Almost every night, at roughly the same time, the moulting mutt huffs and puffs, growls and headbutts the back door until I let her out. Her urgency has less to do with territorial defence than a strong desire to retrieve her treasure de-jour: be it sock, tea-towel, bone, dwarf or ball. If we don’t let her out, the Far-from-fantastic Mr Fox leaves a delightful little gift for us, on the back step. I love it when that happens because I don’t usually have any crap to deal with.
I like to keep the dog happy, so I let her out, hoping I find the keys and negotiate the locks before the fox does its thang. I worry about the dog. But not in a crazy dog-loving-folk way. I haven't started worrying about her getting wrinkles or anything, like they do in Essex. It's just that recently she’s been displaying some slight emo tendencies. What started as a small scratch has been worried away at and now she’s looking a little more like a self-harmer than is comfortable. I worry that at this rate she might just gnaw the whole leg off and though there are many thangs on my wish list, a three legged dog is not one of them.
To stop the worrying, tonight the dog is sporting one of those nifty little collars. As you can imagine, she is taking a little time adjusting to life with a huge lampshade on her head. Her spacial awareness has gone up the spout. She spent the afternoon knocking into things, mostly me, as she follows my every step, giving me the pleading puppy eyes. But also every door, doorway, furniture and step in the house.
Which is all hugely charming and amusing and did not make me question at all why a three legged dog is not at the top of my wish list.