Alice's Page

Friday 4 December 2009

Well, I'm back putting paw to paper, as it were, and such a hell of a lot has happened since I was last here way back in November 2006. God that seems a world away. It was shortly after that they caught me at it with the pitbull terrier across the road, and had the good grace not to interfere, though, my word he was masterful, and I was "only sixteen" in human terms. Morning after pill, unhappily.

Looking back, I suppose I was too young to be sensible. I heard Dave say something about very likely going to jail for letting pups like that loose on society.

Anyway, time passed, as it does. I spent time at Sonnia and Richard's while Dave and Miranda were tramping, and after I disposed of Richard's mum's favourite chook I spent most of my time chained up, and outside. I ask you?

I knocked off one of Michelle's chooks a bit after that. Miranda didn't know whether to admire my cute moustache of white feathers or burst into tears, and a bit later on I scored one of Carolyn's Chinese Silky hens. Chinese Sillies they should be called. No, cancel that. I'm not allowed to be racist. But dammit, when they start to run I just can't seem to help myself. And they do look silly.

Dave got one of those shock collars to see if that would help me but all it did was cause me to do aerobatics in mid-stride and didn't otherwise slow me down at all. Actually, if I relaxed, and just let the jolt throw me around it was almost pleasurable in a masochistic kind of way. Dave soon gave up when he had to keep replacing batteries to no obvious effect.

Masochism.... Dear me. I wish people wouldn't keep labelling things the way they do. Keep it simple is what I say.

Which is more than what Dave and Miranda did. I could tell it wasn't going to work out. Miranda around Dan looked just the way I felt round that pitbull and reason just doesn't get a look in, or even shock collars, I'm here to tell you that. Nothing gets a look in. Pity there isn't a morning-after pill for that kind of silliness, even with pups out of the question.

What else. Oh, I spent time at Catherine and Ernie's and got to know my good mate Ty. He's a Lassie lookalike, a golden collie, and drop dead gorgeous.( I believe Lassie was in fact a Laddie for most of "her" film career. Not sure how I feel about canine transvestites.)

I have also walked a good deal of the Waitakeres with Dave and Miranda, and I feature in quite a few of the Fathmandu writeups. Dave would sell his soul for a joke, even a bad one, and I positively squirmed when he shot me alongside a hound's tongue fern with my mouth open. If that wasn't enough, he said that I was a bowaowao, and the fern was a kowaowao. Close enough, he reckoned.

Anyway, Miranda left us to it in February this year. Dave was a bit nervous about money for a start and dropped me down to supermarket biscuit plus dribbles of whatever gravy he was doing for himself. The bad thing was that last November he did something to his knee while he was on the Mt Holdsworth tramp and it's proved bloody hard to sort properly. Added to that was the fact that Dave couldn't seem to get it through his head that there was one less to cook for and he was eating for two for quite a bit. That and winter coming on meant we didn't get the walking done he should have. And he had to buy new trousers to fit.

He was thinking about a walking machine, a treadmill of sorts, but getting one big enough to take his weight inside a price he could afford was a problem. Ernie reckoned Dave already had a walking machine - me - which was unkind. Anyway, it reminded Dave that dogs need exercise, and he couldn't see how he could fit me on a treadmill, so we started out again.

Then Dave had a bad SVT attack when were nearly at the end of an 8km walk in Woodhill Forest and it scared the shit out of him. And me! He had to walk ten minutes back to the car with a heart rate around 200 plus, and then drive back to the house, about 15 km. None of the usual methods of reverting the attack worked and eventually he called Irene, one of Miranda's mates.

She came round with her medical oxygen, couldn't feel a pulse at all, and promptly called the ambulance. Now even though the oxygen did the trick, and he was cracking (bad) jokes by the time the ambos arrived, it threw a walking scare into him. I know when he's in walkies mode. I can tell, and I've watched him, over and over, make the preliminary moves and then find something else to do that meant we stayed at home. Lawn-mowing might be exercise but there's nothing in it for me. I just hang around in the shade of the claret ash with a bone and leave him to it.

Since he went to Norfolk Island to spend a week with Bonny, something has changed, and also, since Lerey dropped by with her campervan and stayed for a bit, he's been out walking much more often. I really liked Bonny's dog, Button, but she went to a new home when the hearing-dog people said she wasn't acceptable for training. I kind of miss her, though I only knew her for a short time, and I reckon Dave was kind of sad too.

Bonny reckons I'm a pretty good sort of dog, and she was thinking about possibly a pup of mine. Pups? Dave nearly had kittens. We did have what you might call an emotionally labile early relationship. I like Bonny. I specially like the way Dave lights up when she comes round. Though, he doesn't look anything like a pitbull.

Speaking about Lerey leads me inevitably to the subject of Charm the chihuahua. (I think that's a Korean word meaning "energy snack".)

She's also pretty fabulous looking in that Hollywood kind of way, but at 13 she's probably seen her best years and has a definitely overamped sense of her own importance. She won't even bring herself to let me near, let alone sniff me, and plays a hell of a hard-to-get game. And noisy.

No that's not fair. I make a hell of a lot of noise, too. It's good value, especially when I haven't been for a walk for a while. But damn, I've seen Dave leave his seat vertically when she's cut loose at me from just behind him. Anyway, one of the sayings I like is "Love me, love my dog." I suspect it's got me places I wouldn't normally get to, on the strength of being Dave's dog.

I must confess I do get a buzz out of rarking up Charm. She makes the goddam noise and gets the blame, while I look innocent and friendly. Well, give me a chance is what I say.

What else. Oh, yes, of course. The Wagging Tails girls.

Their tails aren't really wagging, that's just their business name, but boy, do they do a mean shampoo, massage and hairstyle. They're coming today to give me my summer cut.

It can be a bit of a drama, but I get heaps of compliments, and "classic schnauzer" comments, which is a hugely welcome change from "Hairy McLary". They know their stuff.

The last few days I could have used short hair. They've been days when I'm too hot to lie upright, I just drape sideways. Today I'm not quite so sure as it's bloody cold and wet and I haven't felt like venturing outside at all this morning.

I don't blame the Global Warming guys for changing their pitch to Climate Change. At least that way they'll be right twice out of three outcomes, and right now feels a lot colder than warmer.

I'm not going to get onto the subject of climate change. Too much politics involved and when politics comes in like that, truth goes right out the window. Politics is war without obvious bloodshed, but just ask someone who's been involved. Anyway, it feels kind of right that truth and politics don't mix. Or truth and religion for that matter. Bloody Dave making a joke the other day about dyslexics singing Nearer my Dog to Thee. They weren't bloody dyslexics, I told him, but do you think he'd listen.

Anyway, bedtime. Dave has started his closing-down-for-the-night routine, and it's a big day tomorrow. Bonny is back for a few weeks from Norfolk, and Dave is heading out to the airport to meet her.



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