All things foul!


As is so often the way for me living in The Mad Shanks Household, I will be merrily going about my business when suddenly my ears will prick up and I start listening to a conversation occurring in another room.  I’m not eavesdropping as the volume of the words is invariably enough to carry to our neighbours half a mile down the road, it’s just that my brain has been trained over the last 23 years to ‘zone out’ from the noise so really all I was doing was ‘zoning’ back in again!

I only needed to hear a couple of words to realise that it was something bizarre enough to make it worth listening to.  It was a good natured ‘discussion’ between Jamie and Osborn, always worth a listen anyway, with boyfriend Ben in attendance trying, as always, to put his ‘I need everything to be immaculate’ point of view!

Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth until she finds something that came out of the wrong end of some animal or other!

The subject was dogs and Fox s**t!  Let me explain.  We have 2 dogs, Dodger, who is a scruffy, sandy coloured Chihuahua with an eighth Jack Russell and the Jack Russell genes must have been quite powerful as his front half looks like a Jack Russell whilst his rear end is very much Chihuahua!  Lexie, on the other hand, is a big black something?  She was a Romanian rescue dog and whilst the GSD is obvious in her, the rest could be anything!

Lexie cannot be contained by a fence unless it’s at least 6 feet high as her ability to launch herself from a standing start is quite spectacular to watch, Dodger on the other hand has to rely on the occasional, carelessly ignored open door in order to execute any kind of escape plan.  That’s not to say that he isn’t extremely good at it and we can be seen regularly sprinting down the road in hot pursuit.

Obviously, as Lexie is uncontainable, she frequently takes herself off on expeditions across the field and into the woods.  This isn’t really a problem as she’s well behaved and doesn’t bother anyone but a couple of nights ago she returned from one such foray and stank!  She instantly latched onto Jamie for a cuddle on the settee which caused Jamie to  unceremoniously push her back onto the floor recoiling from the smell and insisting she’s not allowed onto the furniture anyway!

Osborn was not happy.  Lexie, he announced, was allowed to go onto the sofa as she’s part of the family.  I made a tactical decision at the time to keep quiet and let them continue the brief debate.  

It was upon this very subject that they were ‘arguing’ again.  Osborn’s point was that the offending Fox poo was dried into her fur so wasn’t going to transfer onto anything else, Jamie’s point was that if she went into the field and picked a pile of the stuff and plonked in onto the chair next to Osborn he would be none too pleased!  I could see her point.

As ever, I decided to play Devils Advocate and take Osborn’s side, just for fun!  I hesitate to call what ensued a debate as whilst it remained good natured, it did just consist of Jamie and Osborn shouting at each other, both trying to gain the upper hand through sheer decibels.  Needless to say, nobody won the argument and the final conclusion was that maybe she needed a bath?

This does, however, raise that interminable conundrum of why dogs seem to find everything disgusting so irresistible?  I’ve never owned a dog that doesn’t take enormous delight in finding and covering themselves in the most foul smelling objects available, it goes with the territory of dog ownership!

That being the case, it does mean that dog baths are a necessary part of life and as both of ours are pretty tolerant of the process it’s not that much of a problem.  Owning a dog can be hard work but what they give in return is priceless so little challenges like this are nothing more than a slight inconvenience.  I wouldn’t give mine up for anything!


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