I live in a house where One Direction is on high-rotation on the CD/iPod player, one daughter rarely comes home (when she makes a grand appearance, the bathroom is flooded and the pantry raided) and my handyman partner, Spanner, takes one decade to perform a simple task such as hanging a mirror in the bathroom.
I thought the dog was on my side until last week when Spanner and I popped out for tea at a local Thai restaurant.
When we got back, the dog met us at the front door (we leave her inside when it's cold) with her tail between her legs. The reason for her demeanour became apparent as we followed a trail of Cadbury Favourites' wrappers to her doggy-bed in the family room. The bed was strewn with wrappers, bits of torn box and the sticky remnants of mini Crunchies, Cherry Ripes, Caramellos and Flakes.
I reckon she ate around a dozen of the individually wrapped chocolate treats. That's enough to make a human feel queasy, let alone a 25 kilogram dog.
"I'm disappointed in you," I told her as I cleaned up the mess (because no one else was going to do it).
That night she slept outside in her kennel. I was worried she'd vomit or, worse still, clear out her system on the carpet.
The next day she didn't appear to have suffered any ill effects from her chocolate binge so we decided to let her move back inside for the night.
Big mistake. She got her own back.
Some time during the night she regurgitated at least three wrappers, along with other gunky stuff that sank into the rug in Miss Hissy's room.
"Mum," the Hiss wailed. "The dog spewed. What will I do?"
How do you answer that? Isn't it obvious?
Guess who cleaned up?
"I can't get this off," I told the dog as I scrubbed at the gunk with a highly-toxic cleaning product that promises to destroy every germ and scorch every one of my nose hairs (we all have 'em) and my eyeballs (it didn't promise the latter).
"There's got to be a better way."
Out of the blue, the dog spoke:
"Do not rely on the one product. There's a range of greener cleaning agents that will do the job more efficiently."
I was gobsmacked."What do you mean?"
"DON'T GET STUCK. BE MINDFUL. BE AWARE. THERE ARE MANY PATHS TO FOLLOW."
And there you have it. The dog's first wise utterance.
Maybe I should stick to posts about swimming...