We may inhabit the same physical world as our four-legged friends, but we see that world in very different ways. Here’s our A to Z of the world according to Bruce. This week, A is for …
Leaping in the snow
Leaping over stiles, scrambling up banks, jumping onto walls and diving for his ball … being a fell terrier, Bruce is super agile. He runs so fast that he’s been known to somersault in flight as he accelerates to catch a ball before it comes to a stop. If the England football team had half the ball-eye co-ordination and speed of a little terrier, we wouldn’t have to hark back, misty-eyed, to 1966 all the time. I mean, come on, some of us weren’t even born then!
Cuddles (taken on a camera phone)
That’s me. Michael and I took the unconventional pet parent step of not referring to ourselves as Mummy and Daddy. This has caused some confusion at times – at the vet’s, for instance, when ‘Mummy’ is referred to and Bruce looks around blankly, wondering who the devil Mummy is and why she’s going to hold his head while he has his ears examined! From me, he gets lots of cuddles – but I’m not the best one at throwing his ball, although he still seems to drop it at my feet no matter who is wielding the ball flinger.
The toy apple
Here’s Bruce at around 6-8 weeks old. This was his first toy and, although it’s a fraction larger than a real apple, it’s a good indicator of how tiny he was. Like daft pet parents, we’ve kept this toy in a cupboard as a memento of his puppy days. These days, Bruce is at knee-cap level, so his view of the world involves plenty of table legs (lovely, as he likes to doze under the table in the day time), big feet (great, as where there are feet, there is the opportunity for a walk) and lamp-post bottoms (the local newspaper – a veritable noticeboard of who’s just moved to the area and all manner of other fascinating information extracted with one good sniff).
If it’s in stock at the local perfumery (ie whichever field we happen to be playing in at the time), Bruce will often opt for a liberal spritz of eau de fox poop. Ah yes, the bottom notes of rotting vegetables, the mid notes of nose-wrinkling musk and those delightful top notes of bin-scavenging, putrid, indescribable poop. We once had to transport an extremely stinky Bruce in the car for over an hour – I had to sit with him wrapped firmly in a towel on my knee and we drove with all the windows open the whole way. If we see that shoulder start to dip during an avid sniff, we call him away quick sharp!
Enjoying a carrot on the authorised rug (taken on a camera phone)
We have two furry rugs in our kitchen – and Bruce has clearance to sit on one of them, which we call the authorised rug. It’s the perfect size for him. It’s soft and furry and he loves to chew a rawhide or play with one of his teds while reclining on there. He is not, however, allowed to sit on the unauthorised rug, a lovely, thick, shaggy rug in our reading area. Now, Bruce absolutely understands this, including the actual term ‘go to your authorised rug’. So, when we went out the other day and left a camera filming him to see what he gets up to when we’re out, it made funny viewing. As soon as he heard the door close and our footsteps recede, he came out of his bed and went straight onto the unauthorised rug to luxuriate. We’ve come to the conclusion this could be a good thing – having somewhere he’s not allowed to go perhaps makes the prospect of us going out quite attractive. What’s going through his mind? “Hoo-blooming-ray! Unauthorised rug, indeed! I’ve been sitting on this rug for the last 18 months on and off and they never even knew!” While the cat’s away and all that …!
Next time in Bruce’s world, we take a stroll around the Bs.
Words: Aislinn Kelly
Email Aislinn and Michael: firstname.lastname@example.org
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