The Adventures of Polly, Part One

Posted: September 1, 2016 in Blogs, Uncategorized
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Now that I have more time on my hands I can spend much more time dedicated to dog.  Currently I’m looking after my favourite dog, for two weeks. This is an account of the adventures of Polly, well, the two-week adventures of Polly. It’s easy to wonder how much a dog can actually get up to every day, especially one that spends a large proportion of time chewing her own feet and nibbling her knees. I think it’s important to remember quality over quantity, as I might have eluded to before, a dog’s life is all about having fun, eating and sleeping, a motto that so many of us would be keen to live our lives by. Polly’s current snapshot of life is one where she is draped half out the French doors, basking in the sun. Soon I may have to put a stop to this kind of high level relaxation and douse her in sun cream, or I might have an overly pink Polly.

Three nights in and Polly is helping me with my fitness training. Truth be told, I feel like it is one of those situations where you highlight a quality in someone else that is actually similar or more befitting for yourself! With time on my hands, a lack of routine and access to healthily stocked fridges, and I don’t mean carrot stocked, I’m feeling a bit fatty unfitty. Since I last saw Polly I think she might be feeling the same! So I’ve created us a new routine. Every morning we go running. Polly is quite strong on her harness and actually it is far easier to have a little jogette, where she trots at an amiable pace beside me, it saves my arms from her tank-like storming ahead. I don’t run at my full speed and we only do half the distance I normally would and she manages it with ease.

I have to admit to being a bit obsessed with tiring dogs out, especially if you have to leave them home alone for a bit. I’m pretty sure when I duck out and leave my current partner in crime, she just sleeps. When we get back from our run she sleeps on the sofa in the most contented fashion. Only the rustle of my breakfast will rouse her, whereupon she plods to the kitchen to investigate. I feel like at that point some very complicated statistical calculation happens in her head while she works out if it’s worth hanging around or not. If not she plods back to bed and continues her slumber. Occasionally, during the course of the day, we have a recurring interaction where she brings me toys and howls and growls (in the friendliest and most enticing way!) in my face. I also like to poke and rub her tummy, in return she embarks on licking me to death and mouthing my arms.

This bank holiday Polly watched a hockey match, I’m pretty sure it was her first time, and probably her last. We had to keep a distance because if the players and the ball got too close, despite us being safely behind a barrier, she would bark and seemed desperate to join in. I don’t hold it against her, I’m rubbish at watching sport because it just makes me want to be involved, spectating is a mug’s game! Still it was an adventure and that’s what these two weeks are about after all. Now it’s Monday though, the levels of adventure have dimmed significantly; I am privy to a lot of snoring coming from around the corner while I sit and type. Still, I guess we’re not too different to the rest of the nation and tomorrow is another day.

So far we’ve met some lovely people and dogs – I love dog people! We’ve also had one not so fun encounter. Today we met a mature German Shepherd and a 13 week old Staffy puppy – a duo that Polly warmed to instantly. She can sometimes be a bit scared around moody or full-on dogs, but as soon as she senses there is no threat she goes into full on play mode – which she initiates a bit like a bull in a china shop. Other new friends include a dopey chocolate Lab and shaggy Collie thing. We did meet another Staffy lady who wasn’t so friendly, she lept out of her garden and terrified poor Poll-dog who was just walking along minding her own business. She really is such a sweetheart and wouldn’t hurt a fly. Actually that’s a lie, I’ve seen her eat a few!

My favourite part of the day is the early evening and bedtime routine. After dinner is done with, Polly and I share the sofa – it’s furthest from the TV but I can’t resist having her head resting on my leg or burrowed behind me. There’s quite a lot of snoring and her face goes all squishy and even more loveable when she’s sleepy. When it’s bedtime and I get ready, she lays on the bedroom floor while we both farcically pretend that no bad habits of dogs on beds occur. I get into bed and she whines at me like I’ve forgotten something, whereupon she jumps up. Polly doesn’t just sleep on the bed though; she has to be under the covers like a person. She digs up the duvet and skilfully dives in my head end and wiggles down to my feet. We sleep top to toe and when I wake up in the morning she has her head and two paws out the end of the duvet. I can’t help but crease up and smile. She is not an early morning dog! She stays in bed while I get up and start the day, it takes her a while before she can face her doggy world.

Last night didn’t go so smoothly though; I ended up wrestling a Staffy and a mutant hedgehog, shouting all the way, upsetting the neighbours probably! I let Polly out last thing before bed and all hell broke loose, I thought another dog was in the garden there was so much barking. It wasn’t a dog or a dog fight, it was Polly versus the biggest hedgehog I’ve ever seen. It took a while for that to unfold though because the garden is dark and split level and full of trees and shrubs and I couldn’t see what was happening. I remembered where torches might be and I raced to find three – but I struggled to turn on one – It seemed you needed a degree or to be a Krypton Factor mastermind. Once I managed that (it took a while) I went foraging in the garden, in my pyjamas, to unearth the drama. Henceforth the wrestling begun, Polly intent on savaging a football sized hedgehog who was obviously winning, doing its hedgehog thing of stillness and prickles. Polly doesn’t wear a collar in the house – she gets dressed up for stepping out but she has very sensitive skin. I therefore had little to grab except Staffy, so I wrestled her! All the noise had pretty much every dog in the neighbourhood barking and I was shouting. It must have been the soap opera equivalent in the dog world.

One week in and we’re still the best of friends, even though Polly chewed through her lead in the time it took me to lace my trainers and obviously the hedgehog drama has not done enough to make me fall out of favour with her. Dogs really are amazing, for me it’s the only time in my life where I really appreciate the bad bits, they make all the good bits incredible and I realise the not so good is also really quite fun! What will happen next week I wonder; look out for the adventures of Polly part two…

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