Sunday, January 08, 2006

Milly and Billy

Our friends have a dog called Billy, a cute little Australian terrier with a spring in his step and a glint in those malteser-sized eyes of his.

His owners were staying at a beach house on Hindmarsh Island and they weren't allowed to bring him along. We were more than happy to have him stay as he's been a visitor here before and gets along extremely well with our Milly. At eleven years old, he is starting to slow down, and has been known to put his back out when leaping off the dizzying 30cm heights of his back step. His eyes are a little milky now too and one of his back legs is up in the injured position the majority of the time he's running like a greyhound for the tennis ball, but if you're prepared to give him a pat or throw a ball, then he'll always find the energy from somewhere within his tiny body.

Several Billy-occasions earlier, his owners told us, "Oh, we've never had him neutered because he's never once been interested in other dogs. He wouldn't know what to do even if he did get, um, his interest up." Oh, that's nice, maybe it's because he's too small to make contact with any potential partners? "Nah, he's just interested in his balls. Tennis balls, I mean."

Naturally Billy found a few of Milly's half-chewed tennis ball carcasses during his exploratory sniffing tour of the garden as we farewelled his holidaying owners.

Well well well, when the owners are away, then Billy Dog Thornton will play. So much for being a suspected eunuch; he instead rode Milly around the back lawn like a wheelbarrow. "The dirty old bugger!" Love Chunks exclaimed, with about equal measures of disgust and admiration. Our furry orange girlie may have been ten years younger and therefore have youth, strength and speed on her side but the old boy was persistent. The exercise they were getting was considerable - it was certainly better than a concrete run at a boarding kennel.

Three hours later, I returned home from taking Sapphire to her VacSwim session and Billy Bob was still at it. No visible signs of the - ahem - pink paraphernalia were ever present, but the mounting and humping actions were still being acted out in a rather determined form of sexual marathon. "Hey Dad, you should see Billy - his bottom is moving up and DOWN" Sapphire yelled. It was impossible not to visibly wince and cross my fingers under the table in the vain hope that the neighbours didn't hear and that our daughter wasn't then going ask us just why Billy found it so fascinating to develop his own version of a ride-on mower....... It also spoiled the ambience of eating lunch at our outdoor setting somewhat.

Four hours later Love Chunks gestured for me to have a look out of the laundry window. It was a rather sad but funny tableau - Milly holed up in her kennel with only her exhausted face poking out of the entrance, and Billy sitting a foot in front of her, waiting, waiting, with his stumpy triangle tail wagging at mach speed in anticipation.

Luckily for Milly, Billy was exhausted by bed time and content to flop into his basket which was touching the edge of her bean bag. As we locked up and turned off the lights, I commented to Love Chunks that I hoped he would survive the night.

He did, and ate a full bowl of weetbix and milk, something his owners said he didn't like. The huge day of physical exertion had clearly generated an appetite in an old dog that no longer wanted to eat anything for breakfast at home. Milly slurped up hers a couple of metres away, sneaking guarded looks at her shaggy little mate(r).

She was right to be on alert. No sooner had he finished his weetbix than he made his sudden moves on her. This time, Milly was prepared, having obviously given some furry thought to this overnight. All she did was sit down, and thus remove the temptation immediately. If Billy was able to have scratched his head in puzzlement he would have. Instead he trotted off to the shaded lawn under the gum tree and gave himself