Dad’s acting even stranger than usual, if that’s possible. He’s sitting in his chair staring off into space one minute, the next he’s pacing around. He goes out into the garden and stands with his hands on his hips looking up at the sky then down at me before stomping off into the kitchen. He opens the fridge then closes it again. He returns to his chair, his brow knitted and the industrial sounds of his teeth grinding together the only thing breaking the silence, apart from the ticking clock he keeps glancing at, and the occasional grunt he makes after viewing the time.
I know what’s bothering him, what’s making him tense, because I feel it too. The butterflies are as present in my stomach as they are in his. I share his tension, his fears, his pure emotion. We wait…dad and Bones, as the world turns and the clock ticks, ever onward, counting down to kick off.
Yes my friends, that’s right! Today is the start of the Premier League season here in England’s green and pleasant land. Forget the Olympics, forget the European Championships – mere distractions – this is it, time to get down to the important business.
Mine and dad’s team have had a couple of dreadful seasons but with a new manager coming in there is a whole new feelgood factor, me and dad are clinging desperately to the hope of qualifying for European football next season.
There is nothing like footy to run you through the whole range of emotions – the greatest highs and the deepest lows. Screaming red-faced at the television, cheering and yelling in triumph or sitting head in paws mourning defeat.
Dad used to treasure having a season ticket but he can’t go anymore and that sometimes makes him a bit sad. We’ll be watching a game and he’ll say to me: “Look Bones, that’s where me and my mates used to sit, just behind the dugout.” Or, “That’s where I used to stand with the lads when they still had terraces.”
The game won’t be on television, dad will go to the pub and watch the results coming in, sometimes we listen to the live commentary on the radio. We’ll watch Match of the Day tonight and extended highlights on Football First; tomorrow we’ll watch other teams play live on tv.
Me and my dad love football, it’s just absolute torture waiting for 3 o’clock.
Dad told me it was a big day for me, a special day. He was treating me, yeah some treat.
He put me in the car and off we went. 10 minutes later we pull up at this place I’d never been to before. It had Dogsbodies written on the window, I thought my number was up! This is where they shoot dogs and pile up their bodies?
Dad took me inside, I was a bit wary but I doubted dad would let me down. A skin inside greeted us and dad introduced me, “This is Bones,” he said. I puffed my chest out and looked up at him – yeah that’s right, you heard him, I’m Bones. dad handed over the lead and said goodbye before leaving back out the way we had come in. I tried to follow but the skin held me back. Dad turned and told me to behave myself; that would be a first, I thought to myself.
With that the door closed and he was gone. I was alone with a stranger in a strange place. This was not good. He led me through another door and all of a sudden I was confronted by other skins with dogs I didn’t know on tables, the skins were scrubbing and brushing and cutting off their fur. A torture chamber!
I growled and took a step back, warning them not to come near me but a springer spaniel told me it was ok and nobody was trying to hurt me. I told him “Bones hands out the hurt,” but I admit to being a little scared. I decided the best thing to do was make this place my own and started widdling up every available space. From then on everyone knew that this was now Bones’ turf – don’t mess!!!!
The skin lifted me onto one of the tables. Friends it was horrible! I was scrubbed and made to smell like a tart’s handbag, my ears were cleaned, my claws were clipped and my fur was torn from my body. Two and a half hours this lasted, two and a half hours of hell.
When they had finished they phoned my dad. He pulled up outside and came in. When he saw me he started laughing, “They’ve taken years off you Bones, you look like a pup again.” I can’t afford to lose years, I’m only 18 months old. He paid the skin for humiliating me and put me in the car. “I can’t believe how cute you look,” said dad. Get stuffed dad,” I replied.
We got home, the stinking collies had been worried about me when dad had come home previously minus your pal Bones. Now they didn’t recognise me when I walked in and rushed over to sniff me and push me with their noses. When they realised it was actually me they started laughing too, “who’s a pretty boy then?” Said Alf, I’m not a parrot for crying out loud! I growled at them and walked away. I looked back just as dad was taking the above picture, thanks a bunch dad, thanks a bloody bunch!
Just found this brilliant picture of Andy Murray’s border terriers wearing his medals. Well deserved my friends -you know what they say: “Behind every good skin is an even better dog!” Hmm, or did I just imagine someone said that?
Anyway check out the story: http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/londonspy/murray-dogs-wear-olympic-medals-040059424.html
I’m worried about my dad. We’ve been watching the Olympics in our house since it started – not the ones in ancient Greece, I’m just on about these particular games in London – and I think dad is getting a little too excited. On top of that his language, already coarse, is getting worse.
He sits there staring wild eyed at the tv, yelling at the atheletes. He calls it encouragement, I call it abuse. I think that they could probably hear him in the stadium when he’s shouting. Come on you !”£$%^* lazy +_)(*&^ move your %&^$, he yells.
During the boxing tournament he’s punching the air, dodging and weaving; during the cycling his legs are pumping and he moves side-to-side and during the rowing he rocks back and forth as if he’s in the boat and pulling an oar with the rest of them. If anyone was to look through the window they’d think he was insane!
The worst moment was in the final event of the heptathalon – the 800 metres. Jessica Ennis was running for Britain and dad was with her every step of the way. As she broke clear at the front, dad was going crazy “Go on Jess, go on!” he cheered. My big sister Jess was sleeping on the floor at this point and jumped up to see what dad was yelling her name out for. The poor old girl didn’t know what he wanted her to do so she started going back and forth to the door and to him. “What dad?” she asked in confusion, having just woken up, “where do you want me to go?” Me and my brother Alf were in absolute hysterics watching her. I laughed that hard I thought my belly would burst. Jess didn’t speak to either of us for the rest of the day. hehehehe