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Posts tagged ‘training’

The masked raider

Curly coat retriever

On Friday as we drove through Swanson in the process of calling it a day, Husband suddenly exclaimed, “Look! A dead duck!”

He sounded so excited, I almost expected him to continue, “Oh, WOW! I feel so HAPPY! This is BETTER THAN SEX!”

Of course, the appropriate response to a dead duck alert – not that I’ve come across many – is along the lines of, ‘yeah, it looks dead all right,’ or ‘well, that’s what you get when you play chicken with cement trucks. I hope you’ve learned something from this.’

Instead, no doubt carried away momentarily by Husband’s enthusiasm, I shouted, “Quick! Stop the car! Do a U-turn!”

Narrowly avoiding the kerb and a stray recycle bin, he did just that.

“Er, I was just joking, you know,” I said, as he pulled up next to the dead duck and, hopping out, picked it up by the legs. “Woah- hey, I don’t want that thing anywhere near me. What are you doing-”

“It’s for Jed,” said Andrew, tucking the carrion into his footwell. “He can retrieve it.”

Indeed, Jed instantly picked up the scent – well, it wasn’t subtle – in fact, you could say it was pretty gamey – and went berserk in the back of the car. He attempted to bodysurf into the front and when that was not effective, contented himself with a spot of yodelling. If you haven’t heard Jed in full cry, check out his vocal contortions in the videos on this post.

I never thought I would end up the type of person who would be an accessory to picking up dead animals on the side of the road and stuffing them in a footwell. I don’t know; I just expected . . . MORE out of my life, you know?

Yesterday, we took Jed out to get acquainted with his dead duck. I was present in an official capacity to record the momentous occasion. Andrew was the duck handler.

Curly coat retriever and duck

To check check relative deadness of duck: hold upside down and shake. If it quacks, try again.

Curly coat retriever

Husband and Jed keep a close eye on duck, in case it makes a break for it.

Curly coat retriever retrieving pre-dead duck

Jed poses with duck for the camera.

Curly coat retriever

He's not usually cross eyed.

Curly coat retriever

The masked raider: who needs vision?

Canine hypochondria

Jed is generally pretty hardy – not that he has much choice. He is used to being slung down the stairs, getting his ears slammed in the car door and being dropped on his head.

We might redress our rugged approach to dog rearing if Jed himself didn’t regularly head butt trees, slide along gravel on his face, and pass clothes pegs and entire Meccano sets out his rectum.

Recently, Jed has been testing the outer limits of his existence – along with the tensile strength of our nerves. About three days before Christmas, we accompanied our neighbours Big Al and Action Man, their daughter, Luscious, and their dog, Smurfy, to Bethell’s Beach. Jed loves the sea, to the extent that he will insist on swallowing gallons of the stuff. His digestive system is evidently an industrial machine, capable of processing a vast range of objects (see above). However, it appears to simply collect seawater, compress it, then fire it explosively out his arse.

After two hours tearing up and down the beach, Jed had an impressive case of projectile diarrhoea. This being pretty standard, we took him back to the creek and encouraged him to drink more freshwater.

Halfway home, he boked all over the car. We were thankful he wasn’t standing between us in the two front seats. On the other hand, we wouldn’t have minded had he adopted his favourite position with his head out the back window.

We pulled over to bail out the boot, which was awash with water, driftwood, seaweed, sand and small crustaceans

Thankfully Jed suffered no further ill effects from the drink, but the following day he was out biking with Husband and grazed the pad on his paw. Andrew called from the beginning of the Sharpe Track, and I embarked on an emergency rescue mission – i.e. I drove down the road and picked them up. Jed’s paw was fine after we sprayed some antibiotic on it.

But all this was just prelude to the real Eddie the Eagle stuntage. On Christmas Day, in order to embrace the traditions of our adoptive land, we decided to follow the rest of the country to the beach.

Jed usually mounts the Hilux Surf via the back door. Since the back seats have been up since my parents arrived, Jed now leaps into his diminished boot space via the tailgate. We give him a good run-up to the car, putting him in a sit/stay a few metres away, then cheering him into the boot.

Perhaps he got carried away by the crowd fervour, because this time he took off from about two metres away.

His front paws hit the target, but he wrapped his hind quarters around the tailgate, giving himself an atomic wedgie. The men gave a collective wince. As Jed’s front paws slid off the tailgate, the look of bewilderment in his eyes clearly said, “I had no concept life could be this cruel”.

We didn’t realise he had hurt himself until we arrived at the beach, when we found he had weed blood all over the boot.

You will be glad to hear that he was just badly bruised; bloody wee is apparently a common response to a bang in the balls (I wouldn’t know; I read it somewhere). Jed’s little dickie is now back to normal.

I wish I could say the same about our car boot, but despite detaching the carpeting and water-blasting, Vanishing and extensively airing it, it still gives off an aroma that is less than fresh.

Then on New Year’s Day, we had to bring Jed to the out of hours vet clinic for an emergency operation.

When circumstances warrant

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.

Arse-shaped imprint

The writing is going well, as evidenced by the arse-shaped imprint in our extremely expensive leather sofa. Even though I expect the imprint to shrink with more cross training at Level 12, I’m considering a rotating seating plan

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