Tuesday, 22 July 2014

My nasty ugly dog...

People have split views on Caesar.  Some people will tell you he is a well-built, muscular and handsome dog.  Others think he's scary.  I have moved from feeling a lot of the latter to thinking that he's the most gorgeous dog I've ever seen and actively seeking dogs that look like him.  But, I'd forgive those who feel that he's a scary looking dog because I know how I felt when I first saw him....

I'd gone to the rescue centre to look at a Jack Russell.

Now that I know and love Caesar though, I can see nothing scary about him; only his adorableness.  Well, at least while we're in the house.  What does get on my wick, though, is when I walk him and he runs around the park/beach/field/forest/... like an idiot making a ridiculous racket and having nearly everyone stare at us and think he's mental.  And me even more so for owning him!

I've never been a person that likes being the centre of attention.  And even less so for negative reasons such as having a screaming banshee of a dog dragging me along the road.  However, my saving grace is that I do know that Caesar, despite what people may think, is a nice dog.  The unfortunate thing is that I am unable to tell this to any of the people who stare at him as we struggle past; me fighting to pull him back and him wrestling with the lead to go forwards.  Our energies are opposing each other so much that we appear to be having a tug of war in the street.  I pray each time we leave the house that this lead is as strong as I'd hoped.

I don't disagree with the people that cross the road.  Or the people that move out of the way.  Or the people that stare in disbelief as I smile at them and dig my heels into the ground.  I don't disagree with people asking 'is he aggressive?' or with those who assume he is and simply move away.  I'd probably have been the same a few years ago - although it saddens me to think it.  However, as humans, we have a need to protect ourselves and Caesar, however harmless he is, does appear to be a bit bonkers when he's squealing away to himself in the park.  What, I have discovered he's actually saying is, 'OH MYYYYYYY....I'M SOOOOO EXCITED! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE LET ME GO AND MEET THAT DOG/PERSON/SHEEP SO WE CAN PLAAAAY!'   It did take me a good few years to finally realise that this is what he was trying to communicate.  And it finally clicked when I made the connection between the noise he makes at tea time and the noise he makes on a walk; pure, uncontrollable, hysterical excitement!

He also makes it when we go to the vets.  But once we get into the consultation room he's fine and so calm that, last time, I took off his lead and collar to show them something and he stood there for a good few minutes as good as gold.  The problem is the part of the visit that involves making it from the door of the surgery to the consulting room without disrupting everyone in the whole building.  I hate it.  I cringe even thinking about it!  People stare, stupefied by this horrific noise which is amplified by the bare walls.  Once, another vet came out of the room and stared at me as I struggled through.  I was completely mortified!  But it's OK because my vet understands and she knows that inside Caesar has a heart of gold.  Plus, by the time he gets to her he's pretty calm!

One day, though, I was walking Caesar through the surgery.  I now wait outside the front door until the vet finds me   I had entered in through the front door and my destination was a door to the left, just through the waiting room.  I grimaced and hurried through with Caesar's lead as short as I could make it.  As we walked through the door, a woman commented 'What a nasty ugly looking dog..."  She had a small fluffy dog which she had lifted off the floor at the sight of Caesar.

I'm not sure I processed the comment until I entered into the consultation room.  Nasty?  Ugly?  I looked at Caesar who was whining pathetically.  He is 22kg of muscle and noise - I'll allow her that.  He is irritating - I'd give her that too.  But to judge him as nasty?  Is his squealing really so much worse than her own Shih tzu's yapping and growling?  I felt hurt for Caesar who is the most loving dog I've ever come across.  And, I would say this because he's mine and I love him very much.  But, to be fair to him, Caesar has never done anything to prove otherwise.  And, until he does, I will continue to believe it.

Comments like this come with the territory of owning a dog like Caesar.  And, it hurts to think that, no matter how nice he is at home, people will always think he's a 'nasty' or 'ugly' dog.  I am having to accept this.  I suppose I better develop a thick skin.  Part of me feels angry at her for her ignorance.  But another part of me feels sorry for them because, while they continue to close their minds, they will forever close their minds to bull breed dogs like Caesar.  And that is very very sad.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Two and a half years ago...

