I Want “Cheese Lover and Wine Connaisseur” In My Eulogy

01e820bca18fe83260bc6c121631447a.jpgThe old man and I went on a mini-break to a farmstead in the south of Sydney a few weeks ago. Due to the risks posed by Australian wildlife – wallabies, wild horses, spiders and no doubt brown snakes, waiting for me in every corner – we left The Princess at home with close friends.

I packed her case – her favorite food, her blankie, a couple of toys, some treats – and then in a moment of separation anxiety, I texted our friends a few pointers about her habits in case she had any problems vocalizing them.

Doesn’t play nicely with other dogs

Zero road sense

Needs lots of water

Loves cheese

Scared of men

One of the friends we went to the homestead with is a celebrant, who conducts weddings all over Sydney. One morning – in our search of the best hot chocolate in what was apparently a town – we bumped into a fellow celebrant, and the two of them got into a lengthy discussion about funerals and the underlying pressure they feel to write the perfect eulogy. The other celebrant admitted to us, that in view of the terrible eulogies she had witnessed, she has already written her own.

At the mention of speeches, I am always transported back to the scarring memory of the old man’s speech at my fiftieth birthday. Although my therapist has told me to bury it in the past and move forward, each time I go to a friend’s birthday and I have to listen to their husbands’ loving, glowing speeches about their wives, it is like a dagger straight through my heart. As a result of my PTSD, planning my own cremation and writing my own eulogy is something I have had to consider quite seriously if I don’t want a very sad affair with a minimal amount of planning and thought, and which only my husband and two children are likely to know anything about. Because my idea of a funeral is like the one at the beginning of Love Actually or a Viking sea burial, or at the very least a group of gospel singers. And rather than risk a Target two-for-one special, I have given the responsibility of making sure I get a worm-proof coffin to Kurt, who understands anxiety.

BTW, kids, there are “death of parent” playlists on Pinterest.

However, after giving it some thought, I have decided that retribution will be served best by leaving everything to the old man. After all, surely a eulogy is something other people need to make up about your achievements and not even he can ignore my achievements with cheese and wine? But if I should need to provide the man that I have known for most of my adult life and the father to my children and The Princess with a few pointers, it turns out that my eulogy would look a lot like the list I gave to our friends, who were looking after our dog: 

Doesn’t play nicely with others

No road sense

Needs lots of wine

Loves cheese

Scared of men

What would be on your list?

 

 

The Curious Incident Of The Dog With The Pooey Ass

The Princess Spoodle’s birthday didn’t start well today. While the old man was out playing tennis, she had one of those unfortunate incidents of a sticky dingleberry stuck to her nether regions – a mortifying turn of events to a dog of her breeding with associated sensitivities. It’s one of those situations that any parent of a longhaired breed will understand, and in retrospect, completely my fault for procrastinating about booking her in at the salon for a groom. Dingleberry removal is one of those chores that no one wants to deal with.

 

dog-1912874_1920
Not The Princess, obvs, because I couldn’t possibly publicly shame her in such a way.

Over-excited about her big day, the three of us remained blissfully unaware of her condition this morning until she dragged her bottom across my bed and left a massive skid mark across my clean sheets – evidence of what an irresponsible parent I am. And I have never seen Kurt or NC disappear as quickly.

 

The problem with pets is that you can’t blackmail them or make them understand that they’re supposed to know what to do in the toileting department. And although they are your child, their poo doesn’t hold the same magic power as that of your newborn’s, for instance, when you exult in the magnificence of every part of what you’ve created, even when they squirt one in your face.

 

Somewhat inevitably, the first thought that crossed my mind as I retched the first time was why the fuck the old man is never here in those few minutes of the week when we actually need him. These  include:

 

Emptying the bin and recycling

Putting out the bins for collection day

Removal of any living thing that belongs to the animal kingdom yet is not human

Mowing the lawn

Washing up

 

In other words, for all the really fought-after tasks that involve muck in the house – so getting shit off the dog’s ass definitely falls into his camp of responsibilities.

 

Which left me with two options: To wait for his return and in the meantime lock the Princess in a cupboard where she could do minimal damage – a suggestion that my vegetarian daughter decided was animal cruelty – or clean the offending ass myself.

 

So I gagged, checked the time and realized that the old man wouldn’t be back for a couple of hours, and then I gagged again as I carried Shitty Ass at arm’s length to the bathroom, questioning why I ever thought having a pet was a good idea.

