Well - the inevitable happened. I mean, it was only a matter of time - trouble had been gently bubbling away under the surface for some time. I shall refrain from mentioning outright the name of the inadvertent instigator of this insanity, although he is not unconnected from my circle of friends. The first hint of actual trouble came a mere day or so ago, when I happened upon my friend and neighbour Edward the Rottweiler and his fellow-Rotti and long-time gentleman 'companion', Angus. They were sitting in the back of a car, which was parked outside Eddie's house, waiting to be taken out for their exercise (their female human partners - good friends, Eddie lives near me with his partner and her boyfriend; I don't know where Angus lives, but he has been "with" Eddie for many years now - could be heard chatting in their garden). The sight of the two mighty, always impeccably-groomed, Rottweilers was not as fine as it is in general. Edward had a red, livid, wheal on his upper-lip and a nasty, oddly-shaped, bite on the tip of his left ear, whilst Angus sported a bruised and puffy eye. Even from just glancing into the car it was possible to sense the tense and hostile air between the two dogs. I pretended I had not seen them and scurried past their car to the safe refuge of my own house.
To discover what lay behind this unhappy scene (and my rapid flight from it) we must journey back in time to a few weeks ago.
Ambling home following a most pleasant early-evening stroll with my partner, the first sight that met my eyes on turning into my little road was the vision of Edward and Angus, side by side on Eddie's front lawn, eagerly pawing through a picture-magazine. As I trotted towards them, snatches of their animated chatter reached my ears.
"What about that little green trouser suit?" suggested Ed.
"Hmmm... Not sure... Oooh! Look at this positively divine blue bonnet!" squealed Angus, slapping his great big paw down onto a different picture.
"Oh, isn't it darling?!" gasped Eddie, admiring the image. "It's to die for!! We must have one of those - and also one in the purple and yellow, perhaps?"
Angus nodded enthusiastically and nipped a small hole in the corner of the page, to mark the place.
As I drew nearer I was intrigued to see that the two Rottweilers were looking at a brochure from a toy shop. Specifically, pages of dolls' clothing. I wondered what on Earth they could possibly be up to, as the dollies' clothing was extremely petite. So small, in fact, that they could have been designed for dolls belonging to other dolls.
"Evening, gents." I greeted them. "What are we looking at?"
"Clothing for our new son!" announced Angus, proudly.
"Yes, it's true, Jazz old boy." nodded Eddie. "Angus and I have become fathers!"
"Erm... ri-iiight..." I mumbled, unsure of how I ought to respond.
"Yes!" continued Edward. "After the little chat I had with you the other day, I realised that I could never allow myself to violate a lady for procreative purposes - but yet I was still keen to savour the blessings of fatherhood -"
"And we looked at your blog and saw this comment about adoption," put in Angus, "And so -"
"Don't confuse Jasper with too many details, dear." barked Eddie. Angus nodded and, grinning, wagged his tail as he resumed pawing at the catalogue. Eddie went on: "So we decided to share parental care of a small foundling child."
"Well, that's very creditable of you both." I remarked, wagging my tail in approval. "And so is your new adopted son also a Rottweiler?"
Angus began to giggle as he shook his mighty head.
"We mustn't laugh at Jasper, dear." chided Eddie. "No, Jazz," he continued, "It's young Pickle he - ooh, Angus, look at that adorable little sailor-suit; mark that page, we must have a couple of those." As Angus hastened to comply, and remarked:
"They do one in white with a navy trim and one in navy with a white trim. Ought we to get one of each?"
I looked from dog to dog with increasing disbelief. As soon as Eddie had decided:
"Yes, one of each, if you would, please Angus. We don't know yet how many little nappy accidents our boy might have during the day." and both dogs had chuckled to each other indulgently, I expressed my incredulity.
"Have you two gone stark, staring, mad?!?"
Both dogs looked up at me from their catalogue. "You mean you are going to use Pickle - Pickle the Salamander - as your adoptive child?!?"
"What's wrong with that?" queried Edward, as both dogs nodded their assent.
Oh, for goodness' SAKE! Wherever did I begin with this one?!
"Well, first-off," I replied, endeavouring to sound calm and polite, "Pickle is not a baby. He isn't even a child! He is a fully-mature, adult, male. I'm not sure he'd take too kindly to being forced into a nappy and various assorted infant fashions. No matter how cute they are." I added hastily at the end, as Angus opened his mouth to attempt to sway me with the picture of the little sailor outfit.
Eddie looked annoyed.
"What kind of a beast would turn down such an opportunity to send the trend in designer baby-wear?" he demanded, sounding aggrieved.
"Yes," added Angus. "These outfits aren't ch-"
"Dear!" barked Edward, a little snappily, "Edward is speaking! We mustn't interrupt, must we?!"
Angus fell mute once again, as Eddie continued. "These outfits aren't cheap, you know, Jazz! Only the finest for our little Pickle!"
"He's not your little Pickle - " I began, before swiftly realising that I was already promoting a lost cause. "Well, on your whiskers be it." I muttered, darkly. "Good luck to you both - but don't say I didn't warn you..." And I left them to their fond coo-ing over the little outfits in the toy catalogue.
This brings us right back to the present, in which it seems that Pickle has now made his feelings concerning being clothed and "adopted" abundantly clear to his would-be "fathers". And this is ALSO why I hastened my steps on seeing the somewhat-battered Rottweiler couple.
For I have absolutely no doubt as to the identity of their NEXT preferred candidate for the role of adoptive "foundling child". On occasion I may concede to dress for public appearances (times past have seen me costumed, not only for the various productions of Oliver! in which I played 'Bullseye', but also, variously, as Sherwood Forest; one of Santa's elves; some watercress; a crowned monarch; and Robin Hood). HOWEVER, my partner has tried on two occasions to induce me to wear a nappy (when I was undergoing some minor bladder-troubles, thankfully no longer an issue). All I need add is that she has not - and will not - try the same indignity a third time.
Rottweilers they may be - even Rottweiler friends of mine - but I don a nappy and baby-bonnet for no-one. I shall maintain a low profile until this particular storm has blown over.
To higher matters now. President and First-Lady Obama are visiting my country at present. And WHAT delightful people they are. I cannot overstate how much I admire President Obama. He is one of my all-time favourite World-leaders. I hope he has a successful presidency (and hopeful re-election) and that no nut-jobs pull a J.F./R.F. Kennedy or Dr. King Jnr on him. Good luck to him, I bark. And to his nice-looking family.
|UK Leader (hmm...) & US Leader (my favourite, to be honest)|
My nose is playing-up again. To bark honestly, I'm having a little trouble breathing. I am having to exhale through my mouth for some of the time, which caused me, as my partner was driving us home from work, to have an attack of the hiccups. I will admit to feeling slightly maliciously amused as I watched my partner cautiously prowling around our New Teal Megane (car) with a suspicious look on her face, trying to work out where the 'rattling' sound was coming from... it was ME all along, hehehe...!!
I am feeling better now, though my partner says that I will have to go back to consult my surgeon again tomorrow if she is still worried...