Sunday, 24 June 2012

Master and Servant

Back in the late 80's-early 90's, I'd go out a lot!  I just loved to dance.  I never drank, never flirted, never regretted any of my actions...I'd just dance, dance, dance the night away.

I had favourite groups too.  I just loved Depeche Mode.  To me, a young kid barely the legal age limit, I never really listened to their lyrics..just danced to the beat of their music, all night long.  One of my favourite songs that they had was "Master and Servant".  Like I said, I was very young and didn't really understand the undertones of the song.  All I knew was that it had a great club beat to it, and I could just close my eyes and get carried away with the music and rhythm. 

A few weeks back, as I was walking my little PWD devil dog, I started singing the words to "Master and Servant" to myself:

There's a new game
We like to play you see
A game with added reality
You treat me like a dog
Get me down on my knees
We call it master and servant
We call it master and servant

Now of course, as an adult, I see how inappropriate the words may seem to some people...but when I was walking my little devil dog on that warm evening, the words just popped in my head.

My doggie is definitely the "Master" in this relationship.  I'm not exactly "Servant", though.  In order for me to be a servant, the doggie would have to acknowledge me as Human.  Unfortunately, that is not the case in our complicated relationship. 

Our hierarchy is as follows:
15-year old son
Other Doggies

I wish that I could be the master in the relationship.  I see the other members of my family, I see the other people walking their doggies down the street...and I think, "One day, one day when I'm singing this song in my head...I'll actually be in charge..I'll actually be the boss..."  But for now, I'm down on my knees....while 14 month old doggie hold the leash.

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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Grab Yer Pardner..Do-Si-Do

My 14 month old Portuguese Water Dog is in great shape.  He's lean, he's trim, and he's STRONG!!  Weighing in at just under 60 lbs, he's got the strength to pull down children, joggers, little old ladies, and of course, me!!!

He sure loves to pull..especially when the leash is in his mouth!!  He knows that once he's got that sucker firmly placed between his spectacularly white teeth, there is no way that anyone can make him budge.  (NOTE: husband and 15 year old son possess a power over my PWD that I haven't figured out yet...doggy walks exceptionally well with them)

Many moons ago, when doggy was but a 3 month old pup, we had taken him to a doggy training course.  Even then, when pup was at such an early age, the trainer could see that he would be giving me problems in the long run.  She would take me aside and give me secret tips she wasn't giving the other puppy owners in the class.  Actually, one day, she tied the pup's leash around my waist.  She said that if the pup could feel my movements, he would be better inclined to keep up with me and walk with me.  I felt like a moron.  There were all the other puppy owners walking like true masters, and I was the only chump with a dog tied around my waist.  That did not last long!!  I untied myself from the dog and tried to walk like everyone else.......

Fast forward one year later.  I still can't walk my dog.  He bites, pulls, jumps up, and always has the leash in his mouth (once again, let's be clear..only with else)  Walking him for 12 months has been the worse experience of my life.  There has been no bonding.  The only things he has given me is a twisted finger and tendinitis.  Oh, I also have shin splints from the awkward positions he puts me in while pulling.

One afternoon, while contemplating the next 14 years with my tormentor, I decided to watch an episode of the Dog Whisperer.  Cesar just made everything look so easy.  Then, I really took notice.  He was talking to a lady that had a demon dog.  He suggested that she tie the leash around her waist.  He did it with his own waist and the dog was walking perfectly next to him within a matter of moments.  She then tied the dog to her own waist.  Within a half hour, her doggy was the best walker ever!!!

So I thought, hey, my 1st trainer had suggested I do it, and then Cesar did it...what do I have to lose??

Yeah..TV, man nothing ever works out the way it does on TV.  Real life is so DIFFERENT..

I tied my doggy around my waist and started walking.  He kept pulling me on to lawns, up against trees, and out on the street.  He tried to pull me in front of a moving bus!!  He still pulled and bit the leash, but because he was so close to me now, he could nip at my hand or butt as well.

And so it goes, every-time I'm out walking, instead of holding the leash I have it tied around me.  I just keep hoping doggy won't go after squirrels, that hurts the most as he dashes out at a moment's notice and the leash jabs itself between my ribs.  Most of the time, though, I just look like I'm square around my dog down the street.  He's got me round the waist and he's just spinning me...spinning me..spinning me....

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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Dog Walk-Moon Walk

So here's the deal.  When I got my Portuguese Water Dog just over a year ago, he weighed all of 11 lbs.  Although he was not trained at all, he was pretty easy to control.  As Summer turned into Fall, and the weather got cooler, I started wearing gloves on our walks.