 

‘Bet you thought you were done with cleaning dirty bottoms,’ Kurt said on our way to the bathroom – an attempt to inject some humor into the heinous task.

 

‘Ha ha!’ I agreed, not cruel enough to remind him of the last time he was drunk with gastro.

 

It was only as I dropped placed the Princess gently into the bath that we saw the cockroach in its last throes of death waiting for us near the plughole, and Kurt, (who had been pretending to be my assistant up until this time, without actually venturing anywhere close to the dog’s asshole), leapt into the air with a squeal, backed himself into a corner of the bathroom, and rocked there for the next ten minutes.

 

It’s going to be an interesting negotiation when he and his future wife divide up the domestic chores.

 

And I recognized my situation for what it was. This was a test, to prove that I am indeed what I pertain to be – equal to man – to see if I really can cope with over-sized insects that scuttle noisily and threateningly to disempower women, as well as shitty, matted bottoms with the potential of a weapon of mass destruction.

 

I think the Princess quite enjoyed her time in the cupboard. Hide and seek is her new favorite game. The groomer is booked for Friday.

A (Sort of) Birth Story For Easter

I’ve been caught up in between worlds these last few weeks – the worlds of back pain, Easter chocolate and that of my characters, as I put my final touches to my manuscript. I’m not the best multi-tasker, so I find it difficult to tackle other writing projects when I’m so invested in these four people that are evolving daily.

 

But as the Easter holiday period wraps up, I know I owe you something – however trivial. So as this event marks a rebirth, I decided to mark my respects with the story of the birth of our third child. b15d2295e5b6a03d15d9ccd5ca0d13ef

 

I’d never had a dog as a child, although an assortment of pets – mad cats, fish and a tortoise that ran away, weren’t fit enough to survive in our house – which is why I always suspected that a dog might be one step too far in terms of responsibility. Added to which, I was highly anxious about them. I was that person who gagged when a friend’s dog jumped up at me – and they always did because they smelled the fear.

 

Two things changed my view. One was that the old man has always been an animal freak – far more relaxed in the company of dogs than our children – and as I watched his interactions with friends’ dogs over the years, and saw how they calmed him and diminished his stress levels, the idea became more appealing. The second reason was that I thought a pet, another being to love Kurt unconditionally and perhaps become his best friend, would help him feel better about himself.

 

The conception of The Princess was a long and arduous one. I did my research, changed my diet, took iron pills and went through other invasive medical interventions I still can’t talk about. And I’ll admit that at one point I began to waver in my decision…until my brother paid us a surprise visit in Sydney.

 

“Impulsivity” has a tendency to run through our family – rather like a sharp razor through the winter hair on my legs – so perhaps I shouldn’t have been that surprised when I mentioned the idea of the dog and he dragged me straight to the closest pet shop to pick NC and Kurt’s new sister – a female of the ‘oodle variety; the cutest and sleepiest.

 

I don’t think the old man ever believed I’d actually commit to the dog idea and so he was fairly indifferent to The Princess for those first few weeks. Obviously, she wasn’t the stereotype of what he considered to be “man’s best friend”, and I know he worried about turning up at the dog park on Saturday afternoons, beer in one hand and this blonde ball of fluff in the other, tethered to a shocking-pink lead. Yet she wormed her way into the rest of the family’s affections within minutes – the cute stack down the steps living room probably helped – and within days we were fighting over who would pick up her perfect, pint-sized poos – the ones that usually landed with stealth bomber accuracy on my brand new rugs.

 

She is has since reigned at the top of the pecking order, and each of us fight for her love and approval. She is the best spooner, the best hot water bottle in winter, the best therapist, vacuum cleaner and incentive for exercise. She is also great to dress up. Our main criteria for holidays homes now is that they are pet-friendly, and she drives shotgun all the way.

 

Training…not so much, although she will sit or lie down if we make it worth her while.

 

At the grand age of eight – which is fifty-six in dog years – and still spritely, she is often mistaken for a puppy (much to her disgust) – even though she is developing into a willful, middle-aged woman who gets crabby when she’s tired, is easily distracted, forgetful and rather partial to long naps with her dad most afternoons. So we have a lot in common. She tells us now when she’s had enough – a good lesson for Kurt, whose switch off button has always been temperamental.

