The Adventures of Polly, Part Two

Posted: September 9, 2016 in Blogs, Uncategorized
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This week brought an encounter with rain, thankfully we managed to get out first thing while it was still dry. During the course of the afternoon however, the drizzle set in. Polly and I had a bit of a duvet day, watching films and cuddling on the sofa. A few times I would tentatively open the door to the garden and utter encouragement, this was met with fairly obvious disdain. Staffies don’t like wet weather! When we started to get cabin fever I took control of the situation, grabbed harness and lead and convinced both of us a walk and more importantly a toilet break for Polly, was just what we needed. A few steps beyond the boundary of dry and relative safety and Polly began screwing her cute little face up, squinting in horror and shaking off what she considered a deluge of water. I was just about to soothe her with kind words when she began backing out, of her harness, and mentally from this ridiculous idea. Brakes on, it was obvious we weren’t going anywhere. Back to the dry and loafing. Later that evening, before bed, I had to insist on some garden time before bed – this dog has bladder control far superior to mine.

During rainy times or moments of idleness Polly likes to watch birds and squirrels, the latter being her favourite. This extends to out and about on walks where she carefully looks out for cats too. I find it amazing that she remembers which gardens she has previously spotted a cat, on walking the same route she gets excited in advance and then storms the garden path. Mostly the cat is no longer there and she leaves disappointed. I have learnt to hang on extra tight in the park where there are squirrels a plenty and I wonder that If I let go we might end up with a dog in a tree. I previously mentioned feet chewing – this is a popular pastime. Sometimes after some dedicated effort, there’s a little collection of droplets of drool on the floor around her, such a delight.

When I talk to people about dogs the commitment and time needed often comes up in conversation, which absolutely cannot be denied. What people often fail to mention are the subtler changes to your life that you must accept. When Polly is around I have to abandon the wish to watch any kind of dog programme because she feels the need to serenade, join in barking and generally communicate with the TV. Not only that but housework becomes more challenging. The vacuum cleaner becomes a source of absolute focus and Polly feels the need to defend my life from its apparent savageness. It’s quite sweet really, I don’t know anyone else that would go to such great lengths for me! Retaining any kind of personal space is also a whimsical idea. The other day I sat on the step outside in the garden to eat my lunch and along came Polly, plonked herself down next to me, leaned into me and occasionally licked my neck and ear, pretending not to be after my food. Sitting down anywhere results in her head resting on my leg. Many times I have woken up in the night and the bed has been completely taken over.

The rain went and the sun returned, however our new routine was met with sabotage. Polly rebelled against the regime and refused to come running with me in the morning. I feel bad for making her share my exercise; then I remember that most of my clothes have white Staffy hair woven into the fabric, and that we are in the same sharing boat. Still, I let her off and we play in the garden instead, by the afternoon a walk is allowed and we come to a truce. When we walk I love watching Polly’s reaction to people – she just loves them and even another person across the road induces tail wagging and wiggling. She would say hello to everyone if she could.

We’ve come to the end of our two-week adventure, I’ve laughed and smiled a lot and shouted a bit too (only because of the hedgehog!). As expected I’ve developed some more ridiculous nicknames that I regularly interchange, to include: Poll-dog, Whippy-tail, Itchy-dog, Pollster and Sleepy-dog Sleepy-dog (you have to say it twice!). I’ve probably had more conversations with this loveable hound than I have real people in the time we’ve been glued to each other. I will miss her terribly!

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