Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Introducing Harry

Harry is a black Labrador. He's not my dog. He belongs to my sister - who lives right next door. Harry spends quite a bit of time at my house. Like Pickles (see The Blue Handbag) he's a sensitive soul. He doesn't bark much. If he does bark it means the window cleaner is here. He doesn't like any kind of shouting at all. So don't even think of cheering your team on if you happen to be watching football while Harry is in residence. If you do he'll be through the door and tucked up in bed before you can breathe out. "Sorry Harry," just won't cut it. You might coax him back at half time. But remember it's sotto voce cheering only for the rest of the match. Don't put anything with butter on it anywhere near him as this will result in much drooling. He likes to give raw spuds a fair chance to escape before devouring them. Only little dogs like Harry. Big dogs hate him. He loves collecting sticks. One stick won't do though. He has to have them all - at once. If you let him he will soon look like he's trying to disguise himself as a small tree. He adores swimming. Though he's restricted to paddles in the sea now. He's not as young as he used to be. He thinks his arthritis tablets are great treats. When he's bored he will grumble by softly growling followed by a sigh. I call him Grumple when he gets like this. If you stroke him or scratch his ears he will want you to continue - forever. If you stop he will poke you with his paw.

Harry and I didn't hit it off right away. Even as a youngster he was a far bigger dog than I was used to. Young Harry liked me all right but it took him a while to work out he couldn't welcome me like he welcomed his other friends. He welcomes his friends usually by running up to them and jumping on them. Every time he tried it with me he would bowl me over through the door I'd just come through and we would end up in a crumpled heap. If I was unlucky I'd hit the door casing on the way through. On one memorable occasion he knocked me right though the doorway, across the hallway and smacked my head into the radiator. Much swearing (from me) ensued. Eventually he worked it out. Jump on Debbie = good. Jump on Michael = bad. So now we get along fine and bruise free. In fact I think he loves me more than anything. Well, apart from Debbie, and Phil, oh and buttered toast, and don't forget those custards, and Uncle Peter (my god he has an Uncle Peter fetish) and that squeaky thing Debbie just bought him, and......

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