Two and a half years ago, the name Caesar meant a Roman Emperor who I knew little about.  If you'd asked me what I thought about it as the name for a dog, I'd have said I hated it.  I'd much have preferred 'Fluffy' or 'Snoopy' or 'Star'.  But Caesar isn't a 'Fluffy', he's not a 'Snoopy' and I can say, in no uncertain terms, that he is certainly not a 'Star'.  He just isn't.  In fact, he's a 'Caesar'.  And, now that I have him I can think of no other name that would suit him as well.

Two and a half years ago, the only things I had to spend my money on were for myself.  I had freedom to spend on holidays, clothes and lovely things for my house.  Nowadays, I spend more money on pets than I do on myself and my wardrobe is starting to reflect this - as is Caesar's!

Two and a half years ago, I knew not what the term 'separation anxiety' meant.  And I knew how to leave the house without a second thought.  Step out, lock door.  Simple.  Now, the routine is much more complex; take Caesar to toilet, scan all of house for anything edible/destroyable/precious, find toys that are durable to leave out, shut kitchen door, throw self against kitchen door to check that it is shut, leave, lock door.  This adds a considerable amount of time to my morning routine not to mention general stress to my life when I'm at work and suddenly realise I've left my designer handbag hanging at the foot of the stairs...

Two and a half years ago, I believed that pets were pets and should never be allowed on furniture or in bedrooms.  They should have pet beds which were theirs and be grateful too!  Now I share my sofa and my bed and my life with a huge ginger mongrel and there's nothing better than snuggling up together on the sofa and watching a film!

Two and half years ago, I had enough space to sleep comfortably on a night.  Now I sleep in an odd shape with my legs over, around, under or balanced on a bundle of fur and muscle.  But, when it's not there, however uncomfortable it may be, I cannot sleep.

Two and a half years ago, I did not know how it felt to be greeted each night by a wagging tail.  That, no matter how bad my day had been, I'd be just as special every time I walked through the door.  I did not know that I could put my worries down with my bags and head out for a walk.

Two and a half years ago, I did not have the same capacity to forgive.  I did not realise how the fears of others can lead them to act in a way which is irresponsible and destructive.  I did not know that this behaviour was much less about me and more about them.  I did not realise that I could watch parts of my world be destroyed and feel sorry for the one who destroyed them.

Two and a half years ago, I went to bed alone when I was hurt, unwell or just tired, unaware of the healing qualities of a furry companion.  The calm constant lying at the end of the bed, cuddling into my legs or back.  The only company I can stand when a migraine takes hold.

Two and a half years ago, I knew that I didn't want a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or any cross breed of this type. I'd heard too much bad news and wasn't willing to listen to reason.  My favourite breed of dog was something small and fluffy, yet today I could not live without my Staffy cross boy - the gentlest natured and most loving dog I have ever come across.

Two and a half years ago, the name Caesar meant nothing to me.  It's strange how two and half years can make such a difference.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The worst guard dog in the world...

"How do you think Caesar would react if you were attacked?" asked my sister one afternoon as we sat drinking orange and chatting about a plethora of unrelated things.  Allowing one aimless topic to run seamlessly into another.

If I'm honest, it isn't the first time that I've allowed my mind to ponder the subject.  Caesar himself being 22kg and built like a buffalo would be a deterrent I had thought for almost any thug who might come my way.  But was I sure he would protect me?  I'd like to think he would but if I was being truly honest with myself - I think he'd probably just cry.

Equally, with burglars, I was sure that Caesar would frighten them before they realised what a noisy yet harmless lump of dog he is.  He may scare them by being overly boisterously friendly I thought.  Or by just walking into the room while they were there.

It was odd that a few days later, I noticed a post on a Facebook forum from a lady who had come in to find her back gate and door open.  She assumed she must have been burgled but that they had fled when seeing the dogs as nothing had been taken.  I nodded in agreement.  I should hope that this would be the case should we ever find ourselves in this horrible situation.

A wolf in sheeps clothing?  - probably the other way round!

