Sunday, May 30, 2010

The tricycle-broom

We have got a lot closer to achieving toilet training with Winston. It has been our main occupation at home over the last two weeks. It's pretty tiring, especially on wet and cold days when you can't have the fallback of an open door. A few times it has started getting to me and I have just given up doing anything in the evening but lying on the couch, watching the dog. My ray of sunshine came in the form of football on TV - I could sit and watch with the dog on his bed under my feet.

It's a sad fact that I just can't sustain interest in anything much on TV these days unless there is a scoreboard in the corner. And although we have digital channels now including an all-day sports channel, I find I am still just watching the football. Baseball, basketball, paintball and monster truck racing just don't cut it.

I am quite looking forward to the World Cup, although as many people have commented it is not the fascinating surprise packet it once was. All the best players in the world, whether from Chile, Chad or Czech Republic, are now playing in the Champions League for a handful of big clubs. In the old days you would discover new players, new styles, new ball tricks, watching the World Cup.

It has rained a few times in the last few days - not all that heavy, but continuous over several days. Everything is wet through now for the first time in a very long time. I had actually forgotten all about the practical aspects of a wet autumn - wiping feet, dead wet leaves stuck to everything, kids stuck inside for hours.

Shortly Winston and I are going off to puppy school for the first time, at the Hobart Obedience Club. I might even pick up a thing or two myself. I imagine the carpark there will be full of KEEP LEFT and STAFF PARKING ONLY signs, and the club hierarchy will watch us arrive from some kind of hide, marking us on our ability to follow instructions.

I think of us as a six-mammal household now. Mammal Five, also known as Hattie, has been bravely coming into the same room as Mammal Six, but keeping a very wary eye on him. She only comes upstairs to eat, as we are insisting if she wants food, this is where she needs to be. We keep a hand on Winston's collar or put him on the lead so he doesn't blow the whole gaff by lunging at her.

Our back lawn is lined on the downhill side with puffy poa grasses that Elf planted as soon as we moved in. They are there to make a visual barrier and discourage kids from climbing down the terraced garden beds. Winston is intrigued by them, and loves to snudge in amongst them. He is the right height at the moment to burst through them dramatically. But he's never sure what to do next.

We are needing to regularly scrub the deck lately, thanks to Winston taking himself outside-but-not-very-far to go to the toilet. To help us out, Michael has invented the tricycle-broom.

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