Hush Puppy

There are leaves on the lawn.
There are holes in the lawn.
There are apples on the lawn.
The lawn does not look like a lawn.
There’s a dog in the house, in the garden, on the armchairs, on the settee.
There’s a dog in the courgettes, in the horseradish root. Have you seen the size of a horseradish plant? Well the dog has dug an enormous hole to compliment it.
There’s a dog on our bed.
There’s a dog on the spare bed.
There’s a dog wailing and whining and chewing and nipping.
There are marrow bones buried near the hedge.
There are toys that squeak.
Toys that pull.
Toys that trip.
There’s an abundance of toys that are inappropriately strewn around the garden.
There’s a life sized penguin – given by a neighbour – WHY? – lying near the peonies which the dog has flung.
Like a wild wolf on the Prairie there’s a dog in East Sussex that tosses and throws a gigantic penguin into the swing set.
There’s a dog in the house.
There’s a dog on the green bean bag.
There’s a dog on the purple bean bag.
There’s a dog watching us watching the telly, our very own Gogglebox. She watches global demonstrations, Tom Watson outside Brighton Station, Tom Bradbury bemused whilst reading the news. She watches Owen Jones being shouted down by the daughter of a baron on Newsnight. She watches Corrie – for a little light relief – although the story lines at the moment are about as much fun as a night out with Reese-Mogg on an A&E ward.
She watches ‘Strictly’ and watches me wondering where the years have gone that even the thought of doing a fleckle is almost as exhausting as watching a fleckle being done.
There’s a dog in the house that jumps on heads, licks faces, howls at the moon and gets in the way of serious drama.
There’s a dog in the house that has taken over the entire living space.
There’s a tupperware lunch box containing peanut and banana homemade dog biscuits, turmeric biscuits, sweet potato biscuits, all bought, and made by a woman with a stall at the Food Festival in Tunbridge Wells. Located in between jars of homemade chutney, bottles of home-brewed beer, German bratwurst, Indian curry, Thai noodles, marshmallows, face-painting, and a well stocked Prosecco bar there was this chirpy woman selling home-made doggie biscuits and bandanas. I bought a red one with stars on. Standing near by was a young woman slurping on a plastic glass of bubbles with her two year old lurcher called ‘Scamp’. He was not nipping and biting and jumping and squealing. Scamp was refined and genteel. As indeed was it’s owner.
Our dog reflects quite the peasants that we are.
When we shout at each other over the Brexit debacle, the appropriation of the wealth of our country, when we make irate calls to the council because of the ludicrous cost of the Poll Tax, when we scream at he who shall not be named, telling untruths in hospital corridors, the dog in the house bloddiwell joins in.
We have a dog in the house that is meant to make us feel younger, fitter, less lonely, more connected, healthier and sane. She’s meant to do all those things but so far the old git and I have not slept in the same bed for 9 weeks, we’ve spent more on chicken wings and kibble than we have on smoked salmon and bagels. Since the arrival of the dog in the house tissues have been ripped by tiny milk teeth, floors have been piddled on, carpets have been widdled on, nerves have been frayed, rugs have been frayed, fleeces used as blankets, blankets used as beds, pullovers used as cushions, cushions used as chews, tassels on the floor, twigs in the armchair, paw prints on the piano, nose marks on the window, and so far her legs are longer than mine and she’s only 16 bleeding weeks old.
I wanted to go to Brighton to protest over something or other, but the dog cannot travel that far yet. So despite viruses, and insomnia, dishevelled shirts and lack of planning, the dog in the house is here to stay. She’ll grow saner and bigger and then we can take her along to more protests, for make no mistake there will be more protests, we’ve been fighting for a world for our kids and grandkids for years now but there’s a new imperative where we’re fighting for the planet and this idiot puppy that we want to see grow into a participating member of a peaceful society.
The banner will be made;
‘Canines for Climate Change’.
‘Lurchers against Liars’.
‘You Can Teach Old Dogs New Tricks.’

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