In an unexpected and unappealing twist to dog ownership I found myself last summer chasing my dog around a park trying to extract a bloodied sanitary towel from within her jaws.
They say that you cannot know abject, white-hot, week-later-wince-inducing humiliation, until you have tried and failed, while wearing Birkenstocks, in a very public arena, partly made-up of stoned teenagers, to repeatedly throw yourself upon a small white fluffy dog gripping a menstruation device. And I think that they might be right, about the humiliation bit.
Good King Karma stitched me up like a kipper.
It was one of those balmy summer days in the city and my children were behaving within the parameters of irritating but not loathsome, so I decided to get a bit ‘Swallows and Amazons”, pack a picnic, don some gingham and head for the park.
The little blighters were looking sun-kissed and beautiful, the smell of early barbeques wafted us along our walk and our new hound Moxie was looking resplendent in her neon pink collar and lead.
Little people chased ahead looking for daisies in the grass, while I brought up the helm, stylish wicker-clad picnic bag slung over my shoulder, thinking – Hot damn I have this mother thing down.
(Little old me, looking so cute, smelling like roses, I’d never do anything really nasty)
As my fluffy white hound gazed up at me adoringly, I draped my pink lead around me like a colour pop necklace. It seemed we were also managing to embody the modern manifestation of the special prehistoric bond between dog and humankind. The complete family unit, at one with nature and our environment.
That was until our dog disappeared into the public convenience. And my pastoral bubble of midsummer bliss burst.
She shot out of the latrines like a rocket with what was immediately, and unavoidably, identifiable as a well-used sanitary towel clamped about her chops.
My children, keen to ensure that no one in the park missed out on spectating this exciting situation, were loudly screaming, shouting, gesticulating and debating ‘what is that thing.’
Fleetingly I considered walking out of the park and establishing a new identity abroad. But then I did what any mother would do and told my children to run after the dog and get that thing out of its mouth.
Despite some new and truly imaginative threats and bribes the blighters would not be bought. And so the chase began. After twenty minutes of my life that I both wish to forget and will never get back, I positioned myself within metres of the fluffy beast.
Utilising ninja distraction and misdirection I pounced in a dramatic, and completely unsuccessful, double tumble manoeuvre. As I gazed at the sky above I could hear the sniggers of the chicken-chowing stoned teenagers watching me from a bench nearby
Irritated I decided to take their obvious preconceptions about me, mad dog woman and bad parent, and raise them several notches of weirdo.
And so it was to my surprise, and that of my children, that I paused in my pursuit of the dog to declare in a fake Scouse accent: “It’s the ultimate test of dog ownership boys. Pursuing a dog with a USED sanitary towel in its mouth. No gimmicks, no special effects. It’s just you, the dog and the pad.”
I could tell that they were impressed. By happy chance it was at this point one of yoof’s own friends turned up with a dog on a rope. Gnawing through its leash in a nanosecond said hound lunged at Moxie prompting her to immediately release the pad. I then had the pleasure of watching a bunch of stoned teenagers playing chase the bloodied ST. Definitely better as a spectator sport.
Next week: The red hot race for a fully-loaded nappy