• neil

Day 99 (24 June): Hounded

My dog Alfie presented me with a list of grievances this morning.

It turns out that being a canine is less fun than it is cracked up to be. Until today I thought she had nothing but uncritical love for me but it turns out that I understand even less about dogs than I do about most other things.

What set her off was us watching a YouTube video of Marshall Rosenberg on Non Violent Communication. She thinks a new found interest in enhancing my interpersonal skills is laudable but insists I should now start employing these skills in my relations with her.

To kick start concrete measures to upgrade her lot she has one-claw typed a list of areas which should be improved on as part of a better communal living arrangement.

Here is the list of items (she was loth to call them instructions) as she presented it to me:

Dear Neil,

This has taken me far longer to type than it should have because you have an Azerty not a Qwerty keyboard. You need not change that. It is not one of my demands. I am just saying.

I have put together a list of the points of friction between us:

  1. Diet The disparity between our diets could not be greater. You are eating a broad selection of organic foods cooked with flair and inspiration. I am getting 120 grams of dog kibble twice a day. No sauce, no gravy, no dessert. You seem to get the occasional glass of Bordeaux whereas I get lukewarm tap water in a plastic bowl.
Improvements are requested both as to the quality and variety of the culinary offering and the aesthetics of the receptacles employed.

  2. Sleeping arrangements You are sleeping in what would appear to be a very comfortable double bed with elegant and attractive pillow and quilt covers. I am sleeping on a sponge rubber bed with a covering that gets washed when the house floods.

  3. Hair care and grooming
 I notice you have a variety of pre-wash and post-wash hair conditioners, chic shampoo, several skin creams and a selection of perfumes. You really do personal grooming . Where is it written that my personal grooming should be limited to the extraction of ticks followed by the ceremonial crushing of said ticks with a brick?

  4. Exercise and leisure We do exercise together and I thank you for that. But I fail to see why I am the one on the submissive end of lead, why I am the one in the back of the car and why I am the one who is expected to poo in public. You might not be embarrassed but I am.

  5. The Mating Game I am not impressed by the fact you had me neutered. You told me I was going in for an ingrowing claw and woosh, they whisked all my reproductive bits away. My sex drive seems to have been entirely replaced by a desire to eat. Which brings us full circle to point 1 and that bloody miserable dog kibble. I can only imagine your reaction if I told you I was substituting a handful of Eukaneuba for that Finnish lady you like so much.

  6. Sniffing bottoms It would appear that you do not share my urge to sniff bottoms. And in a spirit of live and let live I can go along with that. I will not push you on this.
But somebody has to do it.


Alfie 🐾

I have taken the list into consideration and I am approaching the negotiating table prepared to defend the following compromise proposals:

  1. Diet
 I will add a sausage every Friday and every Friday a different kind of sausage! She should be okay with meat on Fridays as I have never seen her cross herself. In addition I will supply two elegant pottery bowls for food and water; either Royal Doulton or Meissen. More choice than that and we will still be negotiating this time next year.

  2. Sleeping arrangements
 A reading lamp next to her bed is as far as I am prepared to go. She has to stay downstairs as she is the secondary burglar and flood alert mechanism. Anyway, she whimpers when she dreams and I would be wide awake wondering what on Earth that was all about.

  3. Hair care and grooming I know she would be happy with just a bottle perfume - if only there was one called Alfie. She would be so full of herself.
 Genius! I just contacted the kennel club. From next Thursday her name changes to Jo Malone.

  4. Exercise and leisure
 The only compromise I envisage here is that I might let her onto the front passenger seat from time to time. I can get one of those toy plastic steering wheels which stick on the dashboard. But there is no way I am going behind a tree with her following carrying a green plastic bag.

  5. The mating game
 There is not much I can do about the missing ovaries as I am pretty sure they did not keep them. But as Alfie herself states that the sex drive has been replaced by the urge to eat I could throw in an extra sausage and hope she does not equate that with some form of phallic mockery.

  6. Sniffing bottoms
 I now understand that Alfie considers this not so much a pleasure as a duty and I undertake to be more patient and considerate in the future. I will just pretend to be checking my phone.

I think we now have a firm basis for negotiation.

Have a very nice Wednesday everyone!



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