To explain - one of my bosses has acquired for himself a dog - a gorgeous 7 months old female Mini Schnauzer (who, for the sake of this blog, we will call `Plop').
Plop is probably the best rescue dog that could have been landed on my boss and his missus (she is playful yet calm, quick to learn, eager to please and has had a good bit of basic training instilled in her already). For, you see, neither my boss nor his missus have ever had a dog, nor really knew that much/read up about them, before deciding (after the unfortunate demise of my boss' very old cat) that, yes, they were going to get a dog, what a whizzer idea, and all would be fine and dandy. Of course, you cant argue with their choice of getting a rescue (definitely commendable) and more power to those that go down this route, etc. However, their decision to acquire `Plop' was not through reading up on breeds and working out which would be best for them and their lifestyle, but more whether they looked pretty (from their online adverts) and ... erm ... that's about it.
(I'm really trying not to sound mean here ... and, as that's exactly the sort of thing THAT PERSON would say before unleashing a huge amount of unwanted advice, I'd best stop)
But perhaps I can shirk responsibility for becoming THAT PERSON (if I have indeed become one) as the situation I find myself in - following the aforementioned purchase of `Plop' - has meant I've had to sort of step in to the role of giving advice. For you see, they asked me to :-
"London Lass, we are not worthy, bestow us with your knowledge of canines, o powerful one" the boss' missus said one morning, whilst cringing at my might.Ok, so I might have added a few embellishments to the above, but I think you catch my drift. The boss' missus (who had brought Plop in to the office for the first time) was looking for a bit of help as she appreciated that she and my boss were slightly duncified when it came to all things doggy.
And, so (without trying to be too Cesar Milan about the whole thing), I mentioned a coupla wee things they might want to change when it came to their interactions with the `Plop', and everything seemed rather splendid.
"London Lass, the thingie you mentioned to do when coming in, and leaving, the room is brilliant. I double-checked with the lady down our street (the one who has dogs and knows all about them) and she said that the advice was spot on." marvelled the boss' missus, with shining eyes and a big smile. "If there's anything else you think we need to know please dont hold back - we need it!"So I gave her a few more tips but nothing too fancy and left it at that.
In the meantime, the boss has been brooding in the background (which I hadnt realised until only recently). My boss' late dad used to work as a gamekeeper and kept a whole gaggle of beagles at one point at my boss' old family home back in Ireland. The boss would often be left as a young' un to muck out the beagles and feed/water them. I am not sure, however, if his routine interactions with the hunting pack were quite the same as one you would have with your very own domesticated pet (the playing, talking, cuddling, walking and everything else that goes with it) since we are talking about a gaggle of canines that were kept outside by themselves in a group and would be mucked out once a week like a horse. They were never let in my boss' house and were certainly not treated as pets. Aside from this interaction - and the odd visit by a next door neighbour's dog - I think this is where my boss' canine knowledge begins and ends.
And, unlike my boss' wife, I began to feel that my tips were beginning to stick in my boss' craw.
So I stopped. Reined it all in and shut up. And which, I guess, means I cant be THAT PERSON since they never know when to quit and will only cease when they've either run out of breath or spotted another person in the vicinity to talk at.
But then, about a week ago, my boss was looking for some help re. Plop :-
"I really do feel as though it's those two girls (my missus and Plop) and then, way down on the list, is me! The missus asks me to call Plop to her - when she's busy and doesnt want to be interrupted in something - and I do call her, but Plop takes no notice of me. I think I've become invisible!" the boss mused, whilst looking a trifle concerned.So I gave him a small tip. Without trying to sound like a big fat know it all. Which my boss and his missus carried out and happily reported back that it had quickly worked (it helps that Plop is an intelligent soul) and all was right in the world.
But now we come to the sticky part.
There seems to be a growing eagerness to spank. And I'm not talking the good kind - involving me, the Chuppies and a shovel full of lingerie - but the kind that is being administered on the Plop by both the boss' missus and my boss. For stuff that I cant really fathom. Making me feel rather sorry for Plop.
The first I heard mention of it was by the boss' missus. Apparently there's a patch in their garden where a rotary washing line used to sit. Plop, being the curious pup that she is, decided to have a go at digging at this patch. The hard work had already been done so Plop, I guess, took to digging at this spot to find out what wonderful marvels might lie within the soil. The boss' missus, catching sight of the Plop hard at work, shouted a firm `No' and pulled the Plop away. The boss' missus then returned to whatever task she'd been involved in, only to find a few minutes later that Plop had returned to the digging with even more gusto than before :-
"So I said `No' and dragged her away once again, and it all seemed to go quiet. Plop went in and was busy with her reindeer chew, and I continued on with my jobs. But, blow me down, not quarter of an hour later, Plop was back at the hole and digging as frantically as before. So I yelled `No', smacked her and she hasnt bothered that patch of grass since," the boss' missus explained.Now the above is not the issue. Short sharp shocks we all know about. Administered correctly, they tend to prove pretty effective and, as far as I know, Plop has not dug in this spot since the smack.
However, a couple of days after the digging incident, Plop escaped from their house. Now, bearing in mind, Plop has only been in my boss' care for a few weeks you would've thought that leaving the front door open and then not stopping the Plop from leaving the house but letting her cross the road to greet another dog (all the while, whilst off the lead) would not be a tremendously good idea. The boss' missus apparently came to her senses a little later and voiced her concerns to my boss (upon seeing Plop in the street) who quickly replied that Plop was fine.
Plop obviously did not agree with this sentiment, for shortly after making friends with the dog in the street she bolted. And ran so far that in order for my boss to find her again, involved taking the car and searching for her across quite a vast distance.
But then, when they found Plop, my boss grabbed her by the scruff of her neck, and walloped 10 bells out of her.
"It's the only way they'll learn," he stated, whilst I looked on mute, fighting back a response that I was sure would earn me a P45.The Plop is also a bit toothy (puppies, like babies, are all about their mouths) and whilst she does not bite you, will not be too shy in mouthing you during `play'. This is quickly rectified with a sharp retort or a `No!'. One of my other bosses (in the vicinity of the boss' missus) thought that Plop had bitten him when he went to stroke her. The fact that he'd been fiddling with her face/teasing her chops beforehand might have been the catalyst but I am still not convinced it was a bite but a precursor to a bit of `rough play'.
"If she does that, smack her", my boss' missus stated, sharp as you like.And not really sure why I did, but I stepped in at this point. And said there was no reason to smack. Just either make a sharp `No' or similar sound, or make a quick high pitched noise. A push to the side whilst doing this would help.
My comments did not go down well. A look flashed between my boss' missus and the other boss as if I had recommended Plop go to a dog psychologist to cleanse her canine aggression and, it was at this point, that I realised I could very well be on the edges of becoming THAT PERSON. And, not just that, but THAT PERSON WHAT HAS NO JOB.
Since the next time I see my boss I'd really like to whack him several times up the face, all the while shouting "It's the only way you'll learn!!!"
So I guess I'll have to remain mute.