Sunday, 9 October 2016

Having a Cr*p Time


I love country life.  I love my dog.  But what I absolutely don’t like is my dog getting up close and personal to country life.  Molly Muddles tucks into sheep pooh like you and I would attack fish and chips.  It’s the same with horse dung – bleurgh.  And if she discovers a patch of field where Mr Fox has left his calling card, she’ll dive on it with all the enthusiasm of you or me leaping into a foaming bubble bath.  Which is invariably where Molly Muddles ends up.  I spend a fortune on probiotic powders, tick shampoo and worming tablets.  For the dog I hasten to add.
          ‘Ewww,’ says Mr V, pulling a face like Les Dawson telling a mother-in-law joke.  ‘Just remember where that dog’s mouth has been the next time she slobbers all over you.’  He has a point.  In fact I asked the vet about it.  Apparently dogs have different bacteria in their mouths and most of it can’t jump from dogs to humans – or vice versa – and make either dog or human sick. For example, most upper respiratory infections that affect humans are caused by viruses, not bacteria, and most viruses are species-specific. If you are sick, the unconditional love you get from your dog can boost your immunity and help you fight infection. Studies have shown that simply petting a dog can lower your level of stress hormones and reduce blood pressure.  Although I’m pretty sure the opposite happened earlier this week.
          My darling pooch, despite being relatively small, manages to produce some sizeable whoopsies.  I rummaged in my pocket, extracted a waste bag, and set about cleaning up...only to discover the bag had a hole in it.  Whilst the sensation of encountering something warm and squidgy was oddly pleasant, the realisation of knowing what it was certainly wasn’t.  I’d barely cleaned up when Molly Muddles pounced upon a pile of conkers.  Grabbing hold of her muzzle, I prised open her jaws and, reaching in, pulled everything from her mouth…to discover Mr Fox had left his calling card upon the conkers so once again my fingers were covered.  Even worse, when I straightened up, flustered and frustrated, I stepped back into a neatly deposited black mound full of cherry stones.  Yes, Mr Fox again.  At this point I’d like to disagree with my vet’s advice or the studies of university graduates and emphatically state both my stress hormones and blood pressure went through the roof.  So if you were driving your car through my village earlier this week and spotted a dog walker holding up her hands and one Wellington boot whilst aptly shrieking, ‘Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t,’ I can confirm that it was me.
          Which reminds me.  In a city park stood two statues, one female and the other male. These two statues faced each other for many years. One day an angel appeared before the statues and said, ‘The two of you have brought enjoyment to many people so I’m giving you the gift of life. You have thirty minutes to do your heart’s desire.’ And the statues came to life.  They smiled, ran off to nearby woods and hid behind a couple of bushes. The angel grinned as the two statues giggled naughtily.  After fifteen minutes, they emerged from the bushes looking satisfied.  The angel looked at his watch and said, ‘You still have fifteen minutes. Would you like to continue?’  The male statue looked at the female and asked, ‘Do you want to do it again?’  The female statue smiled coyly.  ‘Sure. But this time you hold the pigeon down and I’ll poop on its head…’

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