roast potatoes and nothing green, please) and Spaghetti Bolognese. She has excellent table manners and uses the living room rug afterwards as her napkin.
Her preference in terms of sleeping arrangements is to sleep in the bed with you, in the foetal position, fur to skin, heartbeat to heartbeat. She will kick you intermittently to let you know that she is still alive.
She does not tolerate other dogs, apart from fellow Spoodles. Any dog that gets too close to her rear end is dealt with appropriately. Interestingly, the same rule does not seem to apply to her own butt-hole inspections.
She speaks three languages and is currently learning French from her parents’ latest Netflix obsession with foreign language series. Her favourite genre is Scandi Noir, and this is also her intended specialist subject for Mastermind.
The highlight of her day – after any event that involves food – is to cuddle up on the sofa under her favourite blankie with Netflix and a glass of wine.
She does not go outside in the rain, and during inclement weather she has been known to defy the age of her bladder and hang on for longer than one would believe is caninely possible.
She is obsessed with balls – indeed, the word uses up five of her twenty-word vocabulary. Warning: she will jump off a cliff for a ball.
Like most older women, she doesn’t tolerate idiots, doesn’t give too many fucks (unless food or plumbers are involved), and she has been known to suffer from the occasional mood swing. Her weekly visit to her therapist or a joint usually sorts this out.
Common triggers: long walks, men, tradesmen, the vet, baths, the groomer, worming tablets, suitcases, Boris (the Maltese at no. 34).
She is a homebody who does not cope well with transitions. She does a very believable impression of a dead dog attached to a lead when she is forced to do something she wants no part of.
Vomit triggers: being in the car, homemade treats, any green vegetable, transitions, long walks, being left alone at home, staying with people she doesn’t know…