Friday, 6 February 2009

Snow, Schadenfreude and the final solution.....

Waking up to find a perfect blanket of snow outside my house did not get my day off to the most agreeable of starts. I swore repeatedly using many biblical curses and quite a few words that would make a Roddy Doyle character blush. I wasn't best pleased. I hate snow and all the slip-sliding and shuffling along like you have a fantastic case of chefs arse that comes with it. I am a firm believer that snow belongs only on a Christmas card or in films and only then if it is CGI'd.

dogs, cuter and more useful than snow...
couldn't you just lick him?
I want to lick him...
I wont, obviously

When I say it was a perfect blanket of snow I mean it probably had been sometime earlier. As I hadn't shifted my hairy backed bulk from my bed until a smidgen after ten the pavement was now snowy and slushy and wet and just not very pleasant at all. I stood at the window bemoaning my luck, I had plans that involved going outside and cycling, these plans were now scuppered.

As I stood there peeking out from behind the curtain at the cadaverously hued landscape below I noticed a large man stuffing himself manfully into a tiny European "car". Seriously I have seen better and more reliable looking motorcars painted by 4 year olds. This had the look of a Mr Bean sketch about it so despite being literally ball froze I stood and watched. As predicted/hoped the big man in the tiny car got precisely nowhere. The car's wheels just spun and spun and spun in pointless and silly circles. The big man got out, he looked around the car and then kicked a tyre in that frustrating way that only car owners know how to do. He appeared so infuriated by his car's inability to move that he probably would have kicked an old man in the kneecap if one had been passing. There was no old man passing, thankfully or should that be disappointingly? Not that I advocate kicking old men in the kneecaps.

He needed a push to get moving and as there was no one on the street to help and I don't push cars as a rule, it's a good rule and one I stick to with religious fervor, he was stuffed. He kicked the car again, zipped up his, frankly inappropriate considering the conditions, sports style jacket and headed off into the frosty morning to wherever he was going. This small moment of Schadenfreude lifted my drooping spirits no end and I found myself moments later whistling my way to the shower. Which was nice.

I did eventually make my way outside but not before I had more layers on than a cake shop full of layered chocolate cakes. Over the top? Probably but I take no chances in the snow. Firstly to the sandwich shop for a sandwich, obviously. But the normally businesslike sandwich maker person was all a flutter and not quite adept with the lettuce as normal. And the cause of this messiness and frankly less than perfect sandwich crafting? That's right the snow. Sake.

It was bothering her and it was all she could talk about. She spent most of time peering out the window and barely glanced at my lunch. This is why I ended up with a cheese, ham and chicken sandwich instead of the cheese and ham I had so eloquently and precisely asked for. It was the same when I ventured out for coffee some time later. It was all people could talk about, the snow and how the bloody city had come to a standstill because of it. Snow, it's the ruination of a good sandwich and the bane of my winter.

The only thing duller than talking about the weather is talking about people who talk about the weather (and then blogging about it). Which is what happened when The Cousin came home form work. The quality of conversation in this house is quite dreadful at the best of times, but this was a new low for us. But even at our most lucid and articulate the best The Cousin and I can muster at each other are a few indeterminable grunts and quite a lot of cross room grumbling. Given that we have four computers in the house we spend a lot time in isolation from each other communicating via email or Facebook but mainly by notes on the fridge. We need a go between, a conduit between the rooms.

So we are getting a dog. Obviously. It's the obvious solution. A Jack Russell, all being well. I may not sleep til it gets here. I may not sleep after that either.

Crikey.....

All advice gratefully accepted. Regarding the dog that is, there is nothing that can be done about the snow......or The Cousin.

44 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

ninetyninewords said...

I honestly think it would be easier just to change the cousin. And ...it would be fairer too. I mean you wouldn't fret leaving the cousin in the house, alone all day, while you're at work but you would if he was a Jack Russell.

Boxer said...

can we help name it?

Please??

My advice: get some good RUNNING shoes 'cuz those doggies got energy.

Ms. McDermott said...

Manuel, you'll have to watch a couple of episodes of Victoria Stilwell's doggy training show before you shell out for a pooch. Usually, the dog is fine, it's the owner that has to go...
Seriously though, you might want to practice your skills on something easier first, like a baby.

Manuel said...

99 words: I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to investigate them further.....actually I do fret quite a bit when I leave The Cousin alone in the house....why just the other day he.....oh better not

boxer: yes there probably will be a poll on the vexed issue of his name.....

ms mcd: I ma ready for the responsibilities and pressures of dog ownership......no seriously....

NorthernWhinger said...

You can have my dog if you like. He's big, and he's red...Need's a fair bit of grooming tho

Manuel said...

