Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Filthy Romance Strikes at Barkingham Palace

As any dog-owner will tell you, walking in the autumn and winter months can be challenging. Aside from the chilly temperature, howling winds and downpours of rain, there is the challenge of keeping your home free of mud-soaked dog paws. Even with the most strategic planning, it always goes awry, as my living-room carpet will reflect.

The living-room carpet here at Barkingham Palace has seen more than its fair share of muddy paw prints over the past few weeks. I can't even begin to tell you how bad it looked after our walk of today. I took Ellie and my latest boarding dog, Hoolie, across the fields with me. That was my first mistake as it had been raining overnight and the mud was incredibly thick under foot. My second mistake was to let Hoolie and Ellie play in the stream along the way. If there is one thing that mud sticks to more than dog hair, it's wet dog hair!

Ellie and Hoolie then decided real fun could be had if Ellie were to play the part of sheepdog - something that she isn't altogether bad at if the sheep happens to be a dog - and Hoolie were to play the part of a sheep. Unsurprisingly, Hoolie is very good at his role too, if the sheep happens to run around like its backside is on fire while plugged into a never-ending mains for energy. So now, just close your eyes and imagine a big black Labrador which, I swear, seems to be the size of a small pony (A Labrapony perhaps?), and a rocket-fast Border Collie running through large open fields of thick thick mud and rain. Got it in your mind's eye yet? Okay, now double the mud you have in your imagination and you'll come somewhere close to how both dogs looked. And they did this for almost an hour, let's not forget.

Being the softie that I am, I allowed them to just get on with it. Between you and me, I love to see dogs playing together in the open air. It's how things are supposed to be in my mind. Anyway, I figured that we would have some walking on pavements to do on our way home, and then I would towel them both off in the hallway when we got home.

As we got home, I made them wait at the door and towelled them both. The towel, quite literally, went from a pale green to a deep dark brown in just seconds. (See exhibit A to the left.) However, I thought I had got all the loose stuff off. I let them into the house. BIG MISTAKE. Only when they hit the living room carpet did I see just how much mud was left on the dogs. It was really bad! I can't wait to get my carpet cleaned but really, there's no point in this weather. It is cleaned every quarter anyway so it'll be due around the end of March, by which time I hope to see some dryer weather.

And you know, even if you manage to wipe the mud off the dog, then there is the customary dog shake. When Ellie shakes, it's not really a big deal. She's a small spindly dog who could barely make a candle flame flicker with the output of her shake. However, Hoolie is another matter. When he shakes, the national TV channels issue severe weather warnings! He can splatter an entire wall in less than two seconds, and move along to complete another in the blink of an eye.

But you know what, for all that, I still wouldn't stop home-boarding in a million years!

In other news, I think Ellie and Hoolie are forming a little romance. Every evening, Hoolie will jump on the sofa with me and lay down my side. Ellie then jumps on top and she goes to sleep with her head resting on Hoolie. I'd love to get it on camera, but it's hard to move without disturbing them. Trust me when I tell you that it looks so cute. Yesterday, however, Hoolie decided that their relationship needed to move forward a little faster. He figured that he'd done the foreplay bit. He'd let her sleep on him and whisper sweet nothings in his ear. It was time to, you know, cement the bond a little more firmly. And so he did. In the blink of an eye, he was trying to have his evil way with her. What was more surprising was the Ellie seemed more than happy to let him. I thought about splitting them up, but watching a dog the size of Hoolie trying to mount a bitch the size of Ellie does provide a certain degree of comedy. Besides, it lasted only a few seconds before he gave up and decided he needed a rest. That's my boy!

P.S. It struck me, after I published this entry, that Hoolie is still trying to make his carnal intentions clear in the first photo! :) Dirty Berty!

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

LOL great stories! When Storm gets her paws muddy I get a bucket of water and dip each foot in and then squeeze out the excess water (huskies have a LOT of fur between the toes!) before we ever go inside. It keeps the floors from getting muddy, although they do get a bit wet. However if she were to get her entire body muddy . . . um . . . lol. I guess I would either towel her off like you did or carry her to the tub and hose her down lol.

I'm glad Ellie and Hoolie are getting along so well. ;)