I’ve written at desperate length about how Baxter the pup has lots in common with a psychotic toddler with shark’s teeth, but as he’s grown I’ve noticed him change. He’s still crazy and random, but he’s added more strings to his unpredictable bow. I can see now that teenagers and puppies actually have a surprising amount in common, including disgusting habits, lying around sleeping all day, eating whatever they can lay their perpetually starving hands or paws on, and Jekyll & Hyde mood swings.
Some teenage habits are largely pretty unspeakable; anyone who has a teen or two at home knows this stark truth. As an example, albeit supposedly fictional – have you seen the episode of The Middle where 17-year-old Axl leaves his toenail clippings in a big bag of potato chips? Which exhausted Mom Frankie, collapsing on the sofa in need of a quick food fix, tucks right into? I think you know what I’m talking about. She leaves home over the incident. I believe she has a point.
I won’t go into my eldest son’s less desirable habits here, not because it would offend my dear reader’s gentle sensibilities (wait until you get to the bit about the dog’s habits), but because he would never speak to me again. Let’s just say farts and toenails, constant and inappropriately placed respectively, and leave it at that. Despite this, and it takes some doing, the dog does outdo the teenager in the disgusting habit stakes.
The dog’s top 3 favourite vile things to do:
1. Find and eat dead things: Things that have been dead for some time. I know he’s a retriever and he’s doing what Mother Nature has intended for him, but decomposed frogs and putrid pigeons…really. One dog walker was appalled when Baxter dropped a fetid fowl at her own dog’s feet recently. “What has your dog done to my dog?!” she wailed as her mutt tucked in and Baxter looked on proudly.
2. Eating poo: I’m sorry that this blog is already dipping lower than an already intolerably lowered tone but as a dog owner I have been roundly debased, dignity has left the building, and I’m taking you down with me. I vaguely remember my childhood Jack Russell loving a bit of white dog poo for lunch, but we lived in a city then. Now we live in the countryside, where there’s oodles of the ex-meals of animals dolloped at every turn. There’s not much a young and vigorous dog relishes more than shoving his snout in a satisfyingly large pile of something that’s passed through the digestive tract of fellow beast. Horse, cow, sheep, he doesn’t care. If it stinks, Baxter wants a piece of it, and he loves to give my face a little lick afterwards.
3. Sniffing people’s bottoms: His piece de resistance. He really outdid himself recently when he made a beeline for a lovely old lady stepping into the sunshine after church. I’m just glad it was Jack and not me who was doing the walking that day. He’ll never forget it, or the look on her face. Shudder.