 

And did I mention the best part about having a dog? It’s that they can talk. Over time, this lovable little mutt has developed a voice in our house, which is used (and abused), to say those things that we want to say to each other, but know we shouldn’t.

The Curse Of Anxiety, Dogs and Teenage Commitment

The dog has decided to upstage the rest of the family in the anxiety stakes. I am reliably informed that part of her condition can be blamed on her Poodle heritage, in which separation anxiety is a common issue, but the other part is either a question of osmosis ie. living with us, or a result of the shocking level of pampering she receives. We’ve created a pathetic city dog, vulnerable and basically unable to exist on her own. 

eyes-730751_1280
The Curse of Anxiety, Dogs and Teenage Commitment

 

As a psychotic nail-biting worrier myself, I would never trivialise anxiety, but it comes to something when you can’t leave the two kilometre safety zone around your apartment to take your dog for what is meant to be a treat to Centennial Park. The wailing that ensued in the car was tantamount to a two year old tantrumming about screen time on her parent’s iPad and at several points during the fifteen minute journey, the old man and I questioned our choice to have another one.

 

Part of the problem is that The Princess doesn’t visualise herself as a dog and so she was appalled to find that our walk coincided with the weekly social gathering of our Eastern Suburbs canine cousins – posh neighbours – one of whom was unfortunate enough to be named Boris and who had so much unspent energy and tenacity he took a liking to her at the dog park. Our refusal to carry her to protect her virtue was rewarded by an hour-long sulk.

 

Kurt experienced a similar bout of anxiety when he had his birthday ‘gathering’ last weekend. We’ve all suffered that horrible predicament, or party remorse, before our guests arrive when we wish we’d never organised the event in the first place, rather than expose ourselves to the horror associated with public rejection. Unfortunately, it’s only once you open the cage door do you understand what a prison fear can be.

 

At one point he admitted that he would prefer to phone up all fifteen of his friends and cancel. I understand that feeling only too well, although it is something that gets easier with age, mainly because you’ve ticked off that part of growing up where you learn to respect other people and finally have a secure enough band of friends to rely on, who understand the value of loyalty. Most importantly, they understand how miserable it feels to be let down at the last minute. 

 

It’s something Generation Y could learn a thing or two about.

 

As a loyal Leo, (and much to the old man’s chagrin), once I commit to something I always turn up. We always turn up. I don’t know who was more relieved by the ring on the doorbell that evening when it finally came, myself or Kurt; needless to say it caused the Princess to rock noisily in the corner only to be enticed out of her cell by the promise of pizza.

Marriage And The Art Of Conversation

It is a Tuesday night and a middle-aged couple loll in a semi-vegetative state on the sofa in front of a gripping episode of Downton Abbey. Half-eaten plates of re-heated Thai dinner lie on the floor. The wine bottle is empty.

 

Marriage and The Art Of Conversation
Mature couple sitting on sofa, portrait. By Firstindy at http://www.flickr.com

The dog, more commonly known as ‘The Princess’  to the family, suddenly leaps off her half of the sofa and looks intently at them both.

 

‘Daddy, I need a wee. Can you take me outside, please?’

 

‘Do you need a wee, Princess? Daddy’s worked hard at the office today and is a bit tired. Ask Mummy?’

 

‘But Daddy, Mummy’s worked really hard all day too. Because as well as her day job, she has looked after those teenage parasites you helped create and cleaned up after you too. So she is quite tired as well.’

 

*Dog starts to look worried and lifts left hand paw in demonstration of anxiety*

 

‘BUT MUMMY, Daddy did take me out last night.’

 

‘Yes, and Mummy TOOK YOU FOR A FUCKING LONG WALK TODAY.’

 

*Dog moves towards Daddy*

 

‘But that’s because Mummy can, Princess, because she works from home! Anyway, Mummy’s walks aren’t as good as Daddy’s walks, are they? We play ball and go for a swim.’

 

‘You’re right, Mummy was WORKING at home. Mummy doesn’t have time to play ball with me because while Daddy only has his fucking day job to do and can then relax when he gets home, Mummy has her job, your brothers and sisters and the house to look after, as well as you and Daddy. (Whispering) Mummy thinks Daddy’s a bit of an arsehole at the moment.’

gOoD dOG
gOoD dOG (Photo credit: 27147)

 

‘Well, I think that Mummy’s being a bit unreasonable.’

