It was the dog’s birthday today. So, of course, the kids thought they should make a HUGE deal out of our beloved labradoodle turning three. Oh how they loved her when she arrived as a puppy: so cute, cuddly and fluffy. How they tussled over who should feed her, brush her, and pick up her darling little poop nuggets!
Now, I have to scream myself hoarse or calmly intone ‘take the dog out’ nine hundred times before they do anything. To be fair, they do love her to bits, and she them, and it’s sweet to see them rolling around giggling with the dog. I just wish they’d show an ounce of enthusiasm towards looking after her, that’s all.
So yesterday the children insisted a walk into town was necessary to go to the insanely expensive posh dog shop to buy the dog a birthday present. Promising earnestly to ‘pay you back out of my pocket money, mummy, promise,’ I agreed and dragged myself into town, only just persuading myself that no, my pyjamas do look like pyjamas, not trendy leisure wear, and I would have to get properly dressed.
I had some things to pick up, so after trudging around Superdrug buying some necessities we passed through Marks. Standing at the bakery section trying to avoid the gaze of the cheese twists whilst my children dithered over their sugary carb choices, my plastic Superdrug bag fell over. Something fell out. Was it the sweet furry hot water bottle for Daughter? The smugly purchased chewy multivitamins for the children? The new trendy red lipstick? No.
It was the giant box of high strength Canesten that tumbled brightly to the floor with its eye – catching red and white packaging.
Also, to make matters worse, (in a move reminiscent of Johnny Depp in the Buster Keaton inspired Benny and Joon) as I dashed to retrieve the box I accidentally kicked it across the floor and under the feet of a nearby elderly gentleman.
Sweating, and bright red with embarrassment, I almost knocked his wife flying as I tried to get to the box before he bent to pick it up for me.
Frazzled and panting slightly I completed my purchases and hastily pushed the children in front of me and out of the shop. All the way to the dog place I reminded the children not to go mad, and that Dog is only a dog, and birthdays don’t mean anything to her. They nodded with great solemnity and earnestness and my heat lifted as we chatted about how Dog is so good.
Sweetly they worked out in dog years Dog was now 21 so both agreed it was a ‘very special birthday.’
On the way I fell in love with the most BEAUTIFUL scarf in the window of Antoine & Lili. Do you know it? Unfortunately I am still not thin enough to look good in any of their clothes, but I will keep buying shoes and scarves there until I get another stone off. Just look at all this delicious colour! Just the thing to brighten up the pallid ageing skin of the over 45.
We arrive at the insanely expensive posh dog shop. I allow each of them to choose a toy Dog will like and following intense, unremitting and wearisome pleading, give in to their demand for a ‘couple of dog treats to make a cake with.’
Each set of dog treats is stored in beautifully polished mason jars. The children happily chat with each other as they choose, and it is so rare to see them peacefully together it is a balm to my sore old embittered mother’s heart. It was only later I realised that the minimum price on each jar’s trendy label was £1.50.
Thirty minutes of decision making later I was losing the will to live. Sensing my weakness, the children upped their game. ‘Look! It’s a special birthday dog food tin with extra treats! Oh we must get it! Dog is such a good dog.’ I would have agreed to buying the £150 Swarovski Dog lead at this point so thought I’d got off lightly.
Sixty pounds later…
SIXTY POUNDS! WTF was I thinking letting the children choose!?
Highly awkward, as by this stage they had got their sticky little hands all over the individual dog treats so I couldn’t put them back. Smiling brightly at the bored assistant, I handed over the cash, muttering curses under my breath at the children like Muttley.
I made sure I carried the bag home so I could extract the most expensive toy they had bought in order to return it and claim a refund of £30.
Back home, desperate for a coffee, I fire up the Tassimo machine. It explodes coffee everywhere. All over the kitchen, me and the dog. I take it apart (the machine, not the dog) and start washing out all the bits. One long tube is filled with coffee crap. Nothing I can find is small enough to poke through and shove it out.
Brainwave! Spotting one of the reeds poking out of a now dried up diffuser bottle, I grab it and shove it back and forth through the pipe, brushing out the last of the caked on coffee. Result!
Two seconds into my nice hot coffee all I can taste is Heyland and Whittle’s ‘Winter Spice‘ diffuser oil. I realise with growing concern that just because the refill jar was empty, it didn’t mean the reed itself wasn’t drenched in the oil it had sucked up over the past four months.
I am so desperate, I quickly google ‘can drinking Reed diffuser refills kill you?’ and, reassured, finish the coffee. ‘Winter Spice’ is a lovely smell for your sitting room but it tastes absolutely disgusting in a coffee.
Just when she should have been going to bed, Daughter fossicks around the house until she finds the last bit of Christmas wrapping paper and sellotape so she can wrap all the dog’s presents. In order not to spoil the surprise (eye roll) she does this in our bedroom.
8.30 pm – past bedtime – she’s all done so I chase her to bed; after 40 minutes of interruptions, Rob and I finally settle in for a bit of grown-up telly. Just before retiring I hear Dog gulping down water like a horse.
Ten minutes later she does it again.
Dog comes in and flops onto my feet with a sigh. A poisonous gassy smell seeps into the atmosphere. ‘Rob!’ I moan in disgust. ‘Wasn’t me!’ He protested.
I look at the dog. Dog looks at me. She has a suspiciously sticky muzzle. She doesn’t look very well.
Yup. She’s broken silently into our bedroom, ripped off the wrapping and eaten 17 (large – the size of my fist) treats in one go. I only manage to save one peppermint green half-chewed dental stick.
I was woken this morning by the sounds of the children singing Happy Birthday to the dog, and the noxious stench drifting from a lake of oily black dog Diarrhoea. Clearing up poop is my job (apparently) as Rob, ‘never wanted the dog in the first place.’
Despite being taken out a number of times in the evening, poor Dog evidently had quite a bit of content left in her stomach to evacuate. Bless her, she had tried to get as close to the door as she could and it was on a easy wipe vinyl floor… I spent quite a long time showering in very hot water after cleaning it all up.
For some reason all the time I was scrubbing I kept hearing, ‘What do you do when you want to do a poo, in an English Country Garden?’ which rang through my head for the rest of the day and is still there now.
Daisy opening her (very expensive) birthday presents. She is not being fed anything today
Ah well, it’s all part of life’s rich tapestry. Happy birthday, Dog!