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Sunday, 20 February 2011

Walking the Dog

We have a little dog, a Bichon-Frise called for some forgotten reason "Samo".

I say we have a dog, but to be accurate, my beloved, because she is at home alone a lot of the time (she is on a full medical pension because of a very bad back injury) wanted to get a doggie companion two years ago.

We eventually bought him (more accurately "it" as he's "been seen to") from a Chinese family in Kelson, from a Trade Me advert. I should point out here that dog people (different from dog-owners) prefer to use the term "adopted", rather than bought. Whatever.
Loose weight or die

On the first visit to the Vet after we had adopted him, we were told he was about 2 kg overweight, so we put him on a diet, and took him for regular walks. His previous owners couldn't have walked him very much, because Samo strongly objected to walking further than 50 metres from the house. He showed his reluctance by sitting down and refusing to move. I solved this problem by ignoring his objections and continuing to walk. As I weigh considerably more than even the overweight Samo, the result was he got dragged along the sidewalk on his arse, which caused him to re-think his objections and continue walking. He soon lost weight through a reduction in food and the extended exercise, and he is now quite keen to go on fairly long walks; the little chap now gets excited as soon as he sees the lead.

The lead which I am carrying.
For some unknown reason, I'm the mug who now takes him for his walks. Ignore the fact that it was my beloved who wanted the bloody animal in the first place, ignore the fact that I work from 7:00 am until 6:00 pm, and come home knackered, ignore the fact that my beloved is home most of the day, watching TV, reading etc., I'm the chap who takes Samo for his walks.

But I'm not bitter.

Before we had a dog in the house, I was surprised by the occasional comment by a friend or colleague about the propensity for dogs to produce "poo".

Only this machine produces more crap than a dog

Dear God, they're just ambulatory crapping machines.

Samo gets one portion of dried dog food at 4pm every day, and maybe a couple of small bikkies as treats once or twice a day, but I'm sure that his gut exhibits a complete disregard for the law of conservation of matter, and he produces at least 3 times the amount of "poo" compared to his intake.

We have big wooden decks all around the house, and every morning we do a poo patrol removing the deposits and spraying the contaminated area with bleach or disinfectant, before thoroughly rinsing with water from the hose.

Cute bone-shaped poo-bag dispenser

But the little bugger ALWAYS retains enough to make deposits on his walks. We have fitted a plastic bag dispenser to his lead, so we are always prepared to remove anything he leaves as we walk around the neighbourhood, so we try to be good citizens and keep the contamination to a minimum.

But it's always me. My beloved doesn't even take Samo out for a daytime walk anymore (to be fair, her back is playing up badly at the moment) so it's moi who accompanies the little white happy but crapping canine on his perambulations.

It's really not that much of an imposition, and if I can sneak a quick alcoholic infusion before we leave, I can actually enjoy the walk.

OOOh, Hello Neighbour

I can do lesson plans and units of work in my head, dream about new cars, imagine DIY projects, design death machines for the prolonged and painful destruction and dismemberment of Ringo (always a favourite), meet and chat to other dog walkers, (mostly blokes oddly enough) view with unalloyed delight the fluorescent blue of the gorgeous New Zealand sky, especially as it segues into the almost more impressive turquoise and pink of the sunset, admire the silhouette of a neighbour's wife against the evening sky, spend the next 10 minutes trying to eradicate the arousing fantasy which popped into my fevered brain after seeing her voluptuous silhouette

So the walks can be diverting, (Please note: I do not consider rain to be a part of the contract.  Rain = No Walkies.  Ever.  No Exceptions) a relatively benign way of taking a modicum of exercise for the both of us. 

See Nicola, I don't use every excuse to put pictures of large-breasted women on my blog.
Then someone gave Samo some melon.  We had a few friends around last weekend for a barbeque, and my beloved had prepared plates of fresh fruit, including melon and watermelon.  A few pieces fell off which were promptly scarfed down by Samo, waiting under the table. (He never begs for food while we are eating, but he reckons  that anything that falls on the ground is fair game).

I took him out for his walk that evening, following the usual route, stopping at the usual places for him to sniff and pee, everything normal, except his walk wasn't quite normal, he seemed to be waddling a bit, almost as if he didn't want to move his hind legs very much.  I didn't give it much thought until the first crap stop.  Samo exhibited the usual precursor signs, grass sniffing/snuffling, going in circles repeatedly, then the final sign, the glazed eyes and the straddled legs.

Poo bags come in all sizes
Sighing, I removed a new bag from the dispenser, and after he had finished, removed the pellets, sealed and tied the bag, and hung it from the leash. (this is now de-rigeur for dog walkers, demonstrating that we're actually picking up the poo, and not leaving it to foul the sidewalk).

We carried on walking, but Samo began to exhibit the pre-poo signs again!
Oh well, out with the bag, ready....

JESUS CHRIST, where was this coming from.  My little doggie had turned into a monster.
The area was becoming covered in large deposits of a foul-smelling semi-liquid, looking remarkably like lentil soup.
Looks like this
Smells a bit different.  Can't comment on the taste.

I couldn't pick this up, I'd need a straw, and I certainly wasn't going to use one to suck this stuff up. I'd need a hose and gallons of disinfectant, but I was quite a bit from our house, and I didn't really know these distant neighbours.

