I am writing in response to your letter of complaint received on 20th August regarding the birth and subsequent dwelling of our first child in ‘your house’.
I’m sorry that you feel that we made an impulsive and ill-informed purchase and should return her, but I’m afraid that isn’t possible. You see, we didn’t just go and pick her up from Leeds and pay £600 – it was rather more complicated that that. But aside from that, we really quite like her and don’t want to give her up. Kind of like how you feel when we want to take away your tennis ball because you’ve dropped it in fox poo and you’re rolling it all over the house.
I do however understand your concern for your well-being since her arrival. I can only apologise for her waking you up in the middle of the night – this is something we have been trying to address since we brought her home and you will have noticed that it has improved recently. The early mornings however are unfortunately here to stay so you will have to get used to those I’m afraid. I don’t think that your suggestion to get the Environmental Health involved is very constructive. We could perhaps shut the door to your room if you prefer?
I would also like to address the point you raised about her ‘continued physical harassment’ of you. I appreciate that she does take ‘crazed swipes’ at you and have noticed that she does find it funny to pull on your ears, but I’m really not sure that as ASBO is the solution. As you well know, this is something I am continuously trying to manage and you have done absolutely nothing to help yourself. So when I’m playing with her, singing to her or making those funny animal faces at her, perhaps you should keep your distance rather than squeezing your snout up in between us or pawing at my face. Likewise, when Taylor is playing nicely on her play mat I think you should leave her well alone, rather than chewing up Sophie the Giraffe in front of her.
Now we have to talk about the toys. It did upset me when you pointed out that I no longer buy toys for you, yet come back every week with a new one for Taylor. I hold my hands up – you are right, and I am sorry. We will take a trip to Pets at Home and I promise to buy you some new toys. I may even get you some gravy bones if you stop whining at me all the time.
I’m also sorry that you think we don’t take you to the pub anymore and that you overheard us saying that it was ‘too stressful with both of you’. You weren’t meant to hear that. I know that you are a good dog really, but the time when you jumped up on the bar was a little embarrassing, and having to come and find you in the pub kitchen is just not acceptable. Why can’t you just lie there and go to sleep by the fire like all of the other dogs?
Yes I did say ‘dogs’. I know that this is hard for you to hear but YOU ARE NOT A HUMAN BEING. I’m sorry I had to tell you that, but it’s something that you really need to know. I know that your Dad has tried to protect you from this truth, feeding you roast dinners and cradling you like a baby, but you are not a baby, you are actually a dog. Yes, those furry things that you turn your nose up at in the park because you think you are too good for them. You are one of them. So the point you make about Taylor being fed the ‘chicken breast whilst you only get the gristle’ is a little redundant. As is the one about us never getting up in the night to feed you. And the one about us going abroad without you.
I bet you have already forgotten about the camping trip we took you on last year – the one where it pissed it down for the entire four days and I would wake up every night to find you sat on top of my sleeping bag staring at me because you weren’t happy with the noise outside and you wanted to go home. The one where you cleared out an entire pub garden because you took a dislike to a fellow spaniel and wouldn’t stop barking at him (I don’t care if he started it, you have been brought up to know better). The one where I had to sit on a rock for two hours in the freezing cold whilst your Dad threw sticks for you to fetch on a deserted beach. THAT HOLIDAY WAS FOR YOU.
So too are the walks I take you on every day. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I enjoy our walks and I’m glad to get out of the house, but other days I so cannot be arsed. I do it for you. So the next time we get ready to go out for a walk I would appreciate it if you didn’t have me chasing you around the house to get my shoe back before we can leave. And please don’t look so bloody miserable the minute we get home. I also take issue with the point in your letter about your walks being ‘shit these days because the buggy doesn’t allow us to go anywhere fun’. You know that’s not true. And no, leaving Taylor in the car is not an option.
I urge you to give it some time before you go and permanently live with that ‘nicer family who looks after you when we go abroad without you’. I have a feeling Taylor will grow on you; It may come as a surprise now, but one day she will be happy to throw your ball for you and take you for a run in the park. No, without the buggy.
Anyway, I have to go now. It’s time for your walk.
Did you have a dog before a baby? How has it gone for you?