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Monday, October 5, 2015

I'm Barking Mad!

Barking Collar

Since cleaning our house in preparation for the open house presentations, Scotto and I have pretty much been living in two rooms. I asked my 19 year old daughter, Lulu, to move to her father’s house across town, so it’s just been the two of us here and we don’t make much mess.

It’s very quiet.

I felt those inevitable, aching, maternal pangs on Saturday and sent my five kids a text telling them how much I love them and enquired after their health. 

Only one child replied and that’s only because he needed to borrow money. Apparently, the two eldest are on a week’s holiday in Bali.

I had no idea.

The kids weren’t the only victims in the purgative process of making our house socially acceptable. I had Borat the German Shepherd shaved (almost bald) because he sheds so much hair. Each morning, I was cleaning up enough fur to make another dog.

We had the Dog Whisperer come and shave him. He was embarrassed at first and hid behind the air conditioner so we couldn’t see him. Borat that is, not the dog whisperer.

Borat has caused quite a lot of consternation in our lives with his incessant barking. When he was a puppy we had a trainer come and teach him not to bark but it didn’t work.

After neighbours complained to the council, we were forced to buy a barking collar or we could’ve been ordered to get rid of him. The collar delivers an electric zap if he barks more than once. It cuts out if he goes off his nut, so if there’s something to really bark about then he can still warn us.

Unfortunately Borat has learned to count. He’s realised that if he only barks once then stops for a few seconds, he can keep barking in an erratic, water-torture-like fashion, for hours on end. 

After a while of listening to his aggravating woof, woof, woof, woofing, I just want to run downstairs and throttle the bloody life out of him.

He also somehow taught himself to bark without vibrating his vocal cords so the collar didn’t detect he was barking.

No wonder they use this breed in the police force.

“This’ll sort him out,” a stoic Scotto declared yesterday, holding up a new collar he’d purchased from the pet shop.

It’s a collar that contains a microphone and if Borat barks, it sprays out a shot of citronella. Dogs hate the smell of citronella apparently. Now I can tell how much the little shit has been barking by how citrusy the back yard smells.

So far it seems to be working. But even so… I’m sure the neighbours will have a party when we eventually sell and move. “There goes the neighbourhood riff raff!” they’ll cheer as they pop the champagne corks and hold up their rude fingers.

Yesterday at the open house, we sat across the road on a park bench with our dogs and surreptitiously watched people going in to inspect our house. I spotted a family with three little kids and I suddenly found myself crying. I remember when mine were little like that. It’s weird to think of another family growing up in the walls of my house.

The cat is still an issue for when we move. She’s thirteen years old and frankly I doubt she’d enjoy a 1433 km (15 hour) journey in a crate, in the back of a car, with a couple of slavering dogs breathing in her face. Our real estate agent keeps jokingly telling prospective buyers that the cat comes with the house. I suspect it might be putting them off.

We have our auction in a couple of weeks and we’ve decided to go. Can you imagine the two of us giggling down the back of the room and trying not to put a bid in, accidentally or otherwise? Scotto is moving down to the Gold Coast in three weeks to start his new job and I’ll be following him as soon as the house sells. Let’s hope it doesn’t take too long.

I really hope someone buys it soon because I can’t stand this clean living any more. I need to go back to my filthy habits and slothful ways.

On a final note, while I was stalking my kid’s Facebook pages (because I was missing them) I found this photo of Hagar’s Chihuahua (my first grand child) in the back of his manly ute.

Hunting Dog

Before you contact the authorities, it was a joke and they would never let him ride in the back. How fudging cute is he though?

Graduation from Puppy School photo!

Oh and one more thing. The first year Scotto moved to my home town our football team were in the grand finals. Unfortunately they lost that year. Ten years later they finally made it in to the grand final again and won it yesterday!

What a great bookend to his time here. Go North Queensland Cowboys!