Dogged persistence

December 31, 2013



Well, Harley’s home, and he’s completely adorable. And completely insane.

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of dogs in my life. But not that many puppies. The last one I had to deal with in any protracted sense was a 10-week-old Jack Russell called Bonsai, whom I drove from a remote Scottish island all the way down to Dorset, howling in a cardboard box on the passenger seat for 13 hours. I think we were both pretty relieved when that journey was over.

But how quickly memory fades. I had completely forgotten what a pain a puppy can be. But with the arrival of Harley, I’ve been reminded, forcefully. Harley likes to chew things. And Harley doesn’t take well to being baulked when it comes to chewing. It doesn’t matter what it is: trouser legs, socks, fingers, the walls, earlobes, newspapers, curtains, lamps, electrical cables, cardboard boxes; all is grist, as it were, to his mill. The dog is relentlessness personified.


Now I hesitate to call a dog stupid, especially one that’s owned by me. But it is true to say that Harley’s mind is a little … underdeveloped. He is only eight weeks old. And he is your basic tabula rasa. It’s a delight to see a thought cross his little mind: he’ll be walking in one direction, when he’ll think of something and spasm up into the air to turn around to act on that thought immediately. Even if it involves him running headfirst into a wall.

Another problem that we hadn’t fully anticipated was that until he finishes his shots, in about six weeks, he can’t be let outside. Rabies, distemper, parvovirus: all of them could kill the little beast, and coupled with his habit of putting everything in his mouth in this, a profoundly unclean city, he is in no small amount of danger. So for the time being, we can’t have someone come in to walk him at lunchtime; instead, Blossom has taken him to work today in his cage, and deposited him underneath the stairs. I’ve been dreading a phone call from Blossom at her wits end, but apparently it hasn’t been too bad, apart from him crapping repeatedly in his cage, and filthy children wanting to play with him. (Blossom hates filthy children.)

And I’ve just got back from the pet store. Dog food is $18 for a kilo-and-a-half! That’s apparently enough to last him 11 days. That’s almost more expensive than the food I eat. But Blossom says pizza crusts aren’t nourishing enough for him. The mind boggles.


Anyway, that’s enough dog stuff for now. Have a brilliantly happy New Year, everyone.


3 Responses to “Dogged persistence”

  1. Liz Trent Boss said

    If it makes you feel better, it only gets worse. Liz

  2. I love the fact he goes perfectly with the new sofa! Have fun – shall I come out and dog sit for you?

  3. Catherine Klingel said

    He is so cute but he needs some chew toys NOW!

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