So the dog has entered puberty, we're delighted as you can imagine, delighted. To be fair (on me) I was expecting more warning, a kind of slow descent into puberty, a process if you will that gave us plenty of warning that Twizzle was All Grown Up and ready to fly the coup (oh if only he would). I expected at least an awkward period where he changed from bouncy, happy-to-see-you, grateful for a pat puppy to sulky, grumpy, hid in his kennel when he saw you coming, said whatever to any question asked however reasonable (would you like me to bury your bone for you darling? Whatever), a stint writing soulful, yearning poetry by the light of a torch and wearing black because it expressed his inner self. Next (my expectations went) would come the Embarrassed Period where his voice broke when he least expected it. One minute he's lolloping happily around the park trying out his poetry on any lady dog that came his way, the next he's trying to bark out the line my heart, black as pitch, alighted upon your sweet bosom, only for it to be delivered in a thin squeak followed by a croak. This is the bit where he stops communicating altogether and simply lives in his kennel eating entire loaves of bread and cultivating Stinky Feet Syndrome. He appears occasionally for walks but makes Husband walk at least one hundred yards behind him so as not to embarrass him in front of the lady Rottweiler he's got his eye on (he likes them big and beefy apparently, I found the magazines).
Did Twizzle supply me with any of this? Did he give me any warning at all - which would have been the courteous thing to do, I have after all cleaned up after him all his life in the manner of a chamber maid.
One day he was that happy-go-lucky, tongue hanging out cuddly mop of a Spaniel, the next I came down to find that his best 'friend' is his dog pillow and he plans to spend as many amorous hours with it as possible and could I please leave his dinner outside the door? I have had to remove anything of humpable height into the garage, put cling film on the sofa and ban anyone watching Crufts because the ensuing mayhem is far too much to bear, and I fear for the poor pillow's life. The crunch came last week when I left Jack for one minute (one minute!) to return to see him exhausted and dishevelled as he attempted to outrun Twizzle's advances on his little one year old legs. It was time to call in the Rottweilers.
So I have begun taking Twizzle to the park more often, firstly because a bit of exercise may run off some of the urges, secondly because he may meet a Lady Dog and get a bit of social life going. I've upped his allowance so that he can treat on a date and generally kitted him out in fresh boxers (of the under wear kind unfortunately, not the canine kind, dog ladies of the night not being too abundant round here), and helped him gel his hair. He's started out quite well really, I'm proud of him, his chat up lines seem to go down well with the bum sniffing community and he's even had a few dates. He took the Greyhound from across the way for a drink last week, but she dumped him for drinking Babycham rather than a pint (I mean really, is that any reason to dump a fellow?). Two nights ago he scored big time with the love of his life the Rottweiler (called Stacey apparently, Stacey the Rottweiler)but a few days later, teary eyed and heartbroken he told me that she'd finished with him because his name was to effeminate. He sunk into his kennel and wrote lyrics about his lost love, begging for guitar lessons as he went because he'd finally found what he wanted to be (though with the musical genes he will have inherited I fear it is not to be).
So he's moping about the house, getting in everyone's way, eating the contents of the fridge and refusing to let me wash his bedding. He says it's all our fault for giving him the name Twizzle Sportacus (to be fair it's all Isla's fault really, but she is four and mad on Lazy Town, he's lucky she didn't call him Stephanie), and lamenting that in a rush of love he'd told Stacey the Rottweiler his middle name. He also says that we've ruined his life and that he hates us, jolly good, puberty moving on steadily then.
Anyway, he seems a lot cheerier this morning, more his old self. He went out on his own last night and found some kind of club called The Village People or something, I haven't really heard of it. He even tried out a new look of studded collar and tight white T shirt. I think he met someone too, he's being a little coy about it, but apparently no one at this club seemed to mind about his name and he came home with a few phone numbers, and there's definitely a spring in his step this morning. He even said that he felt more like himself than ever, which was cheering, and enjoys trying out new mustaches in the mirror. He even speaks to someone called Tiny regularly, I hope he brings her home to visit soon.