Daily Humiliations: Add the Dog

So, here is Magic, about a year on:


Relatively handsome, leonine-like, a noble beast, a bit foxy. He and I walk up to school twice a day, past the same kids and families and commuters. And he does annoying things like eat rubbish and pull me to the wall so he can sniff wee which yanks my shoulder and sometimes threatens to trip me up and my hands get little rope burns.

But the thing that kills me is that a large percentage of said kids and families are really scared of him, and do these daily dramatic and sometimes hysterical freak outs when they see us, sometimes with screams, often involuntary jumps, and almost always a massive sideways manoeuvre where, in the vain hope of not having to go near us AT ALL they throw themselves hard up against the curb of the oncoming traffic and they stiffen and lean back and stare at the Terrifying Dog Of Fluffiness. And he is always on a very short leash, attached to me, who is in turn attached to a sweet baby in a sling, with a bunch of small kids tagging along, all patting him and talking to him (when not kicking each other or scaling subway walls). And I wonder to myself


And I feel embarrassed, and I apologise, and I sigh and wonder why everything feels so hard.

And on Saturday, I took him into Hyde Park and he ran over to a team of small boys playing organised football and he ate their post-match brownies. And on Sunday, I took him for a walk in the rain and he found a big muddy puddle and he started this embarrassing game he plays where he splashes and then he barks hysterically at the splash then he splashes some more and barks at his splash and it goes on and on and on. And there was quite the crowd of amused onlookers while he played his game, and then I tried to get him out but he was waaay too into his game and then a man walked by and tried to coax him out with treats and Magic The Greedy ignored him and I was getting very wet and bored and embarrassed as my calls of increasingly insistent Magic! Come! were utterly ignored then finally, after the splash game had gone on for about 20 minutes, a lady in Wellington boots rescued him and me from the shame of the splash game. He looked like this:


That face is what you call “Unrepentant” and “Not Bothered”.

So all of this embarrassment and bother has given me new forehead lines. LOOK!


They are new, and they are MEAN. They are there even when my forehead is resting. If I could be arsed, I would Botox them away in a thrice. See how my eyes are blazing with the injustice of Anglo-Saxon ageing? Even my nose seems to have taken on an outraged incandescent glow. Pah.

In other news, Barnaby is about to turn nine. Here is his birthday wish-list:


Longer than the Bible. You’ve got to admire his optimism, though, right?

We all got onesies in the sale. Mark has a skeleton, I have a monkey suit. They feel completely lovely and yet so revolting, kind of like when you are recovering from a vomiting bug and you wrap yourself up in an old duvet and it smells a bit like sweat and sick but you are too weak to do anything about it…that is what it feels like to wear a onesie when you are 36. Here we have a very tightly fitted Gorilla and a Wolf, dancing just like Richard Simmons would do, were he dressed similarly in a polyester animal suit:


CRIPES! It’s school run time – or, as we like to put it, The Dog Walk Of Shame. Here’s one last photo of the delicious Otis, who can now roll over, suck his toes, giggle and generally get me up twice a night. My Gina Ford Baby-Wrangling-Powers have thus far failed to work. But HOW CUTE IS HE?!?


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19 Responses to Daily Humiliations: Add the Dog

  1. Amy says:

    …and you’re completely sure these people are afraid of the dog and not the children 😉

  2. Fedora Four says:

    I like the “Cowboy or cowgirl childrens fancy dress costume”. Willing to make a compromise there.

    • theharridan says:

      Oh man, he would DIE if he realised he asked for that. His furious copying out from Amazon turned out to be a little fraught with accidental cross dressing facilitation. Poor boy

  3. jacksta_b says:

    love it! as always a brilliant read.

  4. Cath says:

    I see the list writing is sparked by internet searches. Ours are the same these days. So much easier for them to want more stuff. Lovely post. Don’t know how you do it with a DOG as well. That would be the very end of me.

    C xx

    • theharridan says:

      It turns out that letting him choose what he wants via the medium of Evil Giant Amazon is not a good idea. A proper crossbow arrived today! The kind that you could murder someone by. It has since disappeared into a locked safe. Lesson learnt.

  5. He is INSANELY cute. (Th dog’s pretty cute too. I watched in amusement today as an enormous ball of fluff played “tag” with a screaming-hysterically 12-yr-old girl. He was SO CLEARLY smiling and laughing, yet she was hollering like she was being chased by a rabid lion. As I was watching my pram – laiden with almost all my belongings – rolled into the pool. Karma, no doubt.)

  6. Gem says:

    I loved this post. laugh so much, seriously!!!!
    am five weeks in with dream baby and getting broody again….oh dear? I can’t keep having fables! we have to stop sometime, right?
    x x x

    • theharridan says:

      Have another one! I reckon I am. Aren’t new babies just divine? I am so pleased you are loving your new girl. (A GIRL! So jealous!)

  7. Gem says:

    FABLES????? I meant babies…….how utterly random x

  8. Patience says:

    Dogs…I saw the muddle puddle playing on instagram, and I sighed for you. Our first dog (now, sadly, departed) used to enjoy escaping our yard and jumping on little old ladies who were waiting for the bus. So embarrassing.

    • theharridan says:

      Wasn’t that video just excruciating? He did it again this morning, and again he had to be rescued by a stranger. I am trying to concentrate on his good parts. Failing

  9. Alison Cross says:

    Dogs are great. Our new retired racer is terrified of everything – balloons, boys on bikes, cars with their engines running, cars with doors open….jack russells. He even jumped over a garden wall when my welly slipped on an icy puddle.

    Sonshine also has a onesie. It’s a monkey and it’s too tight. When he stands upright suddenly, he practically gives himself a onesie enema. It spends a lot of time in the washing basket *shudders*

    Your wee family looks marvellous – dog, onesies and baby

    AND forehead ‘laughter lines’ rule. My forehead looks like a Michelin tyre. 😀

  10. Sarah says:

    So hear you on this one! A few weeks ago our dog did a wee on a sandcastle while the KID WAS STILL BUILDING IT!!! She is small and cute, but lots of kids are scared of her too, sometimes I have to shut her up when they come to play which seems so mean. Having a dog is like having another child. Ours is just as needy and demanding at times, but very cute at others. (NOT when she has rolled in a decomposing fish on the beach and jumps on the couch, usually at the same point that both children are crying…. She is VERY useful at cleaning the floor under the highchair…I can’t believe the amount of food debris that gets left on the floor in dog free homes.

  11. Sarah says:

    PS- forehead lines do rule. I am the same age as you and have the same lines. I was watching a NZ made TV series last night and every single actress had frozen botox faces, and it was just weird.

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