What they don’t know, won’t hurt…

These days I think a great deal about dog poo. I’m pretty sure I spend more time considering dog poo, than I considered my own kids’ poo when I had three in nappies. (Although I do recall when daughter 4 pooed in the bath when all 4 girls were in it, because that was very funny). 

Anyway, these days it’s all about the dogs and I was very amused to hear that the first London borough to introduce DNA testing to name and shame dog owners who don’t pick up after their dogs, is Barking! 

Partner and I are very anal (sorry) about picking up after dog 1 and dog 2, even when they run straight past the poo bin to the opposite side of the rec, poo where there is no bin and say, ha! Be my poo slave, human.

This morning, dog 1 ran off and pooed. Partner and I dutifully went over to the poo site, only to find three perfect dollops of poo in front of us. Which is his? Partner asked, what I presumed was a rhetorical question. You’ll have to pick one and if it’s warm then it’s his, I said, helpfully. We both stood and studied the poos. It was like a Saturday night TV show. Now, we could have picked up all three, but I have to say that I have the same aversion to other dogs’ poos as I used to have changing other kids’ nappies. As if knowing what went into the making of that poo makes all the difference. Partner plumped for the middle one. I had already thought it would be the one on the right. It’s warm! He exclaimed. You’d have thought he had won the lottery. A fellow dog walker passed by. We tried to hide our excitement for partner’s win. 

Our friends’ Great Dane eats items of clothing, which then get pooed out, washed and back in the airing cupboard on a 24 hour turnaround. I asked if anyone in the house ever objects to this, as I imagined what daughter 2 might say if her Jack Wills’ pants went through this cycle on a regular basis. What they don’t know, won’t hurt them, she said with a smile. Yes, I thought. That’s exactly what went through my mind when dog 1 swallowed daughter 1’s earring and threw it up an hour later. She’ll never know. 


I have a policy that I will only say ‘bless you’ to two sneezes, after that they get irritating.

I know that I would make a dreadful nurse… Partly because partner is always telling me so.

I find coughing really irritating too, along with sniffing. Right neighbour has had a cough for, what seems like months. I can hear it every time I lie in bed to go to sleep. I’d have left him by now, I whisper to partner. Partner says nothing. He is used to my complete lack of sympathy for humankind.

Dog 1 reacts to sneezes faster than he does to a treat. Yesterday, partner and I looked as though we were bringing a plane in to land, as we both used various hand signals to get him to sit. He ignored us. Conversely, when someone sneezes, he stops whatever mischief he is causing, sits bolt upright and cocks his head sympathetically to one side.

This came in particularly useful on our dog walk this morning. It was foggy. Dog 1 and dog 2 are both white. I can’t see the footballers this morning, I said to partner, so let’s just let the dogs run around the rec, rather than braving the muddy fields behind. The dogs disappeared – recall training is work in progress. I heard a commotion. It sounded like the noise of children screaming as they go down a roller coaster. Instinctively we run towards the noise and as we get through the fog we see about 25 five year old footballers, plus parents, plus coaches, running, either away from, or towards dog 1 and dog 2, depending whether they were adult or child. Dog 1 and dog 2, being puppies still, despite looking like large dogs to a five year old, thought this was the most amazing dog walk we had ever taken them on and were having the time of their lives. They had taken the ball and were merrily chasing it around the pitch. Partner and my arrival on the chaotic scene did absolutely nothing to improve the situation, as both dogs were in doggy heaven. Until, cutting straight through the screams and our shouting, one of the footballers sneezed. Dog 1 stopped, sat down and cocked his head to one side. Dog 2 followed. Partner and I scrambled for their leads and hot footed it, after sincere apologies, to Waitrose, where the free coffee has never tasted so good.


Crotchless Knickers

It’s not every morning I come to work and find an opened packet of knickers on my desk, but it’s not the first time either. This is due to number 1 friend’s daughter being a knicker fuss.

Surprisingly enough, despite having several daughters, knickers is an item of clothing I have very rarely bought them. I have found, over the years, that despite their growing taller, their bottoms have remained at a constant size. This is the reason why, as I was hanging out the washing this morning, I noticed that daughter 4, who is now 11, is still wearing a strawberry patterned pair of 5-6’s. (Although the type of fruit is so faded it is no longer clear). This, combined with number 1 friend’s daughter’s knicker fuss, means I can put any spare knicker money towards shoes. Added to this, teenage daughters now choose to buy their own, after I bought one packet that I asked them to share.

Thinking about knickers reminded me of a poem I wrote at University:

The French may be good dressers,
Good lovers, good kissers
But they really invented
Uncomfortable knickers

Now, I’m no longer in the market for French knickers, but it got me wondering whether they still exist. When I was 16 a boyfriend bought me a rather fancy, lacy, deep red pair. One evening my mum and dad went to the pub and as dad approached mum carrying the drinks, she asked him what was hanging off the velcro of his red ski jacket. I wondered why the landlord winked at me, he said.

Dog 1 has a penchant for tissues, dog 2 has a penchant for knickers. He steals them off the airer, where there is, at any given time, an endless supply. He then chews away the gusset and discards them, crotchless, on the floor. Yesterday, daughter 2 had a real (as oppose to a Facebook/face time) friend round. We heard a scream from the downstairs loo. Real friend appeared looking rather pale – there’s something on the floor and they look wet, she mumbled. Yes, my knickers strike again!

It’s a Dog’s Life

Our dogs have their own voices. Dog 1 had his voice and when dog 2 arrived it was hard to know exactly what his voice should be, so for a few weeks dog 2 sounded like a husky Frenchman. That isn’t right, the girls would exclaim – he doesn’t speak like that. I got tetchy and defensive – he does speak like that I insisted. Three months on, however, dog 1 and dog 2’s voices have merged into one, as has fat cats. Partner and I will have whole conversations as dogs. I wondered how normal this was until our dog sitter arrived for the first time – she started talking like a dog – but in her own style. I have stopped myself from worrying that the dogs will get confused.

Daughter 4 is learning a great deal about male parts and sex from the dogs. Mum he’s got his lipstick out again! Mum, what are they doing? Don’t worry darling, I reply in a husky frenchman’s voice, it’s natural.

The dogs have taken to humping more in front of certain people, certain men to be precise. I’ve given up apologising. Take it as a compliment, I say. You are bringing out their hormones.