 

*Awkward silence*

 

‘REALLY! Well I think Daddy better get up off the sofa pretty fucking quickly before he finds out what being ‘unreasonable’ really means.’

 

*Dog begins to pull Daddy off sofa and Daddy goes*

 

Evening conversation after 20 years of marriage.

 

Any other couples say what they really want to say via the dog?

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The 5:2 Dog Diet

As many of you will know, I am a fervent supporter of campaigns that demonise the objectification of women and I detest the unrelenting emphasis on women’s weight that leads to body image issues and the propaganda pertaining to the all-consuming need to be thin.

The issue of weight control has to be handled delicately, and never more so than when its side effects may be harming the health of your own children.

It has come to our attention that the Spoodle Princess is getting a bit fat porky.

 The 5:2 Dog DIet

When we returned from our most recent dysfunctional holiday, which the Princess spent at a resort in Dural (!), it was obvious that she had lost a lot of weight. You know what holidays in the sun are like? All that exercise, fresh air, tanning and ball-chasing – sometimes a girl can just forget to eat!

Then again, it might also have been because she was actually walked occasionally, or because for ten days every predatory male dog south of Sydney chased her for what we like to call, a special cuddle.

I’m not sure if it was the guilt of sending her away or the fact that her selection of designer coats was a little loose around her small frame when we returned, but the family began to compensate by overfeeding her.

Anyone who has a Hoodle (Spaniel crossed with human) knows how easy that is to do. There’s always that leftover sausage or NC’s* cooking (often only fit for Hoodle consumption) and the Princess’s favourite meal, Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Over the last week, however, we’ve noticed that she has developed some rather embarrassing love handles and is becoming harder to carry during her walks.

Upon analysis of her feeding habits, during one of our recent family therapy sessions, (and a mortifying reading on the scales), it appears that the Princess has actually been eating more than the rest of the family put together, which, when you consider that her fighting weight is 8kg, is obviously detrimental to her health.

Her level of fitness has obviously already been affected.

She no longer chases the ball like she used to, when for a few minutes of the day she would forget she is human and behave like a common dog. She struggles to jump onto the sofa to vacuum crumbs, and I am certain that I discerned a tut the other day when I suggested a walk around the block.

So I have been forced to mention the D word in the house, which is something I have tried to avoid as the mother of NC, knowing what an impact that word can have on young girls.

I have had to remind the Princess that she is in fact a DOG and porky dogs are no fun at all.

In her defence, I know that she wants to help herself. I can tell that she is uncomfortable in her pink velvet Dogue coat when the hood sits that little bit too tightly around her neck, and she is struggling to bark really threateningly at Trixie Yapface next door without pausing for breath. She takes her role as guard dog to the family very seriously, and was embarrassed to find herself breathless recently after an ill-timed dash downstairs to give the postie his daily warning to ‘fuck off’.

The old man spoke on the Princess’s behalf at the meeting and we have finally managed to persuade her to try the 5:2 diet. This diet proposes that you eat for five days and fast for two – we did need to correct the Princess’s initial assumption that this involved five meals for five days a week and two on the other days.

Weigh-ins have been a traumatic process for the whole family, but we know that we have to be strong for our girl.

The North Shore has high standards and you need to be able to wear your collection of designer coats with pride, so the other bitches stop and stare in envy rather than bark out the number for Weight Watchers.

*Nerd Child

Dog Reports Owner For Putting Her In Kennels

Dear Parents,

Did you say kennels?I have noticed a worrying change of atmosphere at home at the moment, and it’s beginning to make me anxious. (And you know what happens when I get anxious – accidents happen which seem to indirectly affect the premium on the contents insurance).

Everyone is being uncharacteristically nice to each other at the moment… particularly around me. I might be wrong but I’m sensing  parent-guilt. I think that you might actually be contemplating another holiday without me.

Which can only mean one thing….

Kennels!

Do I need to remind you just how awful I smelt the last time you collected me from that dog farm?

The purchase of that new pink fluffy coat is suspicious too. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that you’ve never bothered with a coat for me before. Which leads me to suspect that I must be going to a ‘resort’ where it’s cold at night. Please God, don’t let it be west of Sydney! Those, (shall we say) less pedigreed breeds, show little respect for the delicate nature and physiology of the Spoodle there.

Did you even think about who will give me my daily brush or my treats while I’m there, when you decided to sign my life away? You know how much Dad moans when my hair gets matted and I have to be clipped, or (heaven forbid) I begin to smell like a you-know-what?

