Not entirely spent with Dino, since I am back at work.
Day eight (Monday, 26th May):
We get up 15 minutes earlier than usual (6 a.m.) as I know I will need that extra 15 minutes. I worry that 15 minutes are not enough. First, it will be sh!t city in the hallway and will need cleaning up. Secondly, the usual walk will take ages as we shall have to stopping every five minutes. The only thing that may save us is that it’s 6 a.m. And there won’t be that many people around (or dogs) so less to be stopping for.
Not overly much in terms of cleaning up and not that slow on the walk. Good.
We leave, giving Rufus a large biscuit (as normal) and Dino a small biscuit. Dino leaves the small biscuit and rushes over to take the bits that have fallen from Rufus’ mouth. I worry for Dino’s safety during the day given that there will be no one to stop the stupid sh!t-machine from annoying Rufus.
I feel so guilty for leaving Rufus, the faithful, old, perfect dog with the whirlwind with teeth of needles that is Dino. This is hardly the way to re-pay the loyalty and devotion that Rufus has shown over the years.
I worry also for the furniture (not that there is too much in the area they have. We have closed the doors giving access to the lounge, the door from the kitchen to the balcony and the door to the inner hall that leads to the bedrooms and bathrooms.
They have the hallway, the kitchen, the back-kitchen and, that’s all!
I arrive home expecting the worst.
I am greeted by Rufus as normal and Dino isn’t really sure what is happening. He will learn. It is a little like sh!t city inside the door and the newspapers I carefully laid on the floor are sopping wet.
The water in the bowl is not all used up by any means. Has the puppy been getting water from somewhere else? The only way would be for him to have turned on the taps in the back kitchen. He may be bright – but not that clever.
I get changed and take them for a walk. I want Dino to get used to some regularity; some routines. That way, hopefully, he will learn to hang on until I get home.
We go for a long walk but not much happens.
I take him out again later when V takes Rufus out. There are no real events.
Day nine and ten:
The same old thing (see how it has become old already).
Get up. Clean up. Take dogs out. Be disappointed that nothing happens. Come back. Get ready. Go to work.
Come back from work. Clean up. Get changed. Take dogs out (except day 11). Nothing happens. Have a drink/watch a film/talk with V/something else. Take dogs out (separately). With Dino, nothing happens. Go to bed, exhausted.
Except for Day ten. Instead of taking them out I got changed and went out with A to a ‘pub’ near Lambrate station that sells real ale. Very nice. We had three pints (OK, I know they’re not actually pints – but they look like pints and they’re the closest we get here). We should have stopped on two.
I arrive home. V takes Dino out. I go to bed.
As normal but ….
When we go out for a walk when I get home, as we cross the piazza and go to where Rufus first cocks his leg, Dino does a small wee on the pavement. Hurrah! Success! I am so excited that I nearly forget to give him a treat.
The people around must think I’m a little strange.
We get to the park. As soon as we step inside the gates, Dino does another small wee. I am beside myself! Incredible. He has watched Rufus and is copying. Fantastic.
After that, as we walk round the park, I begin to doubt it all and think that it may have been a fluke or coincidence. No matter. Even once is good.
He has now learnt the meaning of ‘wait’. It takes a couple of times but he does, kind of, get it.
He has also learnt the meaning of ‘quick’, especially if said several times in a quick way. This means we are crossing the road and this is not the time to be trying to make friends with everyone and everything, nor stopping for no reason that can be ascertained. Thou shalt not be tired and sit down when the cars and motorbikes are bearing down upon you. You WILL get pulled by the lead until you come along – so you might as well do it in the first place.
He has also learnt that not everyone nor every dog wants to, or should be, your new best friend. However, still enough of them do that it is worth the try, at least.
I can’t quite believe this. As we are on our morning walk, as we get across the piazza, he has another wee. I am a proud, proud Dad!
And then we have a pooh in the dog area. I am now thinking that, perhaps, it will not be sh!t city tonight. Of course, I realise, it will make no difference, but it’s a lovely thought.
In the evening it is sh!t city again.
Normal stuff. I am now expecting good results. Because it is Saturday, there is another walk in the middle of the day. More excellent results. I cannot quite believe all this. Now all he has to do is to learn to ‘hold it’ until he gets a walk! Maybe next week? Even as I think it I know that’s not what will happen.
This is a slightly different day. Today we are going to a bbq, somewhere outside Milan. Normal early morning walk. Then, maybe a lunchtime walk. Then the bbq in the early evening. The dogs are expressly invited.
I wake to find that Dino has now found the back kitchen. A good game was had by pulling one of my tops from the drier and dragging it somewhere else. Hmm.
The back kitchen door is now closed.
We end up having a late morning/early lunchtime long walk.
We go out to get A his plastic flowers and plants for his terrace. Without dogs, of course but now they are used to it and I only feel guilty about Rufus sometimes. The plastic plants are horrible. V arranges them in the plastic tubs on the balcony. My plants may die but at least they were alive and growing once.
We collect the dogs.
This is Dino’s 2nd time in the car. This time he will be in the boot with Rufus. We put paper down (I remember the being sick bit).
We arrive at the place outside Milan. We are late because we are with A.
Rufus remembers the bbq thing from the UK. He edges closer and closer to the bbq knowing that there is always left-over food.
Dino knows nothing.
When the food starts coming (to them), Dino can hardly contain himself with the excitement, certainly after his first taste. He is very funny. D (one of our hosts) plays with Dino who thinks it’s perfectly OK to bite. ‘No’ suffices although sometimes it has to be repeated two or three times.
The dogs have a lot to eat (as do we). We leave there about 1.30 a.m. We don’t take them out when we get home although they have had a little walk from the car to the flats anyway.
We get to bed just before 3 a.m. It is a holiday the next day, thank goodness.
I know I should be keeping you in suspense but …… I get up about 9 a.m. The next morning. It is NOT sh!t city!! I am so excited I nearly go and wake V to show him.
We go out for a walk and he seems to have been saving it all up. What? In two weeks, he has learnt all this? I am more excited than you can know.
It’s the simple things in life that make it worthwhile, eh? Not having sh!t city in the hallway is one of those simple things, I guess.
Today he finds the bathroom, whilst we are in the flat. There are many interesting things in the bathroom, especially, it seems, the cloth used to clean the toilet. He has a certain, peculiar taste does our Dino.
I’m thinking it is a one-off. The door to the bathroom is not closed.
To be continued……by