“What was wrong with you the other morning? Jaysus, but you were doing some roaring.”
This was a neighbour from down the road whom I bumped into during my bi-weekly long morning walk.
“I was probably shouting for the dog.
“Why? Could you hear me?”
“I could hear you surely. Jaysus, I thought there was something wrong. I was ready to ring an ambulance.”
Brendan lives about a quarter of a mile away and so if (OK, when) I was shouting, I must have had the volume turned up good and loud.
And then it all came flooding back.
One of Waffle’s few useful traits is his innate ability to pretend to seek and destroy. If a friend arrives at the house and if I suggest to the Hound in my best drill Sargent voice, “Right Waffle! Get him!”, the hairy fool will rocket out of the house barking and growling like a rabid wolf. It’s all faux rage, of course, as he would have bother mauling a butterfly never mind anyone or anything big enough to cast a shadow and by the time the friend or whoever has climbed out of their car, the Hound is all tongue-y smiles and waggy tails. Still and all, it gives me a small frisson of pleasure to send him into attack mode, even if it’s all pretend.
The day Brendan heard me roaring could have been the incident whereby, instead of me setting the dog on a friend, I had pointed him at the deer in the back garden.
Where to begin with those fuppen deer?
Well, in the beginning, I have to admit that it was kinda nice to see the elegant Sika deer stepping daintily around the garden. “They’re so lovely,” one of the little humans would coo, especially when a mother deigned to bring a youngster into the garden. However, my opinion of the deer soured when I realised three things: They were crapping all round the garden, the were hoofing up the lawn with their poke-y hooves and they were destroying any of the young plants I had planted (RIP cherry blossom bushes).
Apparently it is perfectly legal to shoot a deer if it comes into your garden; if you have a legally registered firearm that can do the job, that is. In the absence of a blunderbus though, you have to make do with other preventative measures. In my case, that preventative measure is the Waff and his faux rage.
As is the case when a friend arrives on the street (country parlance for ‘area in front of house’), when a small herd of Sika tramps their way onto my property, I suggest to the Hound in my best drill Sargent voice, “Right Waffle! Get them!” and the hairy fool will rocket out of the house barking and growling like the rabid wolf. Without fail, Waffle goes straight for the offending deer like a hairy Cruise Missile, even if there is a herd, and promptly banishes them back into the bushes from whence they came. Without fail, the deer turn tail, leap the hedge and disappear, their thundering hooves hoofing up the field instead of my lawn.
However, more and more often, His Hairyness is becoming carried away with his faux rage and he too will leap the hedge and disappear. More and more, I am forced to use my best drill Sargent voice to command him to return and more and more, especially if he manages
to get close to the deer, he ignores me.
As you might imagine, apart from zapping any small frisson of pleasure I might derive from his compliance with attack mode, this increasing prevalence to ignore my return command makes me a). concerned for his well-being amidst all the poke-y hooves and b). it enrages me to the point of a stroke.
So the other day when Brendan heard me roaring like a banshee who’d just stubbed their toe, I was most likely roaring at the hound after he’d high-tailed it into the field during a chase of the Sika and wouldn’t come back.
Granted, the faux rage works a treat if and when the deer enter the garden (I can’t yet afford to build a six foot wall to keep the buggers out), but when he won’t come back, his belligerence and wilful ignoring of my commands is probably more annoying than any damage the deer might cause.
I say this was ‘most likely’ the cause of my roaring because in the past few days Waffle has surpassed himself in terms of being a complete plonker. In the space of less than a week Waffle has a). chewed up and swallowed most of a packet of Gaviscon that I was saving for when his belligerence contributes to my heartburn and b). knocked my laptop off the chair and broke it when trying to snag an empty Cadbury’s Buttons wrapper and c). ate the two remaining paracetamol tablets which had been resting in a packet in Herself’s handbag, in the bedroom.
Rationally, as you might imagine again, all of these things (especially the ingesting of the two types of tablets) would make a body concerned for his pet dog’s well-being. I console myself though, that if the belligerence continues, at least he has already pre-loaded on pain
Probably best as well, I might inform all neighbours, to stock up on ear plugs.
‘Apparently it is perfectly legal to shoot a deer if it comes into your garden; if you have a legally registered firearm that can do the job, that is. In the absence of a blunderbus though, you have to make do with other preventative measures. In my case, that preventative measure is the Waff and his faux rage’
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