The Furry Friend Tag

Between the last time I mentioned anything about this hairy beast, my many-months long blog break and now, it’s safe to say that Hairy Beast has grown quite a bit.

It’s time to chit-chat about her some more.

So without further delay, I present to you, the most original of ways to talk dog: The Furry Friend Tag.

1) What is your pet’s name?

Borders Make My Day Partner Around the World. Or “Moxie” for short.

We only use her obnoxious name for official items of business such as registering to vote and renewing her driving licence.

2) What kind of pet is it and what breed?

Dog. 100% dog.

Border Collie. 100% too.

Born and bred from a dainty mother and a hairy beast of a father.

3) How long have you had your pet friend?

As of right now, seven months. Seven long and hard months filled with stress, tears, numerous threatenings about being sold to the sausage factory, unsolicited dog advice in multiple languages and, occasionally, some laughter and smiles.

4) How did you get your pet?

Breeder. And that’s that.

I’m aware this risks opening a juicy can of worms and that’s OK. I just didn’t fancy bogging this post down with that kind of talk, the comments, however, that’s a free for all. Go nuts for doughnuts down there if you so wish.

5) How old is your pet?

Nine months. Almost spot on actually.

6) What are the nicknames that you call your pet?

Nicknames include: Mox, Dog, Dog-Face, Moxieke and puppy-tje – for a Flemish spin on things – as well as a collection of more unsavoury terms.

7) What are some quirky things about your pet’s personality?

One. Dog-Face is gullible enough that I can convince her that the worming tablets are a treat for high five-ing me.

Two. Dog also enjoys a bit of fly chasing despite rarely managing to catch said fly. Unless the fly is on the window, then she cracks it over the head with a paw and eats him. No questions asked.

Three. When Dog-Face is in doubt of how to get something you have, it’s time for “try everything and hope something sticks”. The pattern is usually sit down, lay down, sit back up, maybe try a half hearted attempt at rolling over, sit back up again, sit pretty, wave a lot and then just go back to laying down and moaning loudly. If there something she can grab nearby, she might even grab that and throw it at you.

Four. It is paramount that one must bark at least once when placed in her pen in the evening. It is important to always double check to see if the new rule of “when Moxie barks, Moxie gets” has finally been added to the list. It hasn’t.

Five. The day we do the food shop, is always the best day of the week. Inspecting the shopping is a serious business and always includes licking anything that is frozen and nibbling the ends of the spring onions. Sometimes we accidentally mistake the limes for new balls and they get a little battered before finally making it into the fridge.

8) What does your relationship with your pet mean to you?

Now that is a loaded question. I’d be lying if I said it meant all things wonderful to me, because it doesn’t.

It means a butt-load of hard work. It means putting up with strangers who feel the need to call out to my dog whilst we are walking, who blatantly ignore me when I ask them not to pet her or to at least approach her in a calmer manner, or just putting up with children who like to follow us as we walk around the park. It means a butt-load of stress on top of the hard work. It means always taking two steps forward and anywhere from three to fifteen steps back. It means unrealistic expectations, bouts of comparison-itis and feeling like you might just want to throw in the towel altogether.

Sometimes it means booking a spontaneous trip to the In-Laws for two weeks and leaving dog and husband at home so you can wash the dog smell out of your clothes and attempt to get a new perspective on life.

Sometimes this relationship with your pet is the worst thing ever. Sometimes it’s alright though.

Other times it’s going out for a family walk on the weekends. Or it’s watching furry-four-legs over here climb up on logs and sit there looking oh so pleased with herself. It’s watching her dive under the waterfall to get soaked but refusing to walk through puddles on the path. Maybe it’s getting your feet warmed whilst she sits next to the desk chair or better yet, getting a dog tongue in the ear because nothing says “I’m glad you’re home” better than a wet-willy.

Sometimes I envy those people and their dogs that I see calmly walking by. Sometimes I spend far too much time focussing on all the things my dog can’t do rather than all the things she can. Sometimes I see only problems, other days I see a future of family hikes and photos of my dog sat on things.

Who knows. Our relationship is complicated, but at least it isn’t boring.

9) What are some of your favourite past times with your pet?

Hands down, long walks and dog training.

I can give or take snuggles on the sofa, I actually prefer her to sit under my desk at my feet whilst I’m doing things. Or laying calmly  on “bed” whilst I prepare dinner or clean up the kitchen. I like the company of a dog that lays quietly out of the way.

That’s why training and long walks are where all the fun happens.

Disappointingly, this tag provides me no place to waffle on about all the irrelevent (and relevant) commands and tricks I’ve taught Dog.

I’ll just mention a few here because it always makes me smile to tell people of the silly things I have spent my unemployed life teaching my dog to do.

We’ve got the classics of course:

— sit, down, wait and come
— walk to heel (in a stay by my side and don’t wander off kind of way)
— let go/leave it (depending on the item, leave it is a unconditional “don’t touch it” command)
— go pee pee
— off you go (there’s no galavanting until I say so)
— bed (my generic, stay put on any blanket or mat until told otherwise)

We’ve got the semi-useful ones:

— get it (*points to item*, dog picks up item and brings it over)
— hold and bring it with you
— cover (because why not make down more complicated by getting behind my legs or under the bench we are sitting on)
— up, off and under (sometimes directions are needed)
— touch with nose (eventually she’ll be able to turn on the lights, but for now it also works to get her close to things she is unsure about and realise that they are just another stupid garden statue or a fire hydrant)
— go find Kris (AKA stop bothering me and go and bother Kris instead)

And we’ve got the totally pointless but no less fun ones

— sock (as in, please remove my socks for me)
— spin and twist (if you are going to turn, it might as well be in both directions)
— high five, high ten and wave
— middle (who doesn’t need a dog standing between their legs)
— back (take it from me, watching dogs walk backwards is always smile-worthy)
— get “Brian” (because there are times when I desperately need her to bring me a giant stuff broccoli)

There’s more, but I think I’ve buffed up my dog-ego quite enough for one day.

And done. Everything you may have wanted to know about Dog. Any more questions? Fire away! Maybe there’s a Dog-Face Q&A in your future if you ask enough questions. Oooh, possible Dog birthday post idea right there!