NorthernWhinger: is your dog a ginger? eek no one wants a ginger dog....oh welcome btw....

B said...

f*ck snow, imaging stacking shelves and shelves of cardboard covered items that're quoted in snow AND being the person who has to keep the floors dry for the day.

advise for dog: train it to only sh!t in front of the houses of neighbours you dont like... saves a mess in the garden

Manuel said...

b: yes racist old lady down the street would be the first target....

Anonymous said...

Regretfully yes, ah Ginger, the last accepted prejudice known to man. I mean dog.

Manuel said...

anon: yes but i could learn to love a ginger.....dog that is

Conan Drumm said...

Yeah, collar and lead for the cousin and you're sorted. Just don't him up on the visitors' legs, if you follow me.

Manuel said...

conan: heh.....i have a poop-a-scoop for him already....

Medbh said...

A puppy will be such a blessing, Manuel.
You'll want to get a nice dog bed for him, one that's sturdy enough to not fall to pieces if he chews it, and so he can have his own space.
Again, my vote is for the name Morty.

Manuel said...

medbh: i love morty.....such a little chap's name if you know what i mean....sturdy dog bed, check

savannah said...

a jack russell????? oh no! a bundle of energy doesn't even begin to describe those maniac animals....sigh...but they are sooooooooooooo cute, sugar!
xoxox

Manuel said...

savannah: i know! loadsafun!!!!

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Ha it was -20 here this morning. The dog sounds like a good idea. A Jack Russel would be a nice pick.

silverstar98121 said...

Hmmm, sounds like Seattle in the snow. Dogs are great, although I'd go for a nice, calm Cocker Spaniel myself. Whatever it is, it will be glad to see you when you come home. Suggest a nice crate for confining the (little devil) sweetie when you are not home. Save a lot on shoes and things that way.

Echo said...

My neighbor had a Jack Russell that I called Spike. He'd push his ball under the fence and wait for me to throw it back into his yard; then bring it back and push it under the fence again. Wonder how long it took the neighbors to train him to do that ?

Toys. Your dog will need lots and lots of toys. Then teach him to go to the cousin when he wants attention and you're tired (it'll keep them both out of trouble).

Sherry QuiteContrary said...

I loooooooooove my Jack Russell. Her name is Dixie and she is ADD aka very hyper. I'm going to try to post a link to her pic. http://img352.imageshack.us/img352/8149/dixiewc5.jpg

wendy said...

Well, my darling, best of luck.

I have 2 kids still at home, a dog and 2 cats...and I can only stand one of them. Not telling which. But suffice it to say I don't like to pick up shit. Poop-a-scoop or not.

Hell, it'll give you something to talk about. Cheers!

MJ said...

I am Auntie MJ to my friend's 2 JRs.

You're gonna lose weight fast with an active dog like that. They're my faves.

Oh and I blogged about your pitiful wee snowfall.

Simon said...

http://stmthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/11/welcome-to-family.html
http://stmthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/11/i-need-sleep.html
http://stmthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/11/promised-pictures-of-our-new-mutt.html
http://stmthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/11/is-it-progress.html
http://stmthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/11/by-gum-i-think-hes-got-it.html

toast said...

Not sure why you would be having a poll when the dog will doubtless be named 'Eric' anyway. Normally i would be thrilled for you but i spent 3 hours yesterday circumnavigating manchester on my wifes fold-up bike looking for my own dumb little mutt after he made another bid for freedom... my dog is also ginger - this may explain it

Eolai said...

When Parson Jack Russell bred his little pet project out of fox terriers he ended up with a very specific working dog. Assuming you don't have a lot of rats to hunt, just make sure your dog has lots of jobs to do and you'll be grand.

When my dog (a Jack Russell) was younger she was kept locked in a downstairs bathroom (against my wishes, natch) without things to chew or play with - so no great surprise when she chewed through two square feet of the wall. I cheered.

Dog-Dog had over 200 words in the vocabulary of words she understood when she left America. Since being in Ireland I think it's doubled. You'll enjoy the super intelligence.

sheepworrier said...

You went to the sarnie shop (dantes?) for a ham and cheese sandwich?!
I used to have a jack russel as a kid - loved the wee bollox till my dad 'accidentally' drove over it.

Tuesday Kid said...

Battle Cat saw snow lying for the first time yesterday and he thought it was the mutts nutts.

Tuesday Kid said...

And yes having a dog is great, but house training is a bit of a pain.

Manuel said...

steve: -20.......swoon......hope do you cope....

silverstar: awh I wouldn't crate him for long periods like that......plus the jr would go mental.....

echo: hahahahaha.....toys, check....

sherry: sweeet

wendy: yes, yes it will.....

mj: are they magic puppies? lose weight and look cute......crikey

simon: okie dokie......I'll pop over presently....

