Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Danny Boy

I sat watching a programme the other night about super intelligent animals. Animals like chimps that could remember random number sequences and then find them hidden behind boxes on the computer screen; their brains were already quicker than that of the uber intelligent scientists who were studying them. Another ape was able to carry on entire conversations with her helpers and complete strangers by the use of a simple picture chart; not only that but she could give you directions when going out on a car journey. These along with crows that could associate danger with certain people, Jays that could use tools to raise the water level in a jug to get food plus many more amazing feats by incredibly intelligent animals.

Amazing, I thought!

Then I looked down at my feet to where my dog laid woofing gently in his sleep. With the TV programme still bright in my mind, I wondered if my dog was solving knotty scientific conundrums in his dreams, or was he struggling to prove a great mathematical theorem from a set of axioms and basic assumptions? Or was he gambolling gently with another dog across the astral planes of his dream world.

Suddenly he awoke, broke wind with a force strong enough to ruffle feathers at five yards and immediately began looking around the room for the culprit. Not having found one he came back to me, rolled over to have his tummy tickled and wagged his large tail, spreading the offending aroma far and wide.

 I sighed, got up, and as I retrieving the air freshener (which I now buy in bulk), I realised that no mathematical or scientific theory was being battled out inside this particular dogs cheery but simple head. He was no doubt chasing his own tail with the big stupid grin he has on his face when awake.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my dog but he is sooooooo dumb. This is an animal that walks into doors, comes pelting down the stairs and leaps onto the highly polished wooden floors at Karen’s house and then looks surprised as he hurtles, Bambi like into the front door. He is a dog who barks at his own recording, spends endless hours running around a mirror to see where the other dogs gone and has a vocabulary of two words: food and Walkies, and even after I’ve uttered that magical word and he’s  wined, howled, crashed and wagged the entire front room into oblivion and is actually out on his walk, I can say ‘Walkies!’ to him again and he’ll act like he isn’t on it and begin running around whining and yodelling with excitement.

I’m often to be seen on crisp frosty mornings, watching my dog running around in ever decreasing circles in a state of euphoria, and wondering what will happen first: Will he realise he’s actually already on his walk or will he fall over from dizziness; the dizziness always wins, just in case you were wondering.

And his flatulence! Oh man how can one dog be so windy? If I could hook him up to the national grid, one nights wind would be enough to power Manchester on a club night. And the smell; my god how does he do that. If Al Qaeda ever got hold of him and managed to harness his over active backside to a long range missile, then quite frankly, I’d fear for the populace of New York.

I’ve tried everything to counteract the pong. I’ve changed his food, given him anti mustard gas tablets and even strapped onto his tail one of those air fresheners that is activated by the slightest movement. Within ten minutes of him eating his dinner the damned thing was empty and I was back behind the sanctuary of my gas mask.

He’s also gay.

Now I always thought that being gay was something wholly exclusive to human beings, but apparently not. I first became a little suspicious when his leg humping became a little, shall we say, gender specific. What I mean to say is, he’d only go for men’s legs.
Not enough to go on’, I hear you cry. And I would’ve been the first to agree with you until the fateful day that I saw him humping another male dog in the head. The other dog’s owner was agog, so was I, and Danny’s little victim wasn’t too happy either. Poor thing had to be taken to the vet and treated for shock and a black eye.

I know I said at the beginning of this post that I was wondering what he was dreaming about that particular night--- there are some times when he starts to whimper softly in his sleep, and if his little paws start jerking I know he’s chasing his own stupid tail but if his backside starts to twitch and go backwards and forwards then I know he’s dreaming of the Californian gay Poodle scene and it’s best to keep well away and not wake him until he’s finished.

But for all of these oddities and eccentricities I love him dearly. He’s a great companion, a good listener and always lets me know if what I’m wearing clashes. But if I had to leave you with one story that typifies my odd little dog more than anything, it would have to be this one.

The night the animal programme was on I had gone back into my studio to finish what I had been doing before the show began. And when I finished, quite some time later, I was ready for a well earned relax and a cup of tea. So I said to Danny, who follows me wherever I go, it was time to go down stairs. Danny got up, stretched, blew an ornament off my desk with a powerful blast of flatulent wind-letting, briefly scanned the room for culprits, found none then followed me out from the top floor and began descending the stairs.

At this juncture I’d like to point out that I live alone and when I go upstairs during the day it is day light, but when I come down in the evening it is dark and all of the house, with the exception of my studio, is without light. And seeing as I don’t want to go down the first flight of stairs, switch the light on, only to come back up to the studio to turn that light off before setting back off again, I just put my foot on the first step, turn the light off and make my way down to the next floor in total darkness.

I’m also sure that I’ve read somewhere that dogs have good night vision; they are, after all, descended from the wolf, a nocturnal creature that relies on its eye sight to hunt at night. I therefore saw no reason to worry about Danny going down stairs in the dark.


The second the light went out there was a god awful crash and thudding sound followed by the noise of a badly winded animal bouncing down steps. I rushed to the light switch and flicked it on. And there I saw Danny, on his back with a flower pot on his head, wagging his tail ready to have his tummy tickled with that stupid grin on his face.

As I looked at him, the programme I’d been watching about the amazingly intelligent creatures came back to me, and it forced a smile. Because at that point I knew I could never swap my dumb, flatulent, tail chasing, head shagging furry nut job for any intelligent animal in the world. Because it’s those very qualities that make him the best buddy this man could ever ask for.
Danny begging for cheese on toast. Warning: never
give a flatulent dog cheese...EVER!!

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  1. Thanks Ariele, And thanks for becoming a friend. I've joined your site and love your writing and I can strongly recommend it to others

  2. It looks like he loves you a whole lot. :-)

    I happen to have a dog who is scary-smart. He must be watched at all times or he gets himself into trouble. My dog is very cute. It's what keeps him alive.(just kidding)


  3. Hi Mama,

    He is adorable and I love him to bits but he is so funny and I sure do intend on writing more about him


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