Friday, April 2, 2010

The One Car Tango

Critter Club usually has two vehicles zooming around the city, battling the less privileged traffic, poor buggers with regular jobs and regular lives, as we pickup the world’s greatest dogs.

Usually. But not on this day.

Unfortunately, Mr Volkswagen felt the need to include a radiator with a very low life expectancy in the main dog bus, the Caddy. So after just three years it went off to get a replacement, and if this were a motoring blog we could tell you a whole lot more that might help you with your brand choice for your next car but onward, this is about dogs.

So now we have a large number of dogs to fit in a Toyota Corolla hatch. Again, if this were a motoring blog we could tell you more about advertised fuel efficiency versus actual non-fuel efficiency but this is about the dogs and we will not digress.

Large number of dogs, small car, so first a couple of adjustments need to be made. Daisy must go. Sweet, happy, getting rather large six month old Labrador who thinks any place is a play place and play involves running rings around other dogs and jumping on their heads. In the Corolla? Sorry Daisy. Next, the dogs who have a lovely, understanding person at home who can give them a little outing themselves which, while it will not be as much fun as their usual Critter Club extravaganza, will help provide some much needed space in our transport. But still it will be tight.

The Corolla is normally driven by Dog Saint Meredith but the Dog Rock God is a very bad passenger and so takes the wheel. This of course leads to much of the following:

DSM: Oh, do you go this way?
DRG: Yes.
DSM: Interesting.

DRG: Can you not lean forward? I can’t see the mirror.
DSM: I’ve got five dogs on my lap. What do you want me to do?
DRG: Sit still.

DSM: Red light!
DRG: You think I don’t know what a red light looks like?
DSM: Sorry. Of course you know what a red light looks like.

DRG: Can you go up and get Dixie and Sadie?
DSM: Sure. What do you want me to do with the five dogs on my lap?
DRG: Fine. I’ll go.

But again, this is about the dogs. In short:

Walk One begins with Buttons happy on the DSM lap while into the back of the car goes Monty, a very large Gordon Setter. On a normal day there would be room for one other large dog. Today we add Jennifer, a labradoodle, Bebe, a groodle, schnauzers Chester and Lulu, Spikey cairn terrier, massive Australian bulldog puppy Boris, and finally, very big puppy golden retriever, Louis. Louis can be a bit iffy in the car (iffy means car sick but we won’t say it out loud) but all is fine and we get to the park safely for our hour of joy.

Into the tin again, and the sardines are off home. One hundred metres from Louis’ gates, you guessed it, up comes his breakfast. Every packed in piece of flesh gags collectively. Windows down. Get to the gate. Stop the car. Wait for Louis to obligingly eat it up again. Oh, you wouldn’t do this? Think again. These are extraordinary times.

Walk Two is all about the DSM lap. Jemima, Josie, Gypsy, Rex, Bello, Sadie and Hugo are all front seat dogs. Determined front seat dogs. They have earned their place. But what’s going on here? The DSM who usually drives this car is sitting on their seat? And the DRG is driving? All is not right with the world. We must fight for our rights! And scramble they do.

Gypsy on one leg. Jemima on the other. DSM: ouch. Sadie in. Clings across the two legs. Gypsy backs into DSM torso. Ouch. Hugo in. Gypsy as the smartest dog we walk can do the maths and jumps into the back. Josie in. Pushes Sadie to floor where Dixie was happily alone between DSM legs. Dixie growls Sadie into a corner. DSM leg now crammed against middle compartment. Ouch. Rex in. Gives DSM a quick kiss then goes back to hang out in the cool lounge with Gypsy. Bello in. Demands his rightful position. Three white fluffies (Jemima, Josie, Bello) all go heavy bum and can’t be moved. Hugo concedes and goes to the lounge. DSM considers joining him. Ouch.

Phew. Dropped off the last dog and point the Corolla toward the very busy Volkswagen service centre. The phone rings. It’s Mr Volkswagen. Terribly sorry, parts not in, nothing we can do, terribly sorry, it will be late tomorrow, terribly sorry.

No real desire to print the other side of this conversation. Onward and upward.

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