In retrospect, the trio of pigs’ ears purchased yesterday – as a porcine present for the pooch – were a mistake!
But, brain blasted by unaccustomed heat in Britain, I drove to the local pet store – originally intending only to get Pippa’s food – and, distracted by what looked like a dead dog outside the shop (it was, actually, only resting – honest!), and the memory of Jumble’s love of the aforesaid porker’s lugs, splashed out on a bargain pack of three.
Once home, I offered the Ancient Relic an ear – and he grabbed it with great enthusiasm, then stood on the grass for about ten minutes (a new and disturbing habit) as if not sure what to do next, before lying down and getting stuck in.
As he chomped, unwelcome memories of previous piggy treats wafted back. You see, and not to put too fine a point upon it, a well-cured ear has a decidedly baked bean effect upon the intestinal system, and gusts of wind (shall we say) emanating from the posterior and, in the process, almost knocking the dog out/off its feet, are far from uncommon!
All seemed quiet on the Rectal Tornado front that evening, however – and I thought that, maybe, just maybe, I would not need to don a gas mask when entering Jumble’s lair under the table this time round!
Morning came. The dog’s bed, and surrounding area, remained fragrant – well, as fragrant as is possible with an elderly border collie whose rolling habits are foul and unsavoury, and whose aversion to shampoo is legendary!
Emboldened, I decided to take him for a walk up Velvet Bottom. No, that is not a pet name for a little-known perversion; it is, in fact, a beautiful walk not far from home.
These days – with Jumble’s vaulting-into-car technique being more miss than hit, I tend to give the Old Boy a helping hand, or a shove in the rear as it is also known. He loves the contact, and seems to feel comforted by having his human safety net near-by just in case his shaky leggies falter at the last moment.
We arrived at the designated spot and I was just about to heave a gargantuan sigh of relief when Jumble, also relieved in every sense to be out, went into the squat and, without doing his usual little dance, launched a veritable dreadnought of a turd. By God, I swear I experienced a small localised earthquake when the damn thing landed! Never mind kick-and-flick, one would have needed to thunk with a trunk to get a thing that size onto the ol’ green and verdant, and, not to overstate the case, the normal crap bag just wasn’t up to the job (though a suitcase probably would have been!).
I looked around frantically for a bin. The nearest one was back in the village where I live. In any case, have you ever opened a Dog Crap Bin in a heat wave?
Simple advice: Don’t!
So, the bloody thing had to be buried. Not one of the more pleasant ten minutes of my life so far – but one has to keep the tenets of civilisation alive one way or another, doesn’t one? And leaving a poo the length and girth of a rottweiler’s leg lying around in plus thirty degrees of heat is definitely not what I would call community-spirited!
Now, unburdened, the dog was positively frisky and dead keen to get going on the actual walk. All right for some!
I wish I could draw a veil over the next hour or so. The submarine which had emerged first had acted as a kind of bung to an entire armada of little ships (or shits) – and, animals having little sense of decorum or shame, Jumbs interspersed his thoroughly enjoyable walk with regular squats for yet more relief, while I trundled behind, watching like a hawk lest I missed one, dealing with his defecation like some kind of Servant of the Garderobe in a mediaeval castle!
To say that the pig’s ear back-fired, though accurate, is to indulge in considerable understatement: I’m surprised the dog had the strength to stagger up the final slope (given that he must have been almost empty by then) – and I certainly felt as if I had been through the wringer!
Still, a good purge on the sward being worth two in the privy, Jumbs was positively spritely as we approached the car and leapt in with only a minor falter from the back right leg.
He seems absolutely none the worse for his close encounter with the shell-like of a Small White – but I think I will be quietly disposing of the remaining lughole-y twins.
Jumbs would probably cope – but I am far from sure I could go through that again!
All in all, one might say that I made a bit of a pig’s ear of that treat!