Fred’s on steroids.
Wow, that felt like some sort of confession. I’m a fan of the over-share but admitting that I have failed to cure Fred’s skin complaint with coconut oil, aloe vera, hugging a tree or burning rare oils all the while chanting ten thousand year old Mesopotamian spells sourced from desert texts found under a blood moon in the year of the wheezing hippo, whilst high on mushrooms is a source great shame. Freddy-boo has a nasty little rash. Gods alone know from where he picked up this latest dose of mankiness. He’s usually a fastidious groomer, not only of himself but of Holly whether she wants to be groomed or not, much to Holl’s annoyance of course. As an old girl Holly isn’t always up for Fred’s three-hour metrosexual hair and manicure sessions. The first we know that he’s set up the parlour is a loud growl, snap and the trit-trot of Fred’s paws when he’s trying to find a human to whom he can make a complaint. This is usually swiftly followed by the gentle pad of Holly who slumps against me with a look on her face that says very clearly,“Keep this mad little twat away from me because one day I’m going kill him, dissect him and leave him out for the crows”. During Fred’s treatment to cure his lurgies all grooming is off and it’s the belt and braces approach of steroids and antibiotics from the vet.
It was with Holly’s emotional wellbeing in mind that I had a bright idea. I have lots of bright ideas, most of them under the influence of beer/wine/rum/that weird bottle of green stuff at the back of the kitchen cupboard which smells a bit like fruit but you’re not entirely sure isn’t oven cleaner or the urine sample you forgot to give to the Dr last time. So, this bright idea was that Holly has so much gentleness and love that perhaps there are other people out there who would like to meet her. I researched ‘pat dogs’ who go to Nursing and Elderly Care Units where the residents get to stroke dogs as part of their occupational therapy, but these dogs are usually very well trained. Holly has very basic gundog training but nothing near what ‘pat dogs’ have. As if by some weird universal coincidence a Facebook friend posted a link to www.borrowmydoggy.com. It’s a website for dog owners who need walkers or sitters for their dogs. I think it’s intended for people who work long hours or work away occasionally and it’s meant as an alternative to boarding kennels. The people who sign up to be a borrower would like a dog but for some reason can’t commit the time (and perhaps expense!) of having a dog. Naturally I researched the living shit out the borrow my doggy scheme. I love my Holl too much to simply hand her over to just anyone. That’s one of the reasons I got Fred, I’d fostered the little sod up to full health and if any prospective adoptive family wanted him they’d have had to get my full approval, naturally NO ONE on the planet was good enough for him and the same rule applies to my Holl. In my opinion Holly has just too much love for one family. That’s a fondant icing level of sugary sickliness I know, but I cannot ever do justice to her nature in words alone, you’d need to meet her to understand what I mean. I also figured that she needs some time away from Fred the MLF (Mad Little Fucker as my husband has named him). I signed up, a borrower was found and Holly now enjoys two visits a week to an incredible family. Instead of the route marches through mud, being dragged along behind on the doggy lead of shame she gets an amble up the beach, gets to play fetchy thing with her ball without MLF trying to get piggy backs and without his teeth firmly attached to the scruff of her neck when she won’t play with him.
Holly seems perfectly contented with the new arrangement and tolerates Fred much more. Although, I don’t think either of us are tolerating Fred The Roidy too well right now. The MLF has gone into hyperdrive. The vet warned us that he might be slightly more hungry and thirsty. Yeh right, he’s gone bat-crap crazy. It was the innocent act of enjoying my tea and toast this morning which unnerved me first; there he sat and watched every mouthful, drooling. He never drools. His stare was intense, persistent and quite honestly menacing. I’m fighting off a bit of a chest infection and I’m afraid to have a nap in case he eats my face off. He did four laps of the house in a state of frenzied hyperactivity just because a bird landed on the garden fence. Fred’s still coming to terms with things like birds and why he can’t catch them, but in his steroid induced brain-fuzz nothing makes sense anymore and the natural response to this is tear-arsing up the stairs and leaping elbows first from the sixth step onto oinky pig which releases a noise like a duck being anally violated by a Great Dane (use your imagination).
Fred’s asleep for the moment; the house is peaceful so Holly and I are enjoying the calm. I’m beginning to think I might like to be borrowed by Holly’s other family too.