Nick King's Blog

I've done some pretty cool things, but nothing's as cool as creating our family

We've the most patient (& laziest) dog-2yo has tucked him in for night under 2 blankets with pillow & is now reading him the Argos catalogue

When J and I met we owned, between us, an elderly dog and two cats, one elderly, one middle aged.

Moving in together we introduced my dog to our new home slowly, in order that the cats could get used to him.  He being looked after by kind friends while we acclimatised to living together.

Slowly our elderly animals became used to one another and pottered around the house for their last year together.  

 

The loss first of Harry, my dog, and then soon afterwards of Munch, J's cat was hugely sad for both of us.  Having lived with us for 17 and 19 years respectively their loss was felt deeply by us both.

J's cat was easier to replace than my dog.  Within a few months two new kittens joined our family, selected from a local rescue centre as both Harry and Munch had been so long before. 

At the time I was standing for Parliament.  Adopting a new dog would have to wait.  We agreed therefore that we would wait until the outcome of the election.  If I won, well then I would be too busy working in Westminster for us to have a pet.  

If I lost then we'd adopt a dog. 

I lost.

By just 269 votes.  But still I lost.  Hurrah!  The silver lining to the cloud was that we could adopt a dog.  

Visiting the dog pound in Southampton we chose a beagle, Jack Russell cross.   A rather sad looking chap.  Confirmed as being acclimatised to both children and cats he seemed perfect.  

Found at a deserted traveller encampment he had clearly had a fairly hard life.  His muzzle scarred.  His skin smarting from flea bites.  

Taking him home we had hope for long family walks with our new addition.  Striding across the beautiful New Forest countryside that surrounds our home.  Introducing our son to the responsibilities of looking after a pet, an dog he could call his own, with whom he could build a friendship that would endure into adolescence.

I day dreamt about our son coming home from school, running down the drive, being met by his ecstatic pet. Not unlike the reunion scene in the Incredible Journey.

 

Of course, this rose tinted fantasies came to nothing.

Our son runs down the drive, straight past the dog and lunges for the X-box controller.  Don't worry about the dog though.  He doesn't mind.  In fact, he doesn't even notice.  You see, Jack, our unimaginatively named beagle, Jack Russell cross, is the laziest dog in the world. 

 

Jack doesn't move much.  He might deign to wander into the kitchen when he hears the fridge door open.  Sitting alongside the cat in front of it, waiting to see if anything of interest might fall out.

In fact, the only time Jack's been known to move quickly in the house is when our three year old is eating anything.  

Our daughter's arrival was viewed with disdain by our pets.  A walking, talking, gurgling, puking 20 month old, taking even more of the attention away from them.  Competing for attention.  On occasion even competing for food was like a rogue animal joining the pack.  

The benefits of a toddler whose ability to keep food of any kind on her plate, let along on whichever utensil was being used to transfer said food to her mouth, soon became apparent to  Jack the dog.  He now views our little girl as his best friend, following her around in the hope of discarded titbits.  Visibly disappointed at her growing dexterity.

 

I was thinking of the way by which I could best demonstrate how lazy our dog is.

Let me share with you taking them for a walk.

 

Essentially, our dog's default mode is comatose.  So being woken to go for a walk is a bit of a challenge for us both.

Having been dragged to the end of the drive he will try a number of different strategies to avoid the walk. 

Generally he starts with a policy of sticking his heals in.

Reaching the end of our drive he will stop.  Stretching fore legs out in front of him.  Refusing to move.

Needing to be pulled along.  His little legs slowly moving more quickly as we gather speed.  Pathetically reluctant to go forward, regardless of the amount of inducement used.

Realising that active resistance won't work, Jack, the laziest dog in the world, will decide upon a different strategy.  


This new plan is to find a spot to do a wee.  Having carried out what he clearly perceives is what's expected he will then turn around and head back to his bed as soon as quickly as possible.

Of course, this doesn't work either and so we carry on.  I pull.  Jack drags his heels.  Literally.  Being jerked along as he thinks up his next plan for escape back to the sofa at home.

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He decides to try a variation of the last tactic.  Sticking his nose in the nearest border he becomes obsessively interested in a scent therein.  Head stuck amongst the greenery he investigates whatever's there for as long as he can.  Pulling his head out and turning back as if going home at this point was the natural course of action, despite it still being less than 50 metres from home.  

This doesn't work either.  We continue.  He dragging still.  Me striding ahead.  Anyone watching would be certain that I was either indulging in abuse of my pet, or that our dog simply hated me and wanted nothing to do with me.  Both of which could be entirely true, of course.

So, finally we reach the point at which we turn for home.  This is where our dog's true self shows itself.  Determined to be contrary to the end he then becomes interested in continuing the walk.  Dragging back to continue sniffing at whatever takes his fancy.

It could of course be the fact that our dog isn't very bright and that he doesn't realise that we are heading for the place he wanted to return to all along.

After all, this is the same pet who goes upstairs to find somewhere quiet to sleep.  Snoozes for a while.  Wakes up.  Realises none of us are around and cries hysterically (or as hysterically as a dog can) until one of us goes and reminds him where he is and where the rest of the family are.


But after all this.  Our lazy, crazy, dog fits our family perfectly.  

He's as dotty as we all are.  And we love him for it.