One of the great things about living where I do, is local Waiatarua off-leash dog park that surrounds a recovered wetland area. I enjoy it because of the natural beauty, wildlife, peacefulness and clean air.
This is also Jasper’s favourite walkie – lots of other dogs to meet & greet, or growl. Lots of smells and sounds. It takes about an hour to do the complete circuit from our house (allowing for Jasper’s many diversions and obsessive sniffing of anything decomposing or related to other dogs’ excretory functions.)
So anyway yesterday afternoon, we entered the park, I let Jaz off leash. Shortly after that, Molly - a Labradoodle 1-year old, appeared with her owner. Molly took a shine to Jaz, did the sniff and greet and then raced of to a muddy drain alongside the path – alternately madly running into the water and up the bank and back to Jasper as if to say – ‘Hey this is cool! Lookit – a stinky old muddy drain! Come on in, old fellah, the water’s disgusting, darling!’
So Jasper unable to resist the perfect smile of a bedraggled curly black female mud puppy, plunged in – gerplosh! Problem was, the sides of the drain were too steep for is old back legs to gain any traction. He made a few half-hearted ‘leap-and-slide-backwards’ attempts, and then looked at me with a slightly embarrassed ‘Ahem. Would you be so kind as to assist me?’ expression. I managed to pull him up by his collar.
We continued the walkie. Molly, happy that she had successfully got Jaz literally in the crap, happily raced off to further adventures.
When we got home, I knew that Jasper needed a bath. Now I knew, from previous experience that Jasper hates baths. Any attempt to wash him in the past has resulted in whining, trembling, running away, hiding, or a combination thereof. But I know that Jasper is so food obsessed that he’d betray state secrets and sell me into white slavery for a square of chocolate. So the process is: I get a large bucket of warm water with dog shampoo in it. I get a frozen dog bone from the fridge and place it on a ledge so he can smell it, but just out of reach. He stands, transfixed for the whole time it takes to wash and rinse, staring at the bone. I could probably perform major surgery and he wouldn’t notice a jot.
Final rinse. Good boy. Sit. Jasper grabs the bone and flies away where he does that mad rolling on the ground thing to dry off on some old towels, then settles down to demolish the bone. All sorted. Apart from the kilo or two of winter coat he will shed over the next day.
Phil runs the goddam best Auckland Wine Tours and Food Tours known to mankind. And to a few other sentient mammals.