So the people at Petplan have spotted this rather marvellous website and requested that I, Phileas Dogg, write a piece on the subject of: ‘What I Wish I’d Known Before I Found An Owner.’
I have agreed to do this as 1) I’m always happy to talk about me; 2) Petplan has promised lots of publicity for the site and, 3) I am to receive £50 in Amazon vouchers for my work. My first paid gig as a writer – grrrrrr-huzzah and mega amaze-bones.
So let’s start with the number one thing I wish I’d known. It’s this: when Jane first dressed me up in AN OUTFIT, I should have made my displeasure apparent in the most vociferous and vocal terms, instead of standing meekly and bemused and allowing myself to be clad as a Beefeater.
I should have sprinted to the furthest reaches of the park, hidden under a well-appointed tree and refused to budge until the blimin’ Beefeater costume was safely back in its bag. Then I should have howled like a hellhound every time a flash of red appeared from that bag and fluttered in my direction.
But I didn’t know where Jane’s ambitions would veer and so I strode, unsuspectingly, into the role of dressed up dog. Here is the most recent manifestation of this evil: me, dressed as a Pearly Dog, at the Angel Canal Boat Festival yesterday.
What other pearls of wisdom do I wish I’d known?
- That jellyfish on Ettrick Bay on the Isle of Bute are best avoided and will cause vomiting within approximately a minute of consumption.
- That cats have bloody sharp claws and aren’t afraid to use them. Devil-cat Dodger gave me a good old lash on my snout within a couple of days of my arrival in my new home. He hasn’t tried it in the three years since – good thing for him too, because, if he does, I’m ready. I put at least five minutes of every day into thinking about what I will do to the little bugger if he claws me again.
- I wish I’d known that, should I disappear for 40 minutes on a walk in Epping Forest, Jane will suffer a nervous collapse, weep over total strangers, recount her terrible relationship history with men to them and generally behave like the heroine of a Victorian novel in desperate need of smelling salts. I would like to say this has taught me that I will never, ever run away in Epping Forest again. But I can’t because there were so many fine smells there and I am a terrier.
So that’s what I wish I’d known. Here is what Jane should have known before accepting me into her life.
- Do not take me to Epping Forest. It is too exciting for me.
- Do not leave a dog training manual lying around. I will chew it to a pulp. I do not wish to be trained.
- Ditto dog training classes. I do not want to go. And if you make me go I will act the goat and embarrass you.
- I require at least three quarters of a double bed to stretch out properly in the night.
- Post my arrival, you will never be able to take pleasure in a meal again as I will stare at you, throughout the repast, pleading with my mournful eyes for just one tasty morsel. And the guilt will make you hand over a chunk of chicken Kiev to me.
Attlee’s Pearly King costume was made by Annie at Annie2Pins. Annie’s website is at www.annie2pins.co.uk; enquiries on 07958 668868