Woof! Your’e right, dog, it is rough

Interesting day last Sunday. Not that Boofuls would agree with me. He would rather have put pins in his eyes but let me not get ahead of myself, dear reader. Let’s start at the beginning.

As you know, Douggie the Doggie and me have been dancing together for a few months now and I’ve had an idea that we might like to travel a bit further down this route.

Hence the two hour drive to Geordie land to watch a doggie dancing aka heelwork to music competition.

The drive to Geordie land was one thing but actually getting into Geordie land was another thing entirely. The whole place seemed to be cordoned off. No problem I can hear you saying, the sat nav will find other route in. Well, you’d think so, wouldn’t you? In actual fact the sat nav seemed to be feeling a bit bellicose and sat there in my frustrated little hand saying snarkily, ‘Oi! Don’t you know it’s a bank holiday? Feck off. I’m entitled to my holidays as well’.

Dagnabbit! By the time we get to this bloody dog show it’ll be all over!

At yet another road block we shared our dilemma with the traffic officer, as had the 100 or so drivers in front of us in their attempts to get into town. His look of resigned patience turned to a big smile as he realised he was finally going to give someone an answer they wanted to hear. “Leisure Centre? OH! That’s not a problem. Just go down there and turn right.”

Halle sodding lujah!

We pulled into the leisure centre car park to find it overflowing with cars sporting doggie stickers, logos, adverts and bursting at the seams with doggie paraphernalia. Dog bowls littered the ground, poo bins were placed at ten foot intervals and intense looking dog owners practised their dance routines with their dogs on the grass verges.

“I think this is the right place, Love.”

Douggie of course thought it was play time. He quickly learnt that even a sly sniff at another dog’s backside would see the poor unfortunate beast being frogmarched away with a backwards dirty look. There should have been a big sign on the wall. NO FRATERNISING!

Luckily, we managed to arrive during the beginners section as that’s what I was particularly interested in. My fiendish plan being to watch, listen and learn before we dip our toes to into the doggie dancing water.

We watched. We listened and we learnt. Lots. All I can say is: I think me and Douggie are ready to compete.

Poor old Boofuls. His eyes glazed over and he rocked backwards on his heels as if readying himself for a sprint out of the door. I tried to bribe him with a cup of tea and a sandwich from the snack bar. Oh dear Lord. It’s bad when even I won’t eat it as I’m most definitely not known for being a picky eater. I’m generally more of your, ‘one snort and it’s gone’ type of eater. Still, I think Douggie enjoyed it.

After an hour and a half or so we decided we’d seen enough.

Then came the start of a ‘Why did I not just keep my mouth shut’ moment.

We know some people who live in Geordie land and decided it would be nice to pop in and see them.

He was at work, no problem, it’s his business so there was no danger of him getting in trouble from the boss. Perfect, I thought. A quick hello and we’ll be on our way. I’m afraid not. He decided he’d leave work because he was dying to show us his new home. He set off on his bike and we followed behind in the car. Painful.

WE got to the new home to discover that wifey was out with baby and had hubby’s keys with her. That was the start of what felt like and age of hanging around in his garden shed sheltering from the rain and making awkward conversation while knowing that we couldn’t make our excuses and leave as wifey was pushing a pram and rushing back from wherever it was she’d been. Offers to go and pick her up in our car were met with, “No. It’s no bother. She’ll be here in a minute.” Times that by FORTY and it’d be about right. It was my turn to want to put pins in my eyes.

Eventually she turned up, red faced and breathless, and we went into the house only to be told to talk in whispers so we didn’t wake the baby who’d fallen asleep in his pram while being bounced around on the journey. We were also told not to touch the dog because if we did it’d pee on the carpet. Oops. Too late. Two big wet patches on the carpet betrayed the fact that we hadn’t been given the instruction soon enough. Our hostess looked, sighed, came back with a can of ‘Doggie Whiffaway’ gave the carpet a couple of squirts and us a couple of dirty looks. I’m sorry. Housetrain your dog.

So it continued. All topics of mutual ground were covered fairly quickly, and quietly due to the sleeping sprog.

I wonder, where exactly is the moment in a boring, awkward and whispered conversation when you can say without causing offence; “Well, we’d better make a move”?

Wherever it is, Boofuls was steadfastly ignoring it and my attempts to make a sharp exit. Up would come a new topic of conversation for ten seconds or so then everyone would look back down at their coffee cups and wait to the next burst of conversational inspiration.

I screamed silently, ‘Take me now, God! I’m more than ready.’

Eventually, after an hour or so Boofuls finally responded to my not so subtle hints of, “Well, the dog is in the car so we’d better not leave him there too long as we still have a very long journey to do.”

When he did finally take the hint everyone looked really relieved. Next time we’re in Geordie land I’ll just keep my mouth shut and we’ll head on straight home – or at least let them know in advance that we’re coming and can’t stay for many minutes – which with hindsight would have been a far better idea.

Oh well, you live and learn.

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