Dog Diaries: Week 3

“I showered with a tree this morning,” I tell my friend over coffee. She looks at me blankly. “You what?” 
“A tree,” I repeat. “I shared a shower with a tree.” I continue to be met with a blank stare, so I explain. It seems that, despite meticulously following all of The Owner’s instructions, I’ve managed to kill one of his more expensive plants. It’s some kind of rare, Japanese, fancy potted tree that has now seen better days. Somehow, despite having been given more extensive instructions for keeping the plants alive than for keeping The Dog alive, The Dog is very much alive and The Tree very much isn’t. The one benefit of this is that I am now armed with ammunition for dismantling the belief that one is not ready to own a dog if unable to keep a plant alive.

This situation led to me having to contact The Owner via his Emergencies Only number, along with a photo of his wilting plant. “I’m worried it’s dead,” I text him. “It looks dead,” The Owner confirms. This results in transporting The Tree into the intensive care unit (the bathroom) where I force feed it plant food and shower it thoroughly, allowing it to drain in the bathtub. 


Unfortunately, The Tree seems to be the place to be if you are a spider. I am not good with spiders. Upon slightly closer inspection, I quickly find 6 of the 8-legged creatures located in just one small area. My irrational fear of creepy crawlies no bigger than my fingernail means that The Tree will be staying in the bathtub for the foreseeable future. This leads to me showering at one end of the bath, with the spider-ridden tree staying put at the other end of the bathtub. I don’t take my eyes of the largest spider of its gang, which waves a hairy leg at me as I wash. When morning arrives, I walk straight into a cobweb that has formed overnight across the bathroom doorway. With a pang of fear, I realise that some of the spiders have ventured out of their home and further into my home. I can see two by the sink and I’m not happy about it. I retreat, call a friend and implore him to move The Tree back outside. As my friend carries The Tree back to the balcony, The Dog watches the operation from the sidelines, simultaneously munching and regurgitating the dead leaves scattered across the kitchen floor.

That afternoon, I come home to find The Dog’s clean and unused training pad shredded to pieces, and its puddles-and-piles dotted around the kitchen floor. Somewhat resourcefully, it has located the poo bags in anticipation, it’s just a shame that it has unravelled numerous rolls of them and ripped into half of them. It also seems that I managed to leave the door to the bedroom open whilst I was out, which explains why half of my wardrobe is now strewn across the balcony.


15 minutes into our afternoon trot, The Dog begins to bark at a lady walking towards us. She swears at The Dog and flinches away from it, squealing. I politely apologise on behalf of the ill-mannered pup, but hypocritically, despite being an arachnophobe based in Britain where we have only modest-sized spiders, fail to see why she’s so scared of a tiny dog that looks like an oversized mouse. I also resent her language, because only I am allowed to deliver that sort of verbal abuse to The Dog, but that’s because I have to live with it and put up with its backchat.

That evening, I am sat on the sofa trying to eat my dinner in peace. The Dog mistakes my animosity for warmth and jumps on to my lap, obscuring my access to my meal. I gather it up, limbs flailing, and deposit it back on the floor. The Dog promptly jumps back up and resumes its prior position on my lap. I pick it back up and return it to the floor. This cycle continues for a good 5 minutes, until I lose the very last of my limited patience and shut The Dog outside on the balcony so that I can finish my meal undisturbed. I pick the dog hairs out of my food, make a noise somewhere between a sob and a growl, and turn the volume on the TV up to drown out the yaps coming from the other side of the door.


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