Our pet dog is named Milo and someone asked me to give him his turn in my next piece. Milo celebrated his 8th birthday on the 1st of August. We have recently been thinking of a trip to somewhere, preferably France or back again to Bali. Even though we have nice neighbours willing to care for Milo we thought of upgrading his credentials with the necessary injections at the vet in case of a stay in a kennel.
However, it brings a cold sweat to my armpits thinking of bringing Milo to a kennel. His beseeching eyes after dropping him off will haunt me forever. On the other hand he is skilled in manipulating things to his advantage, knowing full well my guilt gets into automatic very easily. He generally now runs the family and it is him who decides the events of the day and in what order.
Most evenings he now wonders in and out at his will. He either stands in front of the back-yard door or in front of the entrance door. Often he does both within a few minutes. His reason is the possums. He can smell them each evening. In early spring even possums’ thoughts turn to love and are busy plucking flowers from our garden which they garnish with Italian parsley, rosemary and cos lettuce before having an all out orgy with lots of grunting and leaping about. All this enrages Milo, who has decided now to sleep outside.
Before going to bed, usually around mid-night, I check on Milo who just sits under our Manchurian pear tree in which a couple of the possums have managed to climb into. I can see their beady eyes glinting with love/ lust and sex, in that order. So does Milo and he just quickly casts a look at me as if to say; don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye on them, just go inside boss. The problem is that there are so many of them that despite Milo running about, they slip by and climb from tree to tree. They know Milo can’t climb.
Milo is unperturbed by his lack of being able to climb trees or flying and does practice as much as he can. He leaps up surprisingly high for his size but inevitably returns to earth. At best, he seems to levitate for just a split second and that gives him hope which I am loath to take away. I usually look away when he leaps up so bravely and determinedly, not wishing to be witness when he lands back . I told him we are sure one day he will fly. He quickly looked away as if he somehow knew we were bullshitting. Milo is clever.
Even so, a stay at the kennel might teach him he can’t always have it his way. He will have to behave. I wonder if we will phone him from Paris to find out his welfare. My sister and husband looked after a house whose owners went to the US for 5 weeks. They had two French Bull dogs and the owners phoned up daily to find out about their dogs.
There is hope for Milo.