Friday, 3 March 2017

Luci's diary, on the Toffee affliction

I’m not sure I get that little dog Toffee. She’s fun to play with and all that, but hey, she’s weird. She has all these strange habits I just can’t get my head around.

Like she never stops eating. And she’ll eat anything. I mean, even bits of wood and coat toggles. Well even if she doesn’t eat them, she gives them a thorough chewing.

But then really good things she just doesn’t like. Popcorn, say. 

Human number 2 has this thing about being fair. So he always gives a bit to me, a bit to her. She jumps up and down to make sure she gets her bit. Terribly enthusiastic. “Gimme, gimme, gimme,” she seems to be saying. But then she just sort of rolls her piece around her mouth and quietly drops it out on the ground. .

Human number 2’s just as keen on “waste not, want not” as he is on fairness, so he always picks up the bits she drops. And gives them to me. They’re still perfectly good popcorn bits, after all, so why would I be worried? And it means I get twice as much as I was going to.

It was the same with the best thing to eat of all. Banana. It’s just so awesome. I can be upstairs in the bedroom but if one of the humans peels a banana downstairs, I’m down like a shot. I reckon I can hear a banana being peeled anywhere in the house, or even at the end of the garden.

But Toffee does the same trick as with the popcorn. Wants her share and then spits it out. So I get a double share.

Or, rather, scratch that, that’s how it used to be. Until just today, just now. She’s just been gobbling all the banana human number 1 has been giving her. And not spitting any of it now. I know it means I’m still getting my share, but since I thought I’d get hers too, it feels like I’m getting only half a share.

Why does she do that? Change her mind like that, I mean. I liked the way she felt about banana before, for kibble’s sake.

She changes her mind quite a lot, actually. Take being gutsy, for instance. She used to be scared of nothing. She’d go up to strange humans and say hello to them. To strange dogs too. Hey, big dogs even. It used to terrify me, though it made me feel a bit guilty. It made me feel I had to go up to a few humans myself, even if I only knew them a bit. Ones I didn’t know at all? Oh, no. Wouldn’t catch me going up to them. And big dogs? You’ve got to be joking. Won’t catch me going anywhere closer to them than gives me a damn good start if I had to make a dash for it. 

Toffee didn’t care though. She’d try to make friends with anybody.

Then suddenly, just a couple of weeks ago, she went right over to the other extreme. Got completely terrified. Well, I understood it a bit. She got playing with a couple of big dogs and they ran her down. Of course. That’s what big dogs do. Big, clumsy oafs. She got trampled.

Served her right, really. Taught her a lesson, I reckoned. But it did more than that. She got nervous about everything. A dog barks anywhere near the park (not even in the park) and she high-tails it for home. She terrified human number 1 once: Toffee went running up the road towards home and nearly got squished by a car.

But anything sets her off. A noisy car. A man dropping a plank. A flock of birds taking off (well, that scares me too, but she’s much worse than me). She gets her ears back, head down, and makes a break for somewhere she thinks is safer.

So the humans have gone back to keeping her on a lead when they walk us. Which is quite funny. Because she hasn’t worked out that, if you’re on a lead, you’ve got to walk the same side of a lamp post as the human. It’s so hilarious when they end up on opposite sides.

What? What? What’s wrong with this side of the lamp post?
One time it happened with human number two and a big tree. He went round one side, Toffee went the other. The human started chasing after her, following the lead, and calling her. So of course she went chasing him, the other way. Both of them running round the tree, always on the opposite side of each other, with the lead between them.

“Stay, Toffee, stay,” he kept calling.

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” Toffee yipped back.

I just sat and watched. It was “enthralling”, as Misty would say. But I kept quiet and didn’t laugh, because “you mustn’t mock the afflicted”, like he also says, though he’s always mocking everyone. 

In any case, who are these afflicted he’s talking about?

Perhaps it’s human number 2. He does seem to be afflicted by Toffee.

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