I felt weird driving home at lunch time.  And annoyed with myself for leaving a file that I needed on my coffee table.  Cursing as I pulled up to the house, I strutted up the front drive praying that the file was where I thought it was so that I could get back to work quickly enough to get a bit of lunch.  I flung open the front door and dashed in quickly to find the house in complete silence.  'Good' I thought, assured that I hadn't been annoying the neighbours with nuisance barking.  After pausing for a second to think, I hurried into the front room.  The file wasn't on the coffee table.  Underneath?  I thought desperately and began unpacking boxes and pulling things out from beneath.  I banged and clattered as folders, notebooks and box files fell to the ground.  Finally, I saw the file and yanked it out.  I stopped to look at it.  Silence.

The house felt eerie.  Usually, I'm followed around everywhere by a ginger shadow.  But there I was...alone.  Sitting surrounded by boxes and paper that I'd rifled through.  And where was Caesar?  Who knows!

Was he knocking out the Zzzzz s?

About fifteen minutes after I'd come, I jumped in the car and drove back to work.  As I mindlessly steered down familiar streets, I began to worry.  What if Caesar was trapped somewhere?  What if he was injured or ill?  Not wanting to disturb him, I'd left him alone wherever he was.  I hadn't even peeped around the door to see where he was.  

I'm pleased to say that, at the end of the day, he was there with his wagging tail waiting for me.  But, where he was that lunch time, I can only guess...

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Fat face...

"I'm going to have an early night..." has been the catchphrase of my week.  I've said it nearly every night and managed it never.  Caesar likes an early night too.  I get my audio book on and we snuggle up under the duvet and I listen and he snores.  Only last night, the usual comforting snores of Caesar's sleep terrified me more by the second...

This is how it happened...

We'd decided on an early tea and I was sitting with my laptop balanced on my knee on the sofa as Damien cooked up a breakfast.  I lifted my hand to close the lid and Caesar, who was half on half of my leg flinched and winced.  I stopped in horror.  "You don't think I'm going to hit you?" I looked at him perplexed.  Caesar's history has always been a giant question mark and I've always wondered if any bad memories carry with him.  But he's been here two years now and I'd hope he knows that I wouldn't allow anything to happen to him.  I went to stroke him a moment later and he flinched again.  I called Damien.

"I don't know if something's happened to him but I think he's afraid I'll hit him..." I told him.  Damien shrugged when I showed him and then suddenly his expression changed.  Aghast he reached for Caesar's face.  "His cheek is all swollen he said."  I looked and he was right.  Because I was sitting on his left side, I was unable to see that his left lip and cheek were swollen as if he's been punched by Mike Tyson.  Panic set in as somewhere in my mind I remembered training about anaphylactic shock in children.  One of the things we were told to look for and report as a matter of urgency was swollen lips.

Swelling to the left side of Caesar's face came up suddenly.

Caesar has a habit of waiting until just after closing time at the vets on a weekend before deciding to come down with something potentially life threatening.  The first, and worst thing, I did was googled it.  One good thing about googling is that there's always someone worse.  And in this case, there were quite a few dogs who had seen much worse.  Some had swollen eyes and weeping scabs.  Others looked more like they'd been in a car accident than 'stung by a bee' which seemed to be the most common cause of the swelling.

I had two pieces of advice I was happy with.  A good friend and dog trainer, Chris, had told me to pop a cold compress on his face and perhaps try some Piriton.  I wandered over the the supermarket having pressed a cool towel to Caesar's face - he seemed thankful for the relief.  I had two names; "Benadryl" and "Piriton".  I couldn't find either!  Then, suddenly, I set my eyes on "one a day" by Benadryl.  I snatched them up and took them home.  However, when I got them back, I realised that they contain a drug called centirizine.  I googled it and got no results for whether it was safe for dogs or not - people on forums seemed to be debating it and there were many references to a 'poisoning in dogs' article which I was unable to find.  I decided to leave it.  Another trip to the supermarket would reveal that there was nothing safe to feed dogs.

*Very very useful note:  I cleared this up with the vet on the phone and she told me that centirizine is not safe to give dogs.  So for anyone wondering there's the easy answer that I could have done with last night!