Then of course, with the cold Winter months, my gloves got heavier.  Doggy got heavier also, but I had no problem holding onto the leash and trying to get our walks under control.    He'd pull like crazy, but the leash always stayed firmly in my hand.

Then a strange thing happened...the snow started melting away and the weather started getting warmer.  By now, (March), doggie was close to 55 lbs.  As I started shedding layers of clothing to go out on our walks, the gloves got lighter.  Doggie never learnt to walk properly with me.  In the year that I had him, our walks had gone from bad to worse.  He still pulled and pulled...he bit the leash, he jumped on me and other poor unsuspecting passers-by.  He was getting to be a big dog who was completely out of control.

Back to the gloves.  One day, mid-March, the weather was wonderful.  All I needed to wear was a heavy gloves!  I took doggie out and the nightmare began.  The leash whipped across the palm of my hand.  I had horrible rope-burn on the fleshy part between my thumb and my forefinger.  IT HURT!!.

The next day, I took him out again, no gloves again, and with all his jumping and pulling, I twisted the pinky of my left hand!!  And so on, and so on..every time I would go out without any gloves, my hands would come back looking like raw meat.

Then it hit me, I started carrying 1 glove in my pocket.  Ever time I'd take little pooch out, I'd make sure I had my cell phone, 3 poop bags, and my right glove.  It didn't look too awkward in March and April.  In May I started getting weird looks.  By June, it was downright ridiculous!!  I'd be in shorts and a tank top, wearing my right glove, and I'd be flying down the street trailing after my pulling dog!!!

Look, I know I have the Michael Jackson thing going don't have to point, you don't have to laugh, you don't have to tell me.  I'm well aware of how crazy I look...but hey, the flesh has healed on my hands, my palms are no longer whipped, and I'm practicing my moonwalk too!!!

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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Bye-bye, Martha Stewart

When my husband and I first got married 17 years ago, we had fact we had less than nothing!!  Mind you, it could be argued that we had 2 things: 1-We had each other, and 2-we had a massive amount of debt!

But, we got ourselves a tiny 2 bedroom apartment, and slowly began to eradicate the debt. Slowly, over the years, we were finally able to save up enough pennies to put a down-payment on a house. We did finally buy a tiny little townhouse.  It was perfect for the 2 of us, and our little 3 year old son.  The house was small, but it suited us just fine.  We had a tiny garden/yard, and an even smaller deck.  The deck was only big enough for the BBQ and a very small round white plastic table with 3 chairs.  (The 4th chair had to be kept underneath the deck and would only come out if we had A guest!!)

For 8 years, we lived like that, but as our son got older, we started running out of room.  A 12 year old boy takes up a lot of space!!  We finally sold that house and moved to the one we live in now.  It's still not the mansion of my dreams, but it will do.  We moved at the end of the summer of 2009.  We finally had a deck that could actually fit a real table and chairs, but, because it was at the end of the season, the only outdoor furniture we could find was either way over priced, or really really bad quality.

So, onto 2010.  In April/May, we started looking for garden furniture.  The only thing we could find within our price range was a Martha Stewart collection at Home Depot.  Unfortunately, we were really early in the season so all the pieces weren't in yet.  We bought the table and chairs, but we had to wait 2 months for the parasol. I guess it wasn't such a bad thing, though, as 2010 produced a very rainy summer, so we hardly ever sat outside.

In 2011, we finally found the matching chaise longue and side table. We found it in October.  It had taken 2 years, but our set was finally complete!!  Late in the season, but complete nonetheless.

Finally, 2012 rolls around.  We've had an amazing year so far.  It's been warm, it's been sunny, and I've finally started enjoying my garden furniture that I had started piecing together 3 years ago.

Then, last week, I tied my little 14 month old Portuguese Water Dog outside for 15 minutes one morning.  I was running late and needed a little extra non-distracted time to fix my hair and make-up before I left for work.  The dog was out there between 645am-7am.  When I was ready, I went outside to bring him back in.  It was at that moment that I saw the carnage.  It took me a few seconds to process what my eyes were seeing.  There, lying on it's back, was one of my Martha Stewart lawn of a set of 6 around the glass top table.  The back of the chair was on the ground, and the seat was pointing up.  My doggie was on the chair, eating up every bit of it.  In fact, you could not even tell that it was a chair at all.  Bits of cloth, plastic and stuffing were strewn all over the yard.  There was no cushion left, no backing, no "nothing". I could barley make out the iron frame.

Bye-bye, Martha Stewart...I hardly knew ya!!

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