Feeling: Sheepish & Hangdog; I have a Pet Peeve
I have a bone to pick with myself; I have a literal pet peeve. I feel like such a bitch. Let me paws for a moment; it’s a but ruff to admit. (I’m sorry, I shall attempt to halt the terrible canine puns shall there. I know you’re begging of me).
I love my doggies. Absolutely adore then. They bring me such joy and highly inflate my self esteem.
Otto, the rotund standard Schnauzer, is one of my best buds. When I was working night shifts I would come home each evening to him burrowed in my bed, absolutely ecstatic at my return. He would then proceed to lead me to the kitchen and stand looking innocently at the fridge, ever the food opportunist. At seven years old, he still acts like a naughty little puppy.
Now Angus. The crux of this post and subject of my confession.
Angus is ten. We adopted him five or so years ago when he was put on Trade Me with a request for a new home. Blind from birth, Angus was being bullied by father doggie and life wasn’t too great for him. So he became a Wortman.
His original owners told us that Angus would never lie on his side or back; he was always on guard. Angus was a runty thing, skinny and weak and barked absolutely all the time.
But we all absolutely adored him from the get go. Now, half a decade later, Angus lolls about on his side every opportunity he gets. He is mad for spinach and Super Wine biscuits, and whenever he hears Deb vacuuming he’s at her side whining to get his back suctioned. He’s like a different dog.
And here’s the disclosure that I hate to admit: although I love Angus just as much as Otto, I’m not as loving towards him. I don’t give him the attention, the cuddles or the walking time that I offer Otto. I don’t have the time.
Angus is like a demanding child you have to hide from. When he locates you with his submarine-like manouvering, there’s no escape. He bucks your hand if you stop patting him even momentarily, and if you have food on you, well, you can kiss your pleasant indulging in edibles goodbye.
When I was at Uni and doing assignments I literally had to sneak about like a secret service spy to get away from him. He would bark and bark and bark and bark and bark and “SHUT THE FUCK UP ANGUS” was my most common catchphrase.
One day I could hear him from the other end of the house, barking and barking. I let him be for a good half hour, then decided I better just go and see what the hell was up.
Angus has this thing about curtains, especially when he’s just had a haircut. He slithers under the netting liners and lets them drape across his back.
When I poked my head into mum and dad’s room, my heart dropped; somehow he’d managed to rip a hole in one curtain liner and had his head stuck and he was honestly almost hanging himself off the curtain rod. I freaked out, tore the fabric to shreds and sat holding him and feeding him Gingernuts for the rest of the afternoon. I felt so horrendous for my neglect and ignoring of his cries out for aid. From there I started showing a wee bit more compassion, but there was still the underlying emotion of jealousy. Yes, jealousy.
You see, I have a bit of playful envy when it comes to Angus. Let me explain.
My lifelong dream as a girl was to have a Wendy House. A life sized playhouse in the backyard that I could make-believe in to my heart’s content. Unfortunately, my desire was never fulfilled.
My friend Melanie McCluskie had one and whenever I went round to her place I begged to play in it. It was a pale pea green to match her actual family home, with emerald shutters on the window and checked red and white curtains. I could not understand Melanie’s disinterest in her treasure; it was so messy and unkempt. If it had been mine, I would’ve kept it in a completely pristine state.
So when it comes to Wendy Homes, my heart still feels a twinge of longing. There’s always been a little bit of contention deep down towards Hank for never blessing me with my own.
So I think it’s fair to say I was rather put out when one day, I looked into the backyard and there, erected talk and proud, was a wooden Wendy House. For Angus.
$700 off TradeMe. “Bargain,” Hank declared.
Can I put this as clearly as I can: Hank had spent more than half a grand. On a playhouse. For a dog.
“It’s for when it’s raining and he’s outside,” Hank said. “Fungi needs a shelter for when we are all out and he’s outside all day.”
Can I also add that Hank put in the lovely rug from our lounge for Angus to recline on? A big, expensive bean bag to sink into? A fridge complete with morsels to snack on? (Ok the fridge but was a joke, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all should the latest Fisher & Paykel model appear).
So from then on, my feelings towards the sightless schnauzer were laced with a tinge of bitterness. Humorous spite, not deep and true resentment, but a touch of jealousy nonetheless.
Being here and away from my puppies, I find I miss Angus like crazy. Yes, even his constant bumping into the walls, his nagging for attention, his annoying tendency to stalk me around the house, his need to be taken for a walk every morning ASAP so he doesn’t dump on the carpet. It’s just because he loves me (the stalking, not the excretion). I can’t wait to get home and give him a massive cuddle and vaccum.
I have plenty of time. I just need to lend Angus a bit more of it, along with patience and understanding.
And I guess there’s always room for two in the Wendy House.
A quick P.S: I managed to refrain from embedding too many awful canine puns. You must think I’m barking mad. They’re just so much doggone pun.