“Give me a random thought for my morning pages,” I said to B.
He perked up, like he does any time I turn to him for help, advice or whatever it might be. Yep, I managed to snag myself a good’un, I’ve never known anyone so keen to be there for me as B. Doesn’t matter what it is, he’s like a big mother hen, falling over himself to look after me and it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world.
However, he is a man, and as such a very simple creature. He is the smartest person I know, is in possession of all those traits you’d list as good qualities in a person and probably therefore as successful as he is, but OMG.
“Write about duvets,” he exclaimed, like he’d found the cure for cancer, or at the very least like he’d come up with a quirky and profound idea.
Well. We do have a great duvet. Hungarian duck down, so light you can barely feel it but extremely warm. So warm that I usually end up sleeping on top of it instead of under it. It’s getting a little colder, and therefore it’s not quite as unbearably warm under our fancy duvet, and we did talk briefly about that when we had coffee this morning, but come on – I’m not going to dedicate a whole blog post to a freakin’ DUVET. I know I said ‘random’ and implied there were no right or wrong answers, but fuck me – seriously?
“How about a post about what it’s like to be a mother in 2014?” B then suggested, again with a contented smile on his beautiful face, thinking he’d come up trumps.
“Jesus Christ, you’re useless. No.”
“OK, so write about my big willy,” he smiled and looked ridiculously smug.
Sure, I could compose a piece discussing the many merits of B’s willy, and I’ll hand it to him, it is rather large. But I’m trying to take this seriously, and spending the morning writing about his dick doesn’t seem like the best use of my time. I wouldn’t sit here and write about my V-jay either, so I think Morning Pages will have to remain a genital free zone.
The flat is a mess and I am itching to get cleaning. There is dog hair everywhere, and to make matters worse, Dude the dog shat all over our bedroom rug before he was picked up by his owner last night. I did wonder what had got into him. We’d already taken him out twice to do his business, but he only peed, no pooping. He doesn’t eat much, so I thought perhaps he won’t need to poo that much then. Dude rarely left the living room during his stay, he’d just move between there and the hallway depending on where we all were, picking the best spot for keeping an eye on all of us.
Suddenly he followed me everywhere – when I went to the bathroom, he was right outside waiting for me (a first) and then followed me into our bedroom when I went to get a jumper (also a first). Followed me to the balcony (OK, he’s done that before) and looking through the window pleadingly. I just thought he was having a random burst of neediness, until he went off and Monkey came out two minutes later.
“Mamma, you’re not gonna like this,” Monkey told me with his nose scrunched up.
“Oh God, what?”
“Dude’s done a really messy poo in your bedroom. It’s everywhere and it stinks.”
B took a deep sigh and closed his eyes, probably trying to remain calm. This Dude-sitting idea was mine, so clearing up his mess was down to me. With Monkey in tow I went to survey the crime scene. Yep. Slightly runny dog shit all over our boger green rug with a few splats outside of it too. Oh yeah, we have carpets. This sort of incident reinforces why I hate carpets.
Monkey, the lovely little trooper, dutifully got a couple of poopy-bags and picked up the bigger poos as best he could, but of course the rug was the shaggy kind and this would have required dry cleaning. I fetched a bin liner and our boger green rug is no more. A bucket, soapy water, a scrubbing brush and plenty of Vanish and Fabreeze spray later, I had managed to get it all out of the carpet.
Poor Dude clearly knew things had gone wrong, because his already sad eyes looked even sadder and he was acting like he was feeling ever so guilty. There was no telling off because it wasn’t his fault, and I made sure I gave him extra love and attention so he’d know we weren’t cross with him. Poor sod. I suppose these are the things you just know when it’s a dog you are more familiar with, that his owner for example, would immediately have known he needed the toilet. I just thought he really loved me and couldn’t bear to be in a separate room just then. Stupid.
So I don’t think I will have any large dogs over for a while. The thing with Dude is that he is A) very old, and B) has wonky hind legs and therefore walking is difficult for him. The stairs to our apartment were a struggle for him, and it was painful to watch this huge love-lump negotiate his large body up and down them. Made me wonder how long he’ll be able to do that. His owner’s house has stairs too. It made me think of something my mum said about her dog, Puppy, when he was getting old.
“You get to a point where you have to consider who you are doing it for. Are you keeping the dog for its own well being, or are you selfishly keeping it for you?”
What she meant, I think, was the difficult decision to have an animal put down. Puppy was the size of a pony – a Leonberger – and lived to an amazing 12 years, which is incredible for such a big dog, they usually live to be nine or ten. Like many large dogs, his hips were starting to get bad and he also had a dog version of epilepsy so my mother spent a small fortune on vet costs. In the end, it became very clear that Puppy was getting very old. From hour long brisk walks, it was obvious that just heading out to the garden was tiring. And that’s when my mother said what she said.
I don’t know what I would do, but it did break my heart when Dude slipped coming down the stairs for our evening walk and sort of slid down the last few steps. It just didn’t seem right and I felt horribly guilty.