Now it was decision time.  "In case of a GENUINE emergency..." the vets answer phone played.  As a pet owner, it's hard to make a good decision when it comes to this.  I've heard many people slandered for not taking their dog to the vet fast enough yet, at the same time, vets aren't keen on you wasting their time out of hours with non-emergency problems.  I looked at Caesar's face again.  It was really swollen.
Poorly doggy with a swollen face.

This is when it struck me; my insurance company provide a free 'Vetfone' service.  So I decided to ring this.  "I'd like you to ring out of hours..." said the vet on the end of the line.  "Your vet may not necessarily want to see you but I think it's best that they make that judgement..."  At least someone had now told me loudly and clearly what exactly I needed to do.  I called.

At first I felt panicky and spoke quite fast.  "I've had another bee sting today..." the vet told me calmly.  "That's what it sounds like...."  Despite my calling out of hours, she was very understanding.  "You sound worried." She said, "do you want to go over the the surgery and I'll meet you there?  Say 10 oclock?"  She thought that this could be an emergency too.
"So it's an emergency then?"  I couldn't help but blurt out.  Half mortified and half relieved not to have wasted her time.
"Personally.." she paused.  "If it's been like this for a while...I'd be tempted to leave it until the morning.  Keep an eye on him and, if anything changes, call back straight away.  I think it's unlikely to change now."
Poorly sleepy head.

So that's what I did.  I woke up every hour all night to look at him, prod him, call his name and wonder whether he was asleep or unconscious, snoring or struggling to breathe.  I lay awake wondering what would happen if I went in the morning and it was a tumour and nor a bee sting?  What if he needed and operation?

With his swollen face, Caesar could not wear his head collar.  This made me nervous.  He's hard to control on a lead and rears up at the dogs that he sees.  But I knew there was no choice.  

I love Caesar dearly and it's hard to explain to people who see the standing on his hind-legs barking Caesar that actually he's a massive wimp and would not hurt anyone.  It's hard to believe that myself sometimes, despite seeing evidence of it all of the time.  I left Caesar outside with Damien and checked us in.  Another two dogless ladies sat beside me and we giggled about why we don't bring our dogs into the waiting room.  "Just wait..." I told them.  Another lady sat by the door with a shaking, barking ball of fluff and made comments about another persons doberman.  "He's harmless!" the man said as the huge dog lolloped in but she just rolled her eyes.  I dreaded bringing Caesar past her and crossed my fingers, hoping that she'd gone in by the time it was our turn, but we had no such luck.  "Caesar..."  called a voice and I opened the door to allow the whimpering, squealing mongrel in.  The woman grabbed her dog and swore.  "That looks like a nasty dog," she said.  Less than quietly.  She was still passing comments when we came back out with 2 bags of medication and a better understanding of how much pain our pet was in.

**Impromptu rant:  I do feel that it was extremely unfair of said dog owner to pass comments about other peoples pets and I was upset that this was going on in a vet clinic waiting room.  For her sake, I'm quite glad that what Caesar had didn't turn out to be extremely serious or I might have gone and given her a piece of my mind.  It's a very good job that no one was bringing a larger dog in with a serious medical condition or that had reached the end of it's life.  I can understand that some people are not keen on larger and stronger breeds and I can see why but it is completely unnecessary to say things about people's dogs in a vet where they might be really ill!  ...I'm finished now.

So what was actually wrong with Caesar?  He has an abscess.  The vet is hopeful that it might go away with antibiotics (something I was not aware could happen).  However, should the medication fail to work, he will need to be operated on.  So all of our fingers, toes and paws are crossed hoping that he will recover.  The vet is unsure what has caused it as it is on the inside of his cheek but it looks as though it has been pierced by something and become infected.  The fact that it had come up so quickly suggests that it was pierced rather than just developing over time.  He also has a strong dosage pain killer to help him get back on his feet.

Caesar after some pain killers.  Feeling a bit better.

If you liked it, bark about it!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Apartment Antics

Yesterday was my birthday and, perhaps because I'm spoilt or perhaps because I'm content, I couldn't think of what I would like.  "What do you want?" people would ask me over and over, "there must be something..."  I was sure there was.  All year I'd spot things in shops and think "I'll ask for that for my birthday."  But, when the question came, when the moment to mention all of those little luxuries came, my mind would turn absolutely blank.

