Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend...

“Ingratitude is treason to mankind.” James Thomson

Wednesday 9 June 2010

The tyranny of the terrier.

Every morning, I awake around 8 or 8:30, trundle downstairs, put the kettle on, make a cup of tea and feed the dogs. If Everybody Loves Raymond is still weaving its magic, I will give them a small scoop of dry food and hotfoot it into the living room with my mug and they get the full-on Butcher's-plus-glucosamine-tablet extravaganza a little later, maybe 9ish. This evening they had a little snack of half a carrot each around 4:30 while I was making my own dinner. Their evening meal is served at 6:30, and the girl dog gets a small snack before bed to stop her stomach getting growly and queasy which happens sometimes now that she is an old lady of 13.

It has not always been so. I used to be rather lax with dog meals and they came at any time I thought of it. Girl dog - for she was once my one and only - just ate happily and when her meal was put down for her. She has never been greedy, or a beggar.

Here she is a few years ago, with her poorly cracked toenail. She dove underfoot to snaffle some foul snack on the pavement and her foot was trodden on. So maybe she is a little greedy.

She has taken to hovering every evening, making the kind of rude sigh you might make if someone was taking too long buying a train ticket or blocking a corridor. If you say "show me" with a rising inflection, she will lead you where she wants you - which allows her to tell us if she wants to go out or if she wants food, for whatever she wants rarely deviates from these two things. These days it is always the food. 

Despite her extreme cuteness, this is driving me a little potty. It starts at 5 and carries on as long as I ignore her. She stands, staring, one hind foot shaking slightly, sighing loudly and emitting the general impatient air of someone waiting for someone else to get on with it.

Her stomach is not gurgling audibly. Her dinner is only 90 minutes away. She is a small dog and weight gain at her time of life is best avoided. She won't be coddled or cuddled or otherwise distracted. If I scoop her up and try to make her sit with me, she'll scoot away and resume her vigil.

I recently gave in and served her a small scoop of dry food. Now she is doubly relentless. 

This is on top of the new non-walking development which means that she will walk out of the front garden as far as the pavement and no further, leaving me dangling there at the end of the lead unable to go left or right. The only way an actual walk will take place is if I drive somewhere. Yesterday, she came with when I took the car for its MOT and service and she hopped out and walked home like there was never a problem. At the park, she runs like a greyhound. Outside her own home, she cannot be persuaded to move. No way. No how.


  1. I know this routine all too well. We have had 3 terriers who lived past 13 & they all gave going for a walk. Larry, age 13 now, wakws us up at sunrise (which is 5am now) & demands to be fed. He will pick up his dish & drop it or stand on the bed & make peculiar moaning sounds. I give up, make tea & then feed both dogs... then Larry goes directly back to bed.

    The girl dog is too cute to believe. I want to eat her up.

  2. 5 am!! I administer the bedtime snack to avoid that sort of incident. I think Larry's moaning is probably a similar routine to the funny noises she makes. Not quite a whine, but a growly heavy-breathing sound.

    Once you've been bossed around by a terrier, I think you're under their spell forever.

  3. I cannot get "God Loves A Terrier" Out of my head. And WHY would I want to?