I forgot to fetch Greg from school. My cellphone was lodged under the car seat, was on silent from a meeting earlier in the day. I missed six voicemails and 23 text messages. Greg's rugby practice was cancelled and has been waiting for me.
I get a terse phone call on the house phone from Neville-the-ex who implies that I have committed the ultimate sin.. Parental neglect of the highest degree. I race to the school and find my son chatting up a teenage girl with a netball skirt that barely covers her underwear. I urge him to get in the car giving the girl a glowering stare. On the way home I give him a lecture on chasing girls with low morals. I end the argument most persuasively by telling him I am WAY too young to become a granny!
I had a rush of blood to the head and in an uncharacteristic display of generosity I agree to look after Annie’s dogs for the week, while she is going away with Raymond on a business trip.
News flash ... I am not an animal lover – ok I have said it. It is just not in my genes. I would never hurt animals and of course I get all gooey at the sight of puppies but generally I am so over them once they pee on my carpet.
Annie’s dogs are highly strung ... they are noisy, energetic, badly behaved rottweilers who need Ritalin in their food. I think she caught me in a weak moment.
I have two of my own dogs. How's that for a twist of fate - he screws the dog trainer and I get to keep the dogs.
Trevor who has obscene taste in animals - and women - not me of course!
Chose the worst dogs he could find at the SPCA. Between the two of them they do not have a single redeeming feature.
They are ugly, stupid and cowardly. Of course when Trevor the ex, shacked up with Rieta in Umhlanga, their townhouse would not allow dogs. So whoopee for me - I got to keep the dogs.
Thanks to my insanity I have Annie's two dogs and mine plus two horrible teenagers and the week stretches ahead into infinity.
Looking after dogs is not as easy as it looks. Dogs and cats are not as difficult as exotic iguanas or temperamental parrots. On one occasion I offered to babysit a friend’s little innocent looking maltese poodle for a month, the harmless looking “Shrek” was renamed “Satan” within a few days.
He transformed into a bundle of fur and teeth and a rolled up newspaper was the only thing between him and our ankles. We returned him to his owner and said “everything was fine” … “We lied!”
My mother’s spoiled Daschund is totally pampered. He gets gourmet offerings from the table laced with gravy and on occasion my mother spoon feeds him. He is always brought along to visit, but I do not pander to his gourmet tastes.
I notice Annie’s dogs are coping quite well with their downmarket B&B accommodation.
I am irritated when it becomes apparent that they had caused a minor flea infestation in the house. I dose them with a very expensive spray from the vet and still they scratch madly.
I washed blankets and still they scratched like dogs possessed, we all began to scratch in sympathy. Bloody fleas! I had already invested in flea collars and laced their food in garlic. No vampires but still the fleas are breeding by the dozen.
As gorgeous as the local vet is, and he is a dreamboat – I was determined to resist another expensive bill and I try to convince myself that the scratching is now a bad habit.
Some people sneeze and others itch – incessantly.
Annie’s dogs have a problem – they bark ... at everything that moves. A butterfly flits past - they bark. A person walks past – they bark. A bird sings - they bark. I am going barking mad.
A yell out the window causes a temporary lull and then they start again. My dog telepathy has not worked and I am determined to use the hosepipe method as recommended by Google. It recommends that a squirt of cold water will deter dogs from barking.
I have not slept in days. In a fit of rage I decide I have had enough – at 3am I am stumbling around the yelling obscenities and tripping over the pot plants in my effort to find the hosepipe so I can spray those bastard barking dogs.
“Shut up!” roared” a voice over the wall. Surely he didn’t mean me …..