One evening, my mum called.  "How about a weekend away with us and the dogs?" she asked.
"Ideal!" I answered wholeheartedly.  Parents and dogs.  What could go wrong?

From the moment I adopted Caesar, my dad has always been on board.  He had a soft spot for the ginger mongrel before I did and still refers to him as 'my pal' whenever we visit.  A weekend away, though, would ensure that the pair were anything but 'pals' by the time we arrived home.

After a debate with my parents about bringing two cars or all travelling in one in which I had insisted that one would be better, not least because I don't like driving, it had been decided that Caesar should travel in the back with Damien and I and wearing his car harness.  The reason for this was partly because the boot of the car will only fit a small cage if all 5 seats are up and I could not put 2 dogs in there for 2 and a half hours.  Caesar, however, can usually be trusted to lie sensibly in the boot without attempting any Houdini style escapes but then there would be limited place for the cases and cool bag full of food.  It was a logistical challenge but, after some time, it appeared that the best arrangement was: Caesar in the back in car harness with Damien and I, mum and dad in the front with Sat Nav and Gemma in her small cage in the boot with the suitcases.  It was foolproof....

I set off at 4 from my house having frantically and independently packed the car.  I had Gemma in the cage, Caesar in his harness and I was pulling off the curb when he began to cry.  "Shhhh...." I told him but he wouldn't.  The crying continued all the way to my dads house 10 minutes away.  It was punctuated with howls and whimpers.  "Shhhhhhhhhh......" I tried to stay focused on the road, wincing as the sound bounced around my head.
Caesar and I travelling in the car

"Oh dear," dad said as he took over the drivers seat.  "What's all that noise about?"  Caesar ignored him and continued along his road to total annihilation of my ear drums.  Now sitting next to him, I stroked him, talked to him, shushed him, shouted at him, ignored him, begged him and eventually gave up on him.  He was not going to stop crying, it appeared, for the whole trip.  By the time we'd picked Damien and mum up from their different places of work, it appeared that the car journey would be a trial for all of us.  Dad had stopped the car while I took Caesar to the toilet, I'd tried giving him water and nothing seemed to be working.

When we arrived, after 2 and a half hours of almost unbearable noise making, Caesar turned it up a notch.  Dad pulled the car up at the apartment and Caesar began to screech.  He had seen two dogs running around on the moorland and the excitement was more than he could take.  He knocked into my face and screeched some more.  He jumped up at the windows and carried on.  Dad had his head on the steering wheel and his elbows over his head trying to drown out the noise as we sat in the car park.  It was unbearable.

On the upside, the lodge was beautiful and, relived that Caesar had eventually stopped making use of his vocal range, we were able to settle down to a nice evening meal.  Being on the Yorkshire Moors had it's advantages and we got the dogs out for a walk in the heather before the sun went down and the rain set in.

It was a tad windy on the top of the moor.  Can you tell?

After a nice evening, we turned in.  I'd brought the large crate folded up in the car and opened it up to create a bedroom for Caesar and Gemma.  I was relieved when they climbed in straight away and curled up together on the cushion bed that I'd created.  We made little fuss about going to bed and left the light on a little while until they were settled.  "Phew..." I sighed loudly as I popped my audio book on and fell asleep before I'd even heard a full sentence.

When I woke, the apartment was still in darkness.  Something had startled me though and it took a couple of minutes to realise what it was.  Caesar was now whimpering quietly in the living room.  Every few minutes, he would let out a loud bark and then begin whinnying like a horse again.  "You're joking!" I said to Damien but he was fast asleep.  I tried to turn over myself but I was awake and after a while it became apparent that Caesar had no plans to allow me to sleep again.

I checked my phone. 4:00am.  Damien was stirring now and beginning to complain.  I tiptoed to the end of the bed, slid my feet into my trainers and walked into the front of the apartment.  Daylight was beginning to filter through the darkness to the tuneless song of Caesar's whines.  "Shut up!" I told him impatiently as I slipped open the crate and let him onto the laminated floor.  I searched for his lead and slipped his head collar on.  "Thanks for this..."

