My family are all animal lovers. For me it’s horses, dogs and cats, in that order. Or maybe not, after what happened one very hot summer’s day. I hope you enjoy reading this…every word is true.
One weekend not long ago my son and his wife lent us Max, their Cavapoo puppy for a weekend so that they could have a holiday. A Cavapoo is half poodle and half Cavalier King Charles spaniel; they look adorable, like doggy teddy bears.
My son promised that the angelic, golden-fleeced puppy had grown into a sensible fellow. He was no longer having to be taken to the vet every week because he had somehow eaten chocolate, medicines, grapes or irises by launching himself with stunning precision on to kitchen work surfaces much taller than himself.
No, he guaranteed that Max was now fully house-trained and would “definitely” not poo on our prized lawn.
My lovely daughter-in-law winked as she whispered to me that he had just done “what he needed to” in great quantity on a walk, a few minutes before they got to my house. (Of course this was picked up with the special doggy-poo bags all dog-owners have to use, and thrown away safely.)
I waved them off cheerfully and set about preparing supper, our kitchen doors on to the back garden left open to allow some air to circulate and relieve the sticky July heat. The gorgeous Max was ambling contentedly around the lawn, not eating the flowers, and all was well with the world. I hummed a tune and thought how perfect life had turned out to be.
When I glanced outside a moment later, however, Max was no longer ambling. He was squatting on the grass.
“That’s not possible,” my brain told me as my eyes watched him crouching a second time. And a third.
I walked outside to take a closer look, still not quite sure whether I had made a mistake. Surely Max wouldn’t have disgraced himself? How much poo could one puppy do in an afternoon anyway?
The evidence was undeniable, in fact three lots of steaming evidence!
“At least it’s solid,” I found myself thinking. But no…the circling and squatting had begun again. I was rooted to the spot, open mouthed, as the puppy ruined his good name – and my precious lawn – again and again. And this time it was clearly not going to be a straightforward hand-in-bag manoevre. (I won’t tell you why or I might put you off your tea.)
Max had clearly managed, earlier that day, to have a secret snack of something forbidden (we’ve all done that, right?). I’d have to tell on him to David, I decided. But that didn’t solve the immediate problem of the Poo Machine that was still busy changing the colour of my lawn. I yelled at him to stop but all I got was what looked suspiciously like a doggy smile.
Having cleaned up as best I could, I prayed for rain to finish the job; after a month of unbroken hot weather this seemed unlikely.
I took Max out for a walk before supper, hopeful that he might be as keen to wee as he had been to poo. He had not done a ‘tinkle’ for hours.
I had been warned by my son this was one of Max’s many odd behaviours. According to him, Max could hold in his wee longer than any animal he had ever known. “For hours and hours and hours.”
I didn’t believe it.
Max didn’t pee, but as I idly meandered in my light summer dress and flipflops, God took the opportunity to answer my prayers.
With a deafening crash of thunder and some brilliant lightning, the heavens opened and rain sheeted down. It was a power shower…without the bath towels. And it gave me a startling insight into the weirdly wonderful brain of Max the puppy.
Although he had only been to my house a couple of times and some weeks earlier, as soon as the first drops of rain landed on his delicate face, Max turned himself around like the needle on a compass and dragged me back the way we had come, turning right, then left, then right again, finally swerving sharply into my drive and pulling me up to the front door. I could only marvel at his satnav powers.
The puppy’s pee problem was soon solved. It turned out that all Max needed was his four paws on our lawn where he produced the longest pee the world has ever seen.
Well, you’ll have to take my word for it.