It’s currently coming to the end of Day 2/30 of dog-sitting as I write this. I have spent the past couple of days looking after a creature which could narrowly be mistaken for an oversized rodent, specifically an oversized rodent suffering from severe separation anxiety. The Dog is definitely part Chihuahua. Its owner denies this, but its owner is lying. The Owner likes to say that it’s a Doberman, because this is most definitely considered to be cooler for a grown man to own than a chihuahua, but The Dog is about 10% of a Doberman’s size. It is possible that this puppy is a result of the, ahem, union, of the aforementioned dogs, which somehow seems very, very wrong. My research (a quick Google) tells me it’s a miniature Pinscher.
The Dog has two personalities; the one that makes it onto my Instagram stories, and the other one, where it is fully conscious and sprints around the flat in a frenzy, subjecting both me and my neighbours to its demonic yapping. I have gained a shadow since moving in. The Dog stays close enough for me to trip over it every now and then, causing an outburst of short-lived guilt, before it then continues to invade my personal space. The Dog has no independence. None. Nada. If I get up, it follows. If I go to the door, it squeezes its tiny frame through the crack and sprints away down the hall towards the lift, looking back at me with a ‘you can’t catch me’ gleam in its eye.
I took The Dog for its first walk with me yesterday. It did not stop barking. A woman with a child gave me a pitying laugh as she walked past. ‘It’s not my dog,” I explain, spreading my hands helplessly. “I’m sure you’ll be fine!” She reassures me. “It’s going to be a long month,” I reply. Her beaming face changes to a look of concern as she eyes the frenzied creature running circles around my ankles. “Oh dear,” she says. “A whole month? Good luck!” I nod my thanks, before returning my earbuds to their rightful place and turning the volume on my iPhone all the way up.
The Dog does not comprehend instructions. It lives life with a ‘do it again’ mentality. Stop barking? No can do. No sitting on the table next to my dinner? Nope! No licking my leg? Don’t have that sort of self-control, sorry! It doesn’t matter how many times I pick up the pest and relocate it, it immediately resumes its activity.
Due to a lack of training pads; the kind that stick to the floor; I’ve kindly bought a copy of The Sun and laid that out for The Dog to do its business on. It proceeds to piss a puddle on Harry Kane’s face. It is time for me go to work. I pick up my keys and The Dog hears the clink of metal and lets out a barrage of high-pitched barks, sprinting towards me because, oh yes, it cannot be left alone, at all, ever. I launch a toy across to the other side of the room as a distraction and dive for the door, forgetting that I have already used this trick one too many times, and The Demon Dog is onto me. It’s halfway down the hallway by the time I’ve opened the door by a Miniature Pinscher-sized gap. I sigh, open my WhatsApp and start composing a text to my colleagues, explaining that I am running late.