It's not often that you find yourself standing on the moor at 4am.  And, although the morning was beautiful, it's not something I'd like to make a habit of.  I walked Caesar around a bit and then returned to the apartment.  Popping him back in his cage due to the 'no dogs in bedrooms' rule, I hoped that this might settle him.  In truth, if not worse, he was much the same as he had been earlier.

At 6am, after two more hours of failed sleep, I took the duvet and retreated to the front room.  Perhaps if I slept with him he might calm down, I thought.  This, as with my other theories, was not true.  I felt completely helpless.  'At least there's no one in the apartment next door,' I found myself thinking as I shuddered in the cold room under the duvet.  Caesar paced back and forth on the tiles, his claws tapping on the tiles.

Caesar at a 'dog friendly' pub - shame he decided to scare everyone by suddenly turning into a howling monster and having to be removed when he heard a puppy yapping in the bar!

I try to be patient.  I really do.  And, often, against my own judgement, I've been told that I am a patient person.  Perhaps outwardly that may be true but, inwardly, I scream at situations like this.  I lay there and felt my eyes fill.  Why was Caesar determined to spoil my birthday weekend.  It's hard to remember sometimes that, no matter what you have done for them, at the end of the day they're still just a dog.  In a sense, like a spoilt child, they will just make a fuss and carry on when they're not happy.  And, unlike children, they will never reach a point where they realise that they aren't the only being on the planet that has ever been cold/hungry/bored/tired.

I have to admit, I don't do well when I'm tired.  I don't like my eyes being sore.  I don't like feeling drained.  I was supposed to be going out walking on the moors.  Now all I felt like was having a very long nap.  Or, if that failed, crying.  Caesar nuzzled my arm under the covers and tried to climb on the leather sofa "no!" I told him sharply and turned over.  He began to cry again.

I allowed the thought of putting him in the car and leaving him there while I had a nap to wash over me like a tide of relief and then rejected it.  I couldn't do that to him as much as I felt like it...

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Depressed or Grown Up?

When I adopted Caesar 2 and a half years ago, he was 2 and a half.  If you're a maths genius....or at the least know how to add up...you will realise that Caesar is now 5.

Five.  I've repeated it to myself, to friends, to Damien.  Five.  Half way to 10.  I suppose if you think about it like that though, I'm more than half way to 50.  Five.  I lay in bed one night looking at him as he lay motionless by my side.  Five years old.  That's still only young.  Isn't it?  I felt my eyes prick.  In human years, he's 35.  That's older than me.  But 35 is the new 25, right?

I didn't feel tearful about him turning 5.  Nor about the fact that, comparatively, he's lived more of his life than me, at least by the law of averages.  I felt a sudden panic that, at 2 and a half he seemed so young and how quickly our time together has passed.  How the moments have flown without my noticing.  Yet I wouldn't turn time back.  I couldn't.  I don't know how I survived the months of destruction and noise and panic.  The anxiety associated with opening my own front door to see if my house was still habitable.  To see if Caesar was harmed.  I gave everything to helping him through his difficulties.  He gave everything to learning to trust me.  And we've reached a point.  A pinnacle at which I never realised that we would find ourselves.  We have an understanding, a trust if you like; he won't destroy my house and I will always come back.  We have those moments where that balance slips; I stay out too long, he bursts a can of deodorant but it is extremely rare that we return to the destruction that was before.

Caesar now spends a lot of his time on the windowsill, watching the world go by.  On walks, he is still a nutter and he does like to bark at anything that moves whether out and about, in the house or in his favourite spying spot.

Caesar used to be one-hundred miles an hour about everything.  He would run around from noon until night, skidding, spinning, bumping, barging and generally being a nuisance.  Everybody used to complain.  He meant no harm, I w
ould tell them, but he did cause it.  He broke things, knocked things over, wrapped people up in his lead and was a pain wherever he went.

A few months ago, I stopped one night and looked at Caesar.  We were at my parents' house and he was curled up on the floor.  When did he start doing that?  The following day I took extra notice of his behaviour at home.  He was spending a lot of time lying on the window sill, watching.  Just watching.