So I did what any other bloke in similar circumstances would have done.

I buggered off, sharpish

Wishing I had a cork somewhere on my person to plug up the dispensing orrifice of my now dribbling doggie companion, I walked/shuffled back home.  On the way, the little white shit-machine had by now added farting to his repertoire, and mixed with the still dribbling lentil soup, resulted in him spray-painting large areas of the pavement, grass and a parked campervan with a layer of dark beige pigment, which smelled vaguely of fermenting melon with an admixture of dead, decomposing goat.

Spray painting, the proper way

Spray painting, the Samo way

Once home, I locked all the outside doors, banishing him to the outside decks until the plague had resolved itself.  I did put out a large bowl of water, knowing the poor little sod would become dehydrated quite quickly, but no-way was he getting back into the house until it was all over.

I went back through the living room, heading for the front deck and a relaxing lie-down on the porch swing, thinking that maybe a glass or two of peat and barley extract would help my frazzled nerves relax, when I became aware of two things.

My beloved was screaming at me, something about carpet?
I still smelled the disgusting stench of the doggie diarrhoea.

Oh Dear.

I looked down.
Brown footprints.
No relaxing on the porch swing, no nerve-numbing peat and barley infusion, just a long time on my hands and knees, scrubbing and disinfecting.

No more Melon.


  1. To be fair to dogs, I know a lot of people who are just ambulatory crapping machines.

    And at least you can go out and leave the dog in alone. Social Services don't like you doing that with children.....

    Poor wee bugger - I think he's lost weight through A) dehydration and B) getting half his arse scraped off on the pavement when he's out for 'draggies'.


    Ali x

  2. I think you've witnessed one of those great breakthroughs that change history. For centuries scientists and engineers have tried to create the perfect perpetual motion machine. That's just what your marvellous dog is. Not only is it producing perpetual motions, it's making them from less than it takes in. You need to submit a paper to the learned journals.

    -- Clive

  3. AX: Yes, you're right. Iactually work with one of those people.
    LOL about the arse scraping, never thought about it that way. Like the idea of draggies. Could apply it to some of our pupils going to school.

    Hi CLive, tell you what, I'll send some of the evidence to you for your personal examination, then YOU can forward it to the Royal Academy, or Ringo or whatever.

  4. Dear Sir

    Before coming to this country for a travelling holiday we were warned about 'freedom camping' and told that defecating on the roadside, on the beaches or in the bush was definitely forbidden and would result in fines and social ostracism if we were to do so. Imagine our horror on returning to our camper-van which we had parked in Trentham whilst visiting a local park to discover that it was liberally painted with what I can only describe as shit.
    I really do not think that this is good enough and would like to have an explanation please.

    - Mrs and Mr Warbottom (Retired) of Brighton.

  5. Well done; brought tears to my eyes.

  6. Dear Major and Mrs Warbottom (I have my sources,
    thank you for that kind comment on this public blog.

    You are quite correct in thinking that defecating on the roadside, on the beaches or in the bush is definitely forbidden, and I can only appologise for such an outrageous event.

    I can only believe that your camper van was included in the anointment ceremony of the Medieval Jousters, known as the "Knights that say ni", which was being held in the park adjacent to your parking spot.

    My sources tell me that an elderly man, seen shuffling away with a small. foul-smelling dog, is in no way associated with your incident of faecal contamination.

    Finally, as they say in this country "harden up".
    It could have been worse. For example if you had been Maori, you ran the risk of having your camper van confiscated by the Crown for involvement in the Land revolt, even if you had nothing to do with it.

    Welcome to Aotearoa.
    Haere Mai

  7. Dear Mr Twisted Scottish Bastard (my what a strange name still, given that you are obviously Caledonian I guess I shouldn't be surprised), fortunately , after having our camper-van thoroughly cleaned and disinfected we discovered that our security video camera was in fact still operable. On reviewing the tape we saw that the aforesaid elderly shuffling man and his dog were responsible for the said defecation. Whilst the angle of the recording was not entirely clear as to whether the elderly man did in fact defecate along with his dog, the height reached by said defecation seems to be beyond the limit of such a small dog. The consistency of the defecation makes me think that this dog and his master should in fact 'harden up'. It would make the collection of the faecal matter much easier.

    Yours (etc.)
    Mrs and Mr Warbottom (Retired) of Brighton

  8. Dear Mr Twisted Scottish Bastard.
    I regret that you are misinformed. It is in fact Major Warbottom (Mrs).

    Mrs and Mr Warbottom (Retired) of Brighton

  9. Terribly sorry Mr Warbottom, I was informed the hirsute one was the Major.
    My bad.

    Nice comment on Harden Up.

  10. Excellent comments, I've sat here chortling like a lunatic.


  11. Samo looks fabulous even if he's overweight. The shape of his face is just so perfect and his radiant white fur is simply adorable.

  12. that elaphant pic is messed up

  13. Oh I am dying over here. Poor little guy but I feel even worst for you. But hey, you live and learn and even though it was a tough lesson, you now know not to feed dogs melon.

    1. If anyone even approaches Samo with any type of fruit (apart from apple, which for some reason he loves and has no nasty side effects) I will remove them with my trusty 7.62mm messenger of Death.

      It may sound amusing now, but I can assure you, that cleaning up the brown footprints was not funny.


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