The Cousin said...

I feel somewhat hard done by here, i am house trained you know and have been for at least 10 years. And well done toast for winning the name the dog competition, eric it is (ppfft like i'll have a say).

NextSeatOver said...

If you are going to get a dog have you considered rescuing one rather than buying?

http://www.uspca.co.uk/

daisy mae said...

oh manuel! congratulations!

when i first got my pup (about 65#, but the temperment of a JR) i got a crate, blankets, toys, and peanut butter. not sure if you have them in ireland, but they make a toy called a kong, and you stuff it with peanut butter, and voila! your dog is entertained for hours.

you might want to look into obedience classes as well - they seem to help a lot of people. you might even get a two-for-one by taking the cousin as well....

Mudflapgypsy said...

Get a fishtank. It won't need a walk, it won't piss on the floor and it won't eat it's own boke.

A wee jack would be nice though.....

Manuel said...

toast: you have no idea how close to being right you are.....mufc also being considered too...

eolai: oh I have plan for the little chap alright....

sheepo: no I went to the yellow door for a cheese n ham sandwich if you must know....it's closer

Tuesday: same with the cousin he was rolling around in it for ages....

the cousin: pay your rent and you will have the say you want....pfft....hehehehe

nso: well duh.....but only because my other source has run dry...

daisy: we still talking about the dog right? It's so hard to tell...

muddy: heh.....you've met the cousin then

Babycakes said...

Snow- only nice when you are inside with a glass of wine, the fire is set and you don't have to leave the house until it clears. Any other time it is nothing but a pain in the arse.

Would love a dog myself, my main tip for housetraining? If it pees in the house, you should stick it's nose in it. Mean? Yes. Effective? Incredibly.

Native Minnow said...

You can go ahead and kick old men in the kneecaps all you want. They probably deserve it for something they did and got away with at some point in their lives.

English Mum said...

Get a greyhound! I appreciate they're rather more stretchificated than a JR but they sleep ALL day while you are away and are the laziest yokes on the planet.

Tis bloody hard to train a puppy (especially those little ones, they're such nutters!) while you're out at work. I fostered one for a week and it chewed half my belongings and peed on the other half! Good luck and take pictures, whatever you get x

Anaperenna said...

Get a wire-haired one and call it Chalky, like Rick Stein.

jothemama said...

I'd say get two, so you don't have to feel guilty when you have to go out.

We have two Jack Russells.

Be warned:they shit 2/3 of their own body weight a day.

Don't believe it? Mine certainly seem to be the proof.

The don't train so great either.

I'd recommend Jan Fennel, the Dog Listener. Lovely. There's videos too.

Don't let them cut their tails off!

That is my advice...

fmcgmccllc said...

If you are not used to snow and freezing temps, remember this dog poop freezes and then you get to scrape, poop.

Love my dog, 4 and half pounds and a creator of an amazing amount of freezing poop.

However, the only cheerleader when I come home from the hellwork and need a hug and a kiss. Always there wagging his tail and saying give me a cookie mommie.

K8 the Gr8 said...

SNOW! I love snow. The quietness of it and the crumbly softness and the dodgems with cars and the skidding round corners and pointing to panel-beater's shops and saying 'I want that job'. How can you not love snow?!?!?

Don't get a Jack Russell. Get anything but a Jack Russell.

Anonymous said...

"I am a firm believer that snow belongs only on a Christmas card or in films and only then if it is CGI'd."

Amen! I will NEVER understand my sub-polar friends who talk about the beauty of granulated ice falling from the sky.

Rebecca said...

awwww, I just gave away my jack. Though the shipping from Washington State to you would be horrid!

She was the opposite of a jack, sweet, good natured, calm (for a jack) and very emotionally needy. My honey and she didn't get along. She didn't like getting replaced in bed, and my honey didn't like not being the first one greeted when I got home.

I do really like jacks! They are a love 'em or hate 'em breed.

A friend of mine had a great thing rigged up in a spare room. A ball hung from the celing just out of reach while jumping. Their jack didn't get to go in there often, and so it was always NEW! LOL

My girl was very well versed in tricks n obdience as well. They are *so* smart! As to the person above who's jack chewed through the wall, mine was put in a bathroom, and managed to open the drawer right next to the door and lock herself in. That was tricky to get her out of LOL

Look at me going on... I do miss her!

OH, and baby gates are a godsend, especially while they are young to keep them in and out of things. She respected hers even though she could have easily jumped over it unless she *really* had to go potty.

Ok, shutting up now.

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