Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: dogs

Dog Love

An open letter in the form of a poem to two dogs who can’t read

Hot breath tells me you’re lying next to me

When I wake up and it’s cold and dark

Gentle snores comfort me

When thoughts of the world keep me awake

No greater joy than you, Linus, throwing your black head back

And bouncing away over the grass, still looking at me,

“Look Megan, look at my happiness now.”

No greater pride, Frieda, than you catching popcorn every time,

Chasing squirrels, and being all independent in public

But defining love in private as you slide up for a snuggle.

I love telling everyone who comments on your beauty

And softness and prettiness and kindness

How we found you at the SPCA and saved you, you being rescues.

But I always know it was you who did the saving

Of me.

Why having both cats and dogs is necessary

Both Big Friendly and I have been under the weather, with a looming lurgy that hasn’t fully realised but has been simmering; not bad enough to take us to bed, but horrible enough to make the daily grind more grindy.

Jasmine, the old Florence Purringale of the house has kicked into action, following us around, sleeping hard up against us and purring her head off. Chassie has been joining me in the bathroom, rubbing his head on my feet while I sit on the toilet (very disconcerting but well meaning), and the dogs Frieda and Linus are a tag team of love and devotion. It is only Jonesie, the part time cat, who has not picked up on our needs, and continues with his irrational demands to be let in and out again whenever he screamingly calls for it.

Linus offers soft love, of the lolling about sort, while Frieda follows me from bed, to table to couch. She is a deep and close snuggler. Chassie looks for Big Friendly and attaches to his legs when he sits down on the couch. Often, neither of us can move because we are being pinned down by an animal who would be terribly disturbed if we did. The spin-off of being looked after by cats and dogs is that they huddle closer to each other too, which is seriously good for my heart.

The Regular Visitor

11753291_10152862001211008_4366445429864192582_nIt started a while back. The small furries of the house would get antsy. The dogs would pitter patter down the passage to the open front door, and back, look at me with ‘help us’ eyes, and then start back to the door. The cats would sit on the threshold; Chassie doing that weird jaw shaking accompanied by a guttural growl/meow. The other two pointed in the direction of where I needed to look with their eyes and heads.

A starling had started to visit. He would sit on the broken sensor light above the front door and call to his friend. It was a tight squeeze, and not enough space to build a messy starling nest, but I think he came every day for a week just to check. And then he realised what kind of effect he was having on the more domestic and house bound creatures that live with us. And he started coming back to tease them.

Now he comes for a visit every day, in the late afternoon. He perches even closer, on the security gate. He announces his arrival with a few shouts, warbles and shrill whistles. The animals get incensed. He calls them out to tease them. It’s his entertainment, and without fail they deliver.

I love him. I love his cheek and sass. I love his bravado. I am utterly convinced he has a unique personality. And, when I suffer life’s mundane disillusions he cheers me up (at the expense of dogs and cats, who hate him a lot).

Our dog is trying to kill us

linusIt is official. Linus is trying to kill us. It starts off really early in the morning when Big Friendly gets up. I hear it happening in the passage. Linus tries to trip him, every single day of our lives. After he has tried to trip Big Friendly he lies plonk, in the middle of whatever space he is in, and then he will not budge. At all. And he does it like a spatchcock style, with his back legs stretched out behind him for maximum potential tripping damage.

With me, his plan is a little different. He waits until I am on my haunches to say hello, before trying to push me over, with his head, followed by his body. If I need to go to the bathroom in the morning one of two things must happen. Either, I can’t get out of bed because Linus is lying on my legs, hard, in a comatose sleep from which he will not budge (trying to kill Big Friendly is obviously hard work), or he will walk behind me all the way to the batheroom with his cold, wet nose aiming for my bum. It is pretty disconcerting. All of this is before leaving the house.

At the park we are in the most danger. Linus designs rough-and-tumble games with Frieda to guarantee their proximity to me and Big Friendly and then he aims for our legs. If he is in a jolly mood he will aim directly for us, from the front. If he is a bit more woes and energetic he will hit us from behind, with such force our knees and legs buckle, and I have hit the deck more than once. This is a great result, because then he can sniff and lick my face. Sometimes he has eaten cat poo with that tongue. Just saying.

Going to the beach with Linus is very interesting. Here I think his aim is to maim and torture us rather than outright kill us. I think he knows we need to drive him home. And he loves coming home. For food. On the beach Linus looks like the perfect example of joy and freedom. He greets all other dogs happily, frolics in the waves, bounds in the sand, looks for chicken bones, cools his tummy by lying in the shallows. Then he charges for our legs. Prize number one for him is to scrape the tops of our bare feet with his giant claws. Second prize is to take us down from behind, like at the park, only this time in sand or water. And his new thing is to use our legs as towels, when he is soaked and sandy. He comes bouncing up to either one of us, and drags his entire body across the back and front of our legs, covered or bare. Human towels.

When we drive we have to beg Linus to “go to the back” from his determined position on the driver’s seat.

Yesterday Linus took himself for a splash about in a slick and muddy stream, and then he couldn’t get out (or so we thought). Big Friendly had to go and drag him out by his slowly slipping front paws. I saw the whole thing. Linus was trying to kill Big Friendly by getting him to fall face first into the black, muddy water.



20 reasons why dogs are the best improvisers

photo 1. Dogs are always in the present. They are open and waiting, and entirely responsive.

2. Dogs don’t read between the lines.

3. Dogs think every offer is the most brilliant idea. Every. Single. Time.

4. Dogs are never pointlessly original.

5. Dogs offer the best support.

6. Dogs don’t get tired of the same game and they always play them as if it was the very first time.

7. Dogs have the most vivid imaginations. A fly is a drone, a ball is a runaway, a couch is an adventure island.

8. Dogs express joy in their entire bodies.

9. Dogs never scene steal on purpose.

10. Dogs are hilarious.

11. Dogs don’t bring their hang-ups to the game.

12. Dogs aren’t self-conscious.

13. Dogs trust their instincts.

14. Dogs are connected to their emotions.

15. Dogs don’t plan in advance.

16. Dogs don’t hold onto their own agendas.

17. Dogs know how to play “yes let’s!”

18. Dogs love team action.

19. Dogs love.

20. Dogs can handle all notes afterwards.

Dog days

Linus and Frida are installed.

Frida is a tough, clever, curious, friendly and funny girl. She is almost double her brother’s size. Linus is tiny, gentle, slow and soft. They are totally in our hearts and we only fetched them from the SPCA this morning. I can’t help but feel that everything worked out exactly as planned and that PETS made the mistake they needed to in order for us to get these little magnificent somebodies.

Right now they are lying at Big Friendly’s feet while he watches TV. We have just come back from their first visit to the park. It was both thrilling and terrifying, for the puppies and us. There were ‘big dogs’ there.

Their poos have been examined and discussed. Their tummies, teeth, tails, eyes, fur, claws have been marveled over. Frida can get up and down the stairs but Linus needs a hand.

This is just the beginning of the total, mutual delight session of our time together.

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