Regulars to this parish will have instantly noted the change in format, as Dudley and I are shaking things up a bit. You’ll still find crazy little insights into life on planet Labrador here, and especially on Sunday mornings, but they’ll be shorter and probably less frequent.
Instead, I’m trying desperately to find time to take the current crop of stories and, along with a half dozen or so others not posted yet, turn them into a book of sorts. In addition, I’m currently training for a marathon and have decided to hijack Mondays for Marathon blogs, most likely under the banner ‘stareofthejogger.’ I can’t promise that Dud will make an appearance in all of these, but he might pop in from time to time. For those craving their bout of Dudley mayhem, here he is:
Picture the scene if you will. Away for two nights in a beautiful spot on the Llyn Penninsular, Wales. Air BnB all the way. One wife, one Labrador, one bedroom and a strategically placed dog bed in the kitchen. Not the human bedroom. As bedtime beckons, what could possibly go wrong?
- Awoken by constant banging at 12am. Dudley of course to blame, but we do our best to ignore.He’s simply trying it on, wants to join us.
- Awoken again around 2am. I take the ‘sleep befuddled’ decision to use the bathroom, only to be greeted by the hound as I exit our room. He insists on accompanying me to the porcelain throne, from where he sits patiently staring at me in the grainy moonlight. I overcome stage fright – just – and manage to use the loo.
- I head back to bed, along the way making the ill judged decision to renege and let him sleep in our room. It’ll mean less door banging being the misguided rationale. Dud, needing no invite, bursts through the half open doorway ahead of me and casts a four footed leap onto the bed, landing somewhere between my wife’s head and the nightstand, scattering books, jewelry and water glasses in unison.
- Humans invest a stubborn five minute attempt to ignore the nocturnal imposter as he stampedes this way and that, whining, extravagantly yawning, shaking and attempting to lick our faces.
- Eventually, Dud settles in the v-shaped recess between my legs, backside nearest me. This is prime real estate in an already crowded market and it already feels cramped, but somehow sleep follows for all, if only for a short while.
- Then he wakens. Suddenly, he rises to his feet and shakes indulgently before slinking off to his own pied a terre in the kitchen. Holding back every sinew within me, I resist an urge to take command of the situation and close the bedroom door in his absence, to lock the blighter out . I also refrain from bundling him back into the bedroom and closing the door on him and my wife before settling down for a well earned snooze in his bed instead.
- Taking the slightest creak from the bed as evidence that everyone is up and raring to get on with the new day, Dud slinks back into the bedroom and tries to gnaw at the exposed areas of flesh left out of the duvet, namely an arm and a foot.
- As with earlier in the night, ignoring the brute finally ends in him falling asleep. And me for that matter.
- What seems like a short time later, I awake to hear the sound of snoring. Dog snoring. It’s close. Very close indeed. My wife also feels very hairy as I reach out to check on her whereabouts within this sordid love triangle.
- It’s not my wife. Dudley is now lying parallel to me, on top of the duvet but otherwise, right next to me. He is snoring like a good-un and appears to be using most of my pillow. I shove him indignantly in the hope he’ll stop but of course, he doesn’t. It is then that I realise most of the bed is covered in a fine layer of beach sand, dropped in the night off his coat. At this point, I wonder if I should be grateful. In just 8 hours, I’ve had a salt and sand bath, a facial and ear wash, a cleansing foot spa and the intermittent blast of an unknown gas designed to clear out any blocked nasal passage.
Grateful or not, I’ve had a ruff night.