Ollie the puppy is very cute.
He is also a pest.
He is half angel, half demon spawn.
Ollie is our puppy.
He is a soft coated Irish wheaten terrier.
When he is asleep I am very fond of him.
When he is awake………..well.
My wife and I thought it would be romantic to add a dog to our little family.
As a father of three boys you would think I had more common sense, but my wife is everything.
Her wish is her command but Ollie has turned our home and life into a FBI murder scene.
We live in a mound of drop sheets, blankets, warning tape, sprays, discarded toys, dried kangaroo tendons, kibble and all manner of animal waste and offal.
When I have a shower I now have to remember to wash the dog crap out of my toes and hair.
We feel blessed.
Ollie is a walking cyclone of poo, wee and vomit.
We love him very much.
He is definitely a test of patience and experience has shown me that pain is the spiritual pathway to Nirvana.
Or, so I tell myself.
Or, so my wife tells me as she wipes urine off our couch.
The image belies the reality.
For a couple of years I have watched these pretty young Bondi couples walking their brown Labradors and half bred poodles along the beach.
They look Insta-perfect.
The dogs walk calmly beside the tanned, shaved legs, perky butts, tight gym gear and pouting lips – and that’s just the men!
The doggies look adoringly up at their masters and bound and leap and lick.
Ollie drags behind me when we walk. He jumps and bites and whines.
He rolls on dead birds and tries to eat child vomit.
Ollie needed help.
No……..we needed help!
So, we decided to seek professional mentoring and booked him into puppy school at the local vet.
If I thought living with Ollie was hell, I literally entered the very halls of Satan at puppy school.
Ten puppies, ten kids and fourteen, Eastern suburbs parents in a smelly, stark veterinary clinic.
Suddenly, our puppy seemed so much better behaved.
There is nothing like a tiny room of privileged Eastern Suburbs adults to set you straight.
The precocious human children of said adults also cast Ollie in a sympathetic light.
Some of those kids are possessed.
For me, puppy school was a living nightmare.
I would prefer walking around with burning hot coals in my undies.
In fact, the searing pain may have provided relief from the inane questions and panting Cavoodle puppies.
Bronte and Bondi are awash in Cavoodles.!
The puppy school agenda looked like this:
- Introduce yourself and puppy to the room and tell everyone how your puppy has been pooing. (Never has crap been such an interesting subject, apart from the banking royal commission of course :0)
- Ten minutes playtime where all ten puppies are placed on the floor. We are instructed not to touch the puppies, so we watch them gleefully hump and maul each other, as we smile and nod.
- Twenty minutes of puppy training. Each puppy is fed huge amounts of dry, dead animal bits while they sit, stay, drop and roll. (I try not to look at my watch and phone, while I pray for a lightning strike or localized twister.)
- A short lecture on why not to chastise your puppy while they deliberately take a crap in your Bally shoes as you desperately try to shave.
- A final ten minutes of puppy play as one of the Cavoodles is rushed into surgery in an attempt to stem the blood flow from a Pit Bull Terrier bite. (The pit bull is given a treat and two minutes quiet time in the corner. The puppy whisperer tells us he is only a puppy and doesn’t know any better, but I’m sure the Pit Bull was smiling as he licked the blood from his still growing incisors.)
- And finally, when all seems lost and I prepare to run down Carrington Road naked, it is the end of week four and the puppies graduate with a plaque, photo and puppy show bag (We get home and Ollie pisses in my wife’s Louis Vitton hand bag and vomits in the dish washer.)
Don’t get me wrong. We are proud parents.
But at 57 years of age I really thought squeezing stinky stools from a contracted orifice was past me.
Luckily, being a father of twins has given me many a skill I have not forgotten.
And just when I think this puppy can get no worse, I come out of my self imposed day dreaming and find little Ollie asleep at my feet, his beautiful fluffy head resting on my right foot.
And I realize my wife and Ollie adore each other and my wife is completely smitten with this walking ball of love and cuddles and leaking bits.
This is not about me.
Joy exists in the small moments of love and family.
So, I stop feeling sorry for myself, hug my wife and our ‘fur baby’ (God, take me now) and step enthusiastically into another day.