posted in: Animals, Gump | 0

I have been nagging Gump for a long time because I wanted to get a dog – We’ve both had pets before, but it has been a while and prior to me becoming Mrs. Gump.  This has been a point of contention between us for the past 4 years. And this is why – Back when I left the house every day for my office job, it made sense that it would be easier on us not to have a pet at home. After all, it would be alone and stuck here watching soap operas and eating bonbons all day.  But once I became self-employed and started to work from home, I really wanted a buddy who could hang out with me. And if I couldn’t have Mark Wahlberg, then I wanted a dog.

Specifically a Blue Heeler – For a number of reasons, and most people who know my story know why.  They’re a big dog in a small package. This breed has so many attributes, among them intelligence and loyalty.  The big bonus for me is they are essentially one-person dogs. But there are some drawbacks. Owning a working dog would have to be a big commitment.  Smart dogs need an occupation and therefore require plenty of attention and loads of exercise. Sort of like me 🙂

Last weekend I brought home Scout – she’s seven weeks old now, cute as a button and what we refer to in the UK as ‘gobby’ –  translated this means she has a mouth on her like a foghorn. And, the way she uses her needle-like teeth we should have called her Fang….She’d be a great acupuncturist. It has been an interesting week. I’m learning all about housebreaking, broken sleep patterns, but most importantly, how to be the alpha in this pack – poor old Gump, he will be relegated to the third man on the totem pole.

The sleep deprivation part has been an adjustment, though Scout does well really. But my entire routine is upside down and I am struggling to keep all the plates spinning. I looked in the mirror this morning and realised I look more like a dog than Scout does.  It’s all I can do to get out of my pyjamas, let alone shower, wash my hair or put on make-up.  My house looks like I’ve recently hosted a frat party, and there’s nothing to eat at home except for milk bone biscuits and puppy food.  But on the positive, my walking has already increased, and I now know my yard as though I planted each blade of grass and pulled each leaf from the trees.

So there we are – (yawn)

Enough about her, nothing worse than people going on for too long about grandkids, puppies or health issues.

We folk in Okie land survived the week of strange weather – I enjoyed the balmy summer temps of 78 degrees (25.5C) two Sundays ago, I even got bitten by a bloody mosquito….it literally was bloody…..and then the day after that it was below freezing and snowing….2.5 inches in town but much more in other areas. I was lucky I didn’t have to get out in it – well other than suiting up in my jacket/boots/gloves/hat/scarf every sodding twenty minutes to walk a small dog around and around and around until she had done things on the ground which melted the snow in a colourful way.

And then the heating conked out.  At first, Gump got the blame because we have this ongoing battle where he likes to sneakily turn the thermostat down when I’m not looking.  As generous a guy as the gumpster can be, the bets are off when it comes to setting the damn temp inside. He will adjust the temperature to suit him, (and polar bears) and the rest of us can put on a sweater.  Then Gump cheerfully skips off to work in his warm office while I sit here at my computer, a heating pad on my lap, wearing socks and a jacket because I am so bloody cold (even with my hot flashes).  For some reason, it always takes me a few hours and numb fingers to realise I should check the thermostat. And voila….he’s been at it again. So I made Gump sign a contract to leave the thermostat alone- it’s signed and on the fridge, if he breaks the deal I’m taking him for everything he’s got. Sidenote – the heater was fixed and I have feeling in my hands and feet again.

Did you watch the Oscars? Are you as sick of seeing rich people and their ridiculous outfits as I am?  Nothing against our movie stars, I am happy seeing them in actual movies, just not as a constant reminder that I can’t afford plastic surgery and that I have a one-pack belly. I think most people’s interest in award shows has definitely waned.  Strange how that has happened, and yet reality shows have gained more audiences. I wonder what old Sigmund Freud would have to say about that?

Meanwhile, I am boring as ever. I spend my days writing, chasing a crazy dog and putting up with the gumpmeister.  If I have time to watch tv, I spend it watching Masterpiece theatre and all the Britbox shows on Amazon Prime.  Ooh, I do love my British telly.  Gump has even started to enjoy some of the programmes too. But he has to watch the shows with subtitles as he isn’t bi-lingual.  I have to listen to Gump with subtitles because I can’t speak hickese.

Of course, now he’s an expert on all things British because he has seen a handful of shows.  He is fascinated by how ‘normal’ everyone is on most of them, quite unglamourous in comparison to the USA’s tv stars. More occurrences of large noses and black socks with sandals….and that’s just the women…

Well, it’s that time of year again….Gump’s tomato obsession has already begun.  He’s planted seeds in those thingamajigs you buy – the ones that look like little turds in a big plastic tray.  Gump sat at the table and lovingly poked seeds into each plug with my eyebrow tweezers.  Now he nurtures the little darlings daily.  He makes sure they are getting enough light and that they have plenty of water.  But can he remember to stop at the store and bring home a loaf of bread? Hell no.

Back to boring you about a puppy.  Gump is calling Scout the ‘Tasmanian Devil’ – he thinks it is clever because she is an Australian breed and also rather insane.  For once I agree with him. Honestly, as much as I love finally getting my puppy, I am seriously concerned we cannot handle her.  It is like she is on speed, but more like a miniature Landshark on speed, and I swear her head can almost turn in a complete circle.  And what she does to her stuffed dog, well, I’m almost tempted to turn her in for abuse.

So, it will be obedience training for her – I wonder if I can get a two-for-one and take Gump as well?

I’m keeping this one short people – I’m so sleep-deprived, and my brain is padded with cotton wool.  Please forgive me, I’ll do better next time (if the dog hasn’t bitten off my fingers)  – ☹


****Writing news – I’m looking for a couple of ‘beta’ readers for my second book – this means I’ve done my first draft, and after checking for obvious mistakes etc. I would love a pair of fresh eyes on the story to see if it is a good story.  If any of you out there are interested, please email me at [email protected]

The story is a Victorian-era romantic, mystery, and should appeal to those who enjoy reading Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney type stories, although I only aspire to be half as good as those ladies. I’m currently working on my third in this genre – then I will be working on some new projects. Oh, and if any of you know Oprah, please ask her to add my book to her reading list- well once it is out this spring.