I’ve been meaning to post these videos of The Barfster for a while. I’m not sure when they were taken. The first could have been any time beyond six months ago. My father’s unwitting debut as home video director would either have been last December, or January of this year.
When we lived up Opanuku Road, we often walked the Ferndown Track due to its accessibility.
This first video is of Jed in one of his watering holes: a big puddle in the first creek along the track. There was always water in various states ranging from flowing to stinking viscosity, depending on the time of year.
Jed’s ritual has remained the same since he was a puppy:-
1/ Engage all fours for maximum impact with water
2/ Plunge around in order to identify ideal flop spot
3/ Sideways roll
4/ Stretch out back legs
5/ Carefully spit out ball & secure under front paws
6/ Blow bubbles
My father’s video shows Jed in his all-time-favourite mud-hole (rated according to various criteria, including but not limited to: mud quantity, depth, grunge, olfactory persistence, long term stinkeability) further up the track, and demonstrates the denouement:-
7/ Retrieve ball from under front paws
8/ Make like swamp monster
9/ Shake mud all over everything within the vicinity ≤10m
My dog was so delighted to see me again, he couldn’t stop farting. I was – literally – overwhelmed. Jed’s been quite content without us for a month, but he’s stuck fairly close since my return.
Jed tries out stunt snout
Jed and pig's ear
We’re driving home from Oamaru to Blenheim on Sunday, stopping in Christchurch enroute to pick up a breadmachine. With any luck, Husband should be back in the country by 1 July, and is threatening to ride his motorbike home from Auckland, but only if it isn’t raining.
I’ve been a bit slack about submitting photographic evidence recently, sorry.
More apologies, this time for the lack of exposure both clothes and technique-wise. At least this pic gives an idea of scale. Meet: Hulk Dog. I managed to wrestle Jed onto the weighing scales yesterday. It was difficult to get an accurate measurement because he was performing a complex musical number at the time, but he now weighs between 32.6 and 36.1 kg.
He wuves me.
Friends, we are gathered here today to celebrate the brief, yet eventful, yet ultimately terminal life of Chicken. Although only a stuffed toy, Chicken was always the life and soul of any party. His life ended tragically, when he ran into a savage puppy’s teeth. Chicken, we will miss you. Rest in peace.
Yes, it’s pretentiously arty and just a bit farty, but I like it! Ok? I LIKE IT!
Me: I was walking The Jedster today and doing the heel with lots of positive affirmation* and this woman passed by with a golden retriever, and she gave me this LOOK, you know, like she was judging me. And I wouldn’t have minded except that her dog was UNBELIEVABLY badly behaved, plunging around on his lead and not sitting and stuff.
Husband: Jesus. What was her problem?
Me: Hard to know, but she was totally minging one way or another.
Husband: I know – you should blacklist her!
Me: From what? Oh, hey! I could blacklist her from my life! FOREVER! NO REPRIEVE! NO REMORSE!
Husband: Wow, you’re cold.
Me: Well, I can be when circumstances warrant it.
* Note: this is a variation on the Snarfy Snuggle Monster riff, delivered at a pitch only Jed and overhead bats can hear, usually on the occasion of him taking a wizz any place other than my carpet, or collapsing on the ground five minutes after I tell him to sit for the fourth time
See? My dog totally sits.
After only four weeks, I cannot imagine Jed not being part of my life. Yet there are still occasions when he feels like an intruder (usually after he piddles all over the landing carpet).
I still struggle with the weighty responsibility of being a dog owner. As an immature Shaw, I cared for (in the loosest possible sense) a series of goldfish, most of which – all right, pretty much ALL of which without much if any exception – started swimming the backstroke before curling up their flippers and dying.
A dog is a different prospect. First of all, when they’re not gnawing raw meat, they’re pretty cuddly – unlike goldfish, which are a bit slimy/smelly for tactile bonding. There’s more commitment with a dog, which lasts (hopefully) many years. I can already see how, if anything happens to Jed, the mourning process will be more involved than flushing him down the toilet.
The first two weeks after we got Jed home were particularly traumatic. Life is much easier now that I have figured out what he eats, which is: pretty much anything except puppy biscuits. His staple is still igneous rocks, garnished with grass, sticks, fish and raw meat.
When he knocks over cups of coffee or headbutts Husband in the crotch, he is referred to as: ‘your dog’. However, most of the time, it’s all: ‘Who’s the BEST DOG? Who’s the SMOOCHIEST little POOCH? The JEDSTER IS! You ARE! YOU ARE! HEAD THE BALL FLUPPY PUPPY! Aw, LICKS! THANK YOU! SNARFY SNUGGLE MONSTER!’
I have found that Husband responds equally well to this sort of encouragement, including having his ears pulled