I thought I had become a valued member of the family now, that I was above shared equal rights with Kurt and NC.  I thought that you had gained as much from my addition to the family as I have. I have tried to make my transition from dog to human as easy as possible for you.

  • I share your bed – I always sleep between you both to keep you both warm.I eat your food – (even the muck that Mum produces sometimes when she’s stressed and forgets vital ingredients during the food shop). Mum even makes gravy for my food now and cooks extra for me sometimes, (especially when it is Spaghetti Bolognaise which she knows is my favourite). I saw that as acceptance.
  • I help with Kurt and his antics, to give you both a break now and then – I know that’s one of the reasons you adopted me in the first place. And I don’t think I’ve let you down in my duties there, have I? Do you have any idea how loud and annoying that boy can be? I mean, he wears me out! Like, he never stops talking. EVER! And he can’t even throw a ball straight – I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to climb through muddy, tick-infested undergrowth to retrieve it. Those bushes in the courtyard can be a deathtrap and my coat often gets filthy, but do you ever hear me moan about it?  And by the way, when you’re out, he never remembers to let me out to wee… (actually, you might want to check the spare room carpet).
  • I let Dad speak on my behalf in what he thinks is a ‘dog’ voice (loser!). It would be hard not to notice that you guys obviously have a bit of a communication problem these days, now that you’ve been married like, FOREVER, and I don’t mind being the go-between if it helps your relationship. I mean, I don’t want you getting divorced or anything (or I might end up with Kurt!) But it can be awkward, just saying, and for what it’s worth, I don’t have a lisp. Anyway, why can’t he speak to you in his voice?
  • I don’t even demand walks like other Spoodles. (Well, what would be the point?) I might do a bit of eye-balling, follow you about a bit, but I don’t scratch the doors or carpets or any of that manic shit that other lesser breeds do. I know about the rental bond – Dad goes on about it enough. Oh and by the way, that brown mark in Kurt’s room was NOT me – I think Kurt was trying to smoke chocolate or something.

Look, I really appreciate what you’ve done for me, guys, but if you want to treat me like a dog and put me in kennels, (call it a Pet Resort if you like, but we all know), while you go off and have a great time, I will have no alternative but to resort to the behaviors of a dog –  behaviors I have managed to control in the four years we have lived together.

This is neglect.

I might….

  • Not be able to hold on as long as I can now – I might even need to go out in the middle of the night….and for more than just a wee.
  • Bark at anything and everything just to piss off your neighbors – just because I can.
  • I might give Kurt some of his own medicine – lets see how he likes being manhandled on a full stomach or being dressed in a tutu.
  • Start licking Mum again even though I’ve managed to stop such primitive, needy behavior because I know it really grosses her out.
  • NOT eat up my own vomit to prevent Mum freaking out about the carpet.
  • Demand two walks a day and start springing around uncontrollably like those ADHD Jack Russells.
  • Tell everyone how dysfunctional you all really are and report you to the RSPCA.

I’ve actually heard that Thredbo is quite nice at this time of year…..

The Spoodle Princess x

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Parenting Tips: Dogs versus Teenagers

 

If you had your choice again, what would you have?
If you had your choice again, what would you have?

The only ally I seem to have in the house these days is the dog.

I don’t want to sound like some pathetic male looking for an excuse, but she is the only one that understands me; or shows an ounce of appreciation for what I do for her.

There is a bit of tension in our house at the moment. There have been heated discussions about the long-term effects of the ADHDer’s teenage angst on the family.

Nerd Child wants to have him put down, the old man has reinstated his invisibility cloak and only the dog remains by my side, my best friend and loyal ally.

Fundamentally, because I keep her alive.

If I do leave this house, (as I’ve threatened the ADHDer on several recent occasions just in case he has some ridiculous notion about pipping me to the post), the dog will sadly die from starvation or neglect.

If the ADHDer were a dog, I’d have been able to return him to the dog home by now.  There should be a special home for delinquent teenagers who have been excessively annoying to their parents.

If only he were a dog, then I could condition him to do what I wanted and he would show gratitude for even the tiniest morsels of love and lick me lovingly, (instead of sneering at me with those eyes of pure hatred).

When I am reincarnated into that young rich bitch with inherited wealth and living in my waterfront mansion at Potts Point, I will choose to have a houseful of Spoodles to share my home, and there will be a sign on the door saying ‘No Kids’.

