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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

I’ve been thinking an awful lot recently about dogs. I think this is part and parcel of the vague homesickness I’m finally starting to feel – I say finally, because I think that once you start feeling a little melancholy about what you’ve left behind, it does mean that you’re sinking comfortably into the new life that you’ve chosen. The dog thing, though, is starting to reach new heights.

Just before I moved here, there were some major dog-related events that took place within my immediate family. Having absolutely begged my parents for a full year to get a new dog, they finally relented and we got Bobby, the tiny-headed giddy freak who parades about as if he’s a jack russell when really he’s just the spirit of caffeine made flesh (and fur). At least, that was my experience of him for the two months I was at home with him. Days after I moved here, my brother proposed to his girlfriend, taking the unusual step of attaching her engagement ring to the collar of a new jack russell puppy. The puppy has been called Dudley (after Dudley Moore) and I had the screeching thrill of seeing him when I dashed home to collect more belongings. He is tiny and has all the bravery of a puppy who doesn’t know any better, can’t slow down before banging into things, gets tumbled over and over by Bobby and is generally the most adorable thing you’ll ever see.

The very day I was at home for the last time before moving to my new house, we discovered that Bobby could be taught to chase balls, and bring them back to some extent, and that he can’t tell the difference between the actual-throwing-of-the-ball and the pretend-throwing-of-the-ball-and-then-putting-it-behind-your-back-instead. This caused much delight in my Dad and me, and we spent the best part of two hours variously throwing and not-throwing the ball for Bobs.

Now every day via email, I get updates from friends and siblings about what they did the night before. This usually arrives in bullet points. The bullet points from my sisters seem to more and more contain stories of walks with not one, not two, but three jack russells. Three. It’s more than I can bear.

When we walk around the area we live in, He Who Only… and I spend a lot of time pointing at dogs, and I invariably squeal and ask him to steal it for me. We were slumped watching television last night, and I turned and asked a question. In response, He Who Only… pointed at the television and said “Puppy!” and I forgot what I was asking. I was sitting on my lunchbreak at work today and came across this picture (on the excellent Dooce site, this dog is called Chuck and every Friday there is a photo of him) and the picture made me want to shout “DOG! DOGGIE! DOGGLES!” out loud in the office.

Next week, we’re going back to Dublin for a visit. I am fully expecting to spend every waking moment with a jack russell on my knee, and if I don’t, I shall be asking for my money back.


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