Right now he is doing the same except for he's gotten behind the curtain so that if I hadn't seen him climb up an hour ago then I wouldn't even know he was there.  He's laid silent and still with the odd loud exhalation to remind me I'm not alone in the room.  I'm unsure what he's waiting for.

"Do you think he'd depressed?" my dad asked me.  I frowned.  I'm not sure what Caesar has to be depressed about.  He has lots of nice walks, treats, training and he sleeps every night by my side.  But I couldn't deny that he's definitely slowed down considerably.  At first, I thought he might be injured and choosing to move less to stop any pain but he seems fine while running around on walks.

Everyone had spent so long willing Caesar to calm down that, when he did, it almost seemed wrong.  This calm, placid, quiet dog is not mine.  Bring back the one that used to knock me off my feet!

Caesar keeps the wacky, loud, bustly, bumbly and clumsy version of himself locked away in a box.  It's the same box that we keep the leads and collars in in fact.  So, at least we get to see him when we attempt to go for a walk!!!!

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Caesar's Smelly Face

There's nothing quite like going back to work after a 2 week holiday.  Especially a 2 week holiday where you spent time with friends, had parties, long walks with the dogs, nice days out and so on... If I'm honest, despite the fact that, for the most part, I do love my job, it's an anticlimax.

'So you're just going to leave, is that it?'

This is only magnified by 'the eyes'.  That look when you try to leave the house.  The 'oh...so we're not going to hang out together today?' look.  The 'how could you do this to me?' look.  I lose great chunks of time when I'm at home just sitting and cuddling Caesar.  He's always warm and snuggly and he can cheer me up even when it's raining outside.  So it's really hard on that first Monday morning, at 7:15 to shut that door and walk away.

Of course, I like to think we've been through the worst with Caesar.  And we did have it pretty bad too!  We've coped with the breaking into the kitchen and eating his bodyweight in chocolate and boxes, we've had the emergency vet visit after he ate over 1kg of dog food after breaking the kitchen door, I've come home to find rooms in a state of disrepair, furniture permanently damaged, clothing ripped (my new coat did look better when it had pockets.  But, for the most part, we come home now to find the house relatively unharmed.  At worst, Caesar will pull a coat off the hook, nosey through a handbag or make a pile of my shoes on the bed but these things I can handle because I just need to think back to this...
...and I remember how lucky I am that this is over.

So when I stepped through the door on Tuesday and found the hall more or less how I'd left it, I wasn't surprised.  We don't need to worry now.  Caesar was there, as always, wagging and howling and bustling around clumsily; his way of saying 'how was your day?'

I patted him and then went into the lounge and flung myself on the sofa.  "I'm shattered!" I announced before smelling Caesar's face.  He smelt surprisingly good...as though he was wearing perfume.  "Has he had a bath?"  Damien shook his head and then bustled off to make a cup of tea.  I shrugged my shoulders and sat Caesar on my knee for a cuddle, he settled down immediately.

If I hadn't been exhausted on Tuesday night, I might have been astute enough to notice that our bedroom also smelt rather fragrant that night.  But I was too exhausted to think much and the unusual smell barely crossed my mind.  If I had been wide awake when I stumbled up to bed that night, I might also have noticed the traveling bag that was lying upturned on the floor of the bedroom but I wasn't.  I popped my audio book on, gathered the duvet around me and snuggled down with Caesar for a nice sleep.  I can't remember my head hitting the pillow.

The rest of the week went in much the same way.  Teaching is tiring at the best of times but after a break, it can really take it's toll!  My head was sore and my throat ached most nights and I lost several hours sitting and thinking in the lounge with Caesar cuddled up on my knees.  

I became human again on Saturday morning after a migraine induced early night on Friday.  Caesar, of course, turned in when I did and by 7 o'clock the next morning, we were both wide awake.  Fumbling about in the half-light I looked for something to wear and then some make up.  "Ah!  My travel bag - perhaps there's make up left in there from my visit to Sheffield," I thought and picked the bag up from the floor and looked inside.  There was only one thing in the bag....

No wonder his face smelt so good!

I'm just pleased he wasn't very very sick....