Here are a few reasons why dogs make better offspring than teenagers:

  • A dog’s love is unconditional. The relationship I have with our dog is uncomplicated (unless she poos when I walk her) unlike the one I have with my teenagers – there are no lies, hidden meanings or mood swings to worry about. I am the mistress and she is the dog, and she respects me for it.
  • My teenagers’ love, on the other hand, is dependent upon conditions: how much money I give them; how much I ask them to help out in the house; how strict I am about curfews; how much music practice I force them to do; whether I remember to buy Coco Pops.
  • The dog is always in my vicinity but never in my face. The teenagers are always in my vicinity and usually trashing it. They are always in my face when they want something and stay there until they get it.
  • The dog eats everything I put in front of her without complaint.  The dog doesn’t pretend to wretch when I cook something new or refuse to eat the meal because it wasn’t what they expected.
  • The dog sleeps when I sleep, plus an additional ten hours so I only have at least six hours of the day with her. The teenagers sleep when they want to, usually at odd times of the day and night and without consideration for anyone else’s sleep patterns.
  • The dog buries her poo, the teenagers leave it in the toilet for me to flush.
  • The dog stops barking when I ask her to. The teenagers do not respond to simple requests to turn down their noise (usually because they can’t hear me) making it therefore necessary to shout or nag.
  • The dog does not have selective hearing. She comes when I call her.
  • The dog does not drink my wine, nor does she get loud or silly.
  • The dog does not demand clean clothes with a few minutes notice and then tut at me for not mind-reading her plans.
  • If the dog pukes from over-indulgence, she cleans her own mess up.
  • The dog always looks at me with love. The teenagers haven’t looked at me with love since I bought each of them their first mobiles.
  • When I leave the dog in the house while I am out, she does not leave every cupboard door or drawer open or eat all of my special Muesli. She has a self-drying coat so I don’t have to worry about picking up her discarded towels.
  • When the dog goes out, she does not bring home three or four friends to stay the night without informing me.
  • I can prevent the dog from getting pregnant.
  • The dog’s grunts are a more intelligent form of communication than those of the teenagers.
  • The dog doesn’t borrow my clothes without asking and then lend them to her friends.
  • The dog doesn’t make me feel like a raided cash machine. She gives back.

In essence, I can control the dog and the dog respects those boundaries. The ADHDer thinks that those boundaries suck and retaliates against them daily, grinding us all into the ground.

I have offered Pet Rescue a vast sum of money to take the ADHDer and am patiently awaiting their response.

Midlife Mayhem – Who Knew The Dog Was Multi-Lingual

At some point in our ‘playful’ abuse of the dog this week – I think we were once again testing her intelligence by throwing a blanket over her head and seeing how quickly she could shake it off – we realized that she is multi-lingual.

It was while attempting to converse in Franglais with my daughter, in preparation for her HSC trial, that we inadvertently discovered the linguistic genius of our third (did I mention ‘favourite’?) child, and promptly sent off her application to Mensa.

It all happened so quickly. One minute I was attempting to conjugate a verb-less question in appalling year 5 French, and the next minute, my daughter, who was appalled by my linguistic ineptitude (and to prove the point that the dog is more intelligent), began conversing with the dog.

Being a ‘hoodle’ (half human, half Spoodle), we’ve always known that it was only a matter of time before our little ‘prodigy’ communicated to us the true extent of her intelligence. Obviously, she has played it down to protect the self-worth of her older siblings until now, throwing us off the scent by chasing invisible balls (another favourite game of ours) and head on collisions with glass doors, but with her German ‘pudelhund’ (poodle) roots and the breed’s historic favour in the court of Louis XVI, her true European pedigree was never seriously in question.

Designer dog! Phhh! We’ve already arranged the fittings for her fiberglass space suit and as long as they can provide freeze-dried Scooby snacks, her first mission will be ‘one small step‘ for Spoodles. I can envisage the headline already: ‘Spoodle Still Searching Ball On Moon’.

So far we have discovered that she is fluent in French and proficient in German. She sits when we say ‘etre-assise’ and comes to us when we say ‘kommen hier’. Unfortunately, as with her mother tongue, she has yet to understand ‘stop farting’ in either language.

Just imagine how effective she could be as a spy, if she were ever dropped into France in the event of another World War.

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