A Dog's Life - January 2019

A Dog’s Life – January 2019

January can be a gloomy month for man and beast, but Rolo the Border Terrier is looking on the bright side of things

Now it’s got to be said that January isn’t my favourite month of the year. I don’t know why, but after Christmas, ‘Her Indoors’ usually gets fanciful ideas in the house cleansing department and this often extends to me. ‘Out with the old and in with the new’ seems to refer to bath water here, and Teddy, my apprentice, needs to watch out too. He wasn’t with us this time last year, but I reckon he could be in danger of a quick dunk in the baby bath and a lathering up with tea tree oil shampoo. The smell lingers for days unless ‘Her Indoors’ is distracted and an opportunity for rolling in something occurs, although you do have to be a bit careful otherwise the whole process can repeat itself.

The weather in January is usually rather grim too and whilst snow might be bad for people, it’s even worse for small dogs with short legs. I don’t want to start the New Year with my assets frozen.

Still, I’m a positive kind of dog so I’ve decided to think of all the things that I like about January and focus on those. First, has got to be the wood burner. I thought I was pretty good at lying as close as possible and soaking up the soothing rays. Teddy, however, is even better. He lies hard up against the brick edging around the fireplace and gently roasts. Occasionally he has to move to cool down or to get a refreshing drink in the kitchen, but otherwise he’s there, like a barnacle on a ship’s bottom.

Then there’s home crafting. In the absence of gardening, ‘Her Indoors’ tends to be busy with inside projects. This can be a dubious blessing. I’ve never quite forgiven her for the hand-knitted coat that severely dented my street credibility for months a few years ago. This year however, she’s read something about arthritic senior dogs, such as myself, benefiting from a mattress made out of orthopaedic memory foam so she’s bought an off-cut and is all set to make a cover out of something warm and fleecy – perfect. I wonder if she could rustle up a stair-lift and a chair that tips you out to save the effort. I just hope she doesn’t get any ideas about a walk-in bath….

The other good thing about January is the food. I have a particular liking for home-made beef stew and I long ago established a routine claim to my own portion. The only problem is, beef stew takes a long time to cook and then ages to cool, so the anticipation is almost unbearable. And these days I have to share with the apprentice. Still, it’s not all bad. If Teds gets distracted or is a bit slow, I sneak in there, faster than you can say ‘clean bowl’, and get second helpings. If you snooze, you lose, in this household! As I said, it’s not all bad in January.