DIY Failure

Everyone who does DIY has had a failure at some time and I am no exception. I like to think that I learnt from it and improved, but I had better start at the beginning and explain how it came about. When I was teething I liked to chew all the time. My bipeds provided me with a variety of chewy things which I enjoyed, but I liked to check out other things as well. My scope was limited, as they never left any shoes or slippers, or anything else interesting for that matter, where I could get at them.

There was a pine bench in the kitchen and I had already improved it by rounding off the corners, but I had more ideas left to try. Every time one of the bipeds saw me working on it they handed me one of my chews and told me to chew that instead of the bench. It was getting quite frustrating – I just knew they’d like the improvements, if only I could complete them. Then my chance came – I was at home with the female biped and she told me to be good while she went shopping. I knew I had at least an hour – and that is a very long time for a puppy.

I got straight to work. There was a bar that ran underneath the part they sat on and joined the two big legs, but on the outside of the legs there was an odd wedge-shaped piece of wood at each end. I thought it would look much better without these wedges, so I set to work nibbling at one. It was quite difficult to get my teeth into it, but I persisted. Gradually it began to move and I managed to remove it. The end of the bench definitely looked better without it. I dropped what remained of it under the bench and I set to work on the other end. I removed this one far more quickly because I’d already had some practice. I was surprised at just how quickly I had become a DIY expert.

old woodworking tools

My teeth were as good as any woodworking tools!
Attribution: By Takkk (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

I’d only just finished removing the second wedge when I heard the car. I put the second wedge under the bench and moved away and laid down with a chew, as I wanted the bench to be a nice surprise. The biped came in with the shopping, she stroked me and said, “What a good girl you are!”

She was pleased with me already and she hadn’t seen the surprise yet! She put the shopping away, talking to me while she did so. Then she went towards the bench and called me over for a fuss. I went over to her and she bent over to stroke me and sat down on the bench. Something really strange happened then, the bench swayed to one side and started to sink. She stood up quickly and looked puzzled. Then she saw the bits of chewed wood underneath the bench and sighed. She looked at the ends of the bench and said, “You have been busy!”

She picked up the pieces of the wedges and turned the bench over. She fiddled about at the ends for a while and gave up – what remained of the wedges was falling apart. When the male biped came home and he inspected the bench, he said, “Oh great! Has Clowie been doing some DIY again? I’ll see what I can do with it in the morning.”

The next morning he took the bench out to the shed and I could hear strange noises. A little while later he came back in with the bench and put it down. He said, “That’s the best I can do for now – it isn’t very pretty, but at least we can sit on it again.”

I had a look to see what he’d done. There were new wedges at the ends – they were even uglier than the ones I’d removed! It seems that the wedges were indeed a necessary part of the bench. Whoever could have guessed that?

Another strange thing happened a few months later – they threw the table and benches away and we had new ones. I’d finished teething and I hadn’t chewed anything I shouldn’t since the bench collapsed. They trusted me with new furniture!

I’ll have a tale for you next Wednesday, but I have some exciting news to tell you before then. I’ll tell you all about it as soon as I can – I have some things I need to do first! Don’t I sound mysterious?

Biped Training

It was a Sunday and our visitors arrived in the morning. I was eight months old and I was very proud that my bipeds now trusted me to behave nicely when they answered the door and the visitors came in. I greeted them nicely, by politely sitting and waiting for them to make a fuss of me. My bipeds gave me beaming smiles, and a treat or two, because I was being so good.

We all went into the lounge and the adults sat down while my bipeds were bringing in cups of tea and coffee and snacks. One of the visitors was a teenage girl, who didn’t sit down. She was standing, talking quite loudly and waving her arms about a lot. She seemed to be in the way. I moved closer to see what she was doing. Her father said, “Sit down” and I sat very quickly, which made him chuckle and say, “You see, Clowie knows what to do, she’s better behaved than you are.” His daughter laughed and remained standing exactly where she was.

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The Bionic Quadruped

I mentioned last week that my male biped had a bad ankle. When he went into hospital to get it fixed, he came out after a couple of days with a blue solid lump (they called it a cast) on his leg and metal extensions for his arms (apparently they’re called crutches). He looked like he’d been assimilated by the Borg from Star Trek. They’d tried to turn him into a bionic quadruped, but it didn’t seem to me as though they’d done a very good job of fixing him at all. He was really quite clumsy and couldn’t stand on the bad leg at all – at least he could limp on it before he went into hospital! The arm extensions didn’t have big enough feet on them to be stable, he would have been better off bending over and using his hands on the ground, but isn’t that true of bipeds in general?

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Never Say No

I attended lots of training classes in lots of different places. I had heard my bipeds say that there are good, bad and indifferent dog trainers, as in any walk of life. My bipeds thought it very important to socialise me as much as possible, as I was going to be such a big dog and because Pyrenean Mountain Dogs are a naturally protective breed.

We were at the class that took place in a very small village hall near our home. I was the youngest one there, most of the other dogs were adults. Everyone was sitting in a circle and the trainer had been talking for what seemed like ages to me. Some of the other dogs had gone to sleep and it looked as though a few of the bipeds were struggling not to do the same. I had been untying my male biped’s shoelaces. He had kept moving me away from them, but it was fun teasing him. I pulled his socks down next and he moved his legs out of reach again.

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My First Rucksack

I was proudly wearing my rucksack on a long walk recently, when one of my bipeds told me how clever I was and I remembered the day my first rucksack arrived. I always keep an eye on what arrives in the post. There isn’t often anything of interest, but you never know your luck – occasionally there’s something nice.

It didn’t smell like a particularly interesting parcel when the female biped started unwrapping it, but she was pleased about it. She pulled it out of its packing and I still didn’t have any idea what it was. She undid some straps on it and opened some zips to look inside. She then went to the cupboard where the treats are kept – now she had my full attention! She put a selection of treats inside one of the pockets on the rucksack. She let me sniff the rucksack and gave me a treat. I was right, she was quite excited about this thing. She put it down on a chair and left it, which was a little puzzling.

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