If I were to tell you that I have spent the last two weeks being bitten all over my body, from my neck down to my toes, you might be forgiven for wondering whether you were accidentally reading a sex blog. Don’t worry (or commiserations, if that’s your kind of thing), I have not decided to start writing sleaze; the owner of the bite is a teething puppy who, as of two weeks ago, belongs to Boyfriend and his family.
He’s a fourteen week old chocolate Australian labradoodle with wavy hair, over-sized paws, floppy ears, a slightly kinked tail, a button nose, bright eyes, the most incredibly long eyelashes, an extremely affectionate nature, a bundle of energy, and a whole load of needle-sharp puppy teeth. I’m not sure that all the adjectives in the world could do him justice, so to thoroughly prove that the adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is an adage for a reason: here’s Teddy.
I could go on and on about how cute he is – the little guinea-pig squeaks and baby growls he makes when he’s dreaming; how he plays with a flower pot stuck on his nose; the way he likes to be cuddled in your arms like a baby – but you’d only end up sick with jealousy, and sick people scare my terrible immune system. I’ll have to focus on the negatives.
The biting, for instance. Nothing is safe. Clothes, newspapers, furniture, hands: he chews without discrimination. On several occasions he’s attempted to eat my shoes – while I’m still wearing them. “No!”, “Naughty!” and “Leave!” are becoming the most frequently used words in Boyfriend’s house, which is starting to make me decidedly nervous about touching anything, let alone sneaking spoonfuls of Boyfriend’s dinner. At some point in the near future I’ll be called naughty and told to leave. (Not in the Belle de Jour kind of way either.) Anyway, to train him out of biting inanimate objects a stern voice and removal of puppy from said inanimate object is required. To train him out of biting you, however, you’re simply supposed to stand up and walk away from him. The problem is that this leaves quite a vulnerable area exposed. The ensuing yelp of pain is hilariously distinctive: it is a noise which is reserved purely for occasions where someone causes you to leap in the air by biting you hard and unexpectedly on the behind. Don’t believe me? Try it. (Hmm, maybe I’ll be a sex blogger after all.)
As for toilet training, it’s exactly as fun as it sounds: the finding of puddles in strange places is bad enough, but standing outside once an hour, waving a piece of cheese and saying ‘wee-wee’ over and over is infuriating, as nine times out of ten Teddy looks up at you as though you’re completely insane and you are eventually forced to give up, due partly to his total indifference but mainly because of your own sudden and desperate need to urinate. Again, don’t believe me? Try it. (Biting and wee, I’m practically Belle already. Thank god I’m not charging Teddy for either.) In the last few days he seems to have turned a corner with toilet training, so hopefully my bladder can relax – metaphorically that is.
Being a firm believer in the writing trick of ‘rule of three’, I’m almost disappointed that I can’t think of a third negative. I’d make one up if I were less dedicated to truthful blogging as well as to Teddy.
To summarise, if you can afford it and have enough space, time and love to give, get yourself on a waiting list for a labradoodle puppy from Doodles UK. I have known four of their dogs and they have all had the most loving, playful, perfect personalities. I cannot recommend them highly enough.