Thursday, 24 March 2011

Poor old Digger

My first client has arrived. He's rather a charming old boy, with white chops and white rings around his eyes. If Digger were a man, he'd be about 6 ft 5, slightly stooped, a bit arthriticky around the knees, with a shaggy-eyebrowed Patrick Moore quality about him. As it is, he's a dog. He goes straight over to the carpet, buries his nose deep into the shagpile to get a good whiff of what must be the beguiling equivalent of Chanel No 5 (eau de Dusty), squats unmanfully over it and wees.

'Oh God!' says Dan. 'Digger! OUT! Sorry, Lize,' he shrugs helplessly. 'I can safely say he's never done that before.' They always say that, of course, like the owners of all those Staffies that used to attack Dusty in London. 'Never done that before!' they'd say.

Dan clearly doesn't trust me. He's bagged up the food in four individual daily pouches. Poor Digger is absolutely starving. His ribs protrude from his worn old coat. He only gets fed once a day, hence the instruction to give him his breakfast in two halves, lest he scoff it so quickly that he's sick. 

Digger comes not just with an instruction manual but a glossary. Dan was evidently traumatised as a young boy when I let him believe that the bath plug was called a 'plugout'. I think he was about 12 before he realised the truth. Now he's meting out his revenge on his poor dog.

Bastard! - in your basket!
Paid for! - you may now eat
Piddle! - self-evident
Dump! - self-evident
Bark! - self-evident
Safe! - stop barking!

'What about when you want to stop him eating poo?' I ask, since poo-eating (not his own, but cow's, horse's, fox's, that kind of thing) is apparently one of his foibles.

'Kick him,' says Dan.

'Can I give him any treats?'

Dan frowns. 'He's doesn't have human food, if that's what you mean.'

'Dog biscuits?'

'He can have one at bedtime.'

'Can he have a chew?'

Dan inspects Dusty's bag of panatella-sized hide chews and hesitates for a moment before conceding. 'He can have one chew.'

Poor Digger. This will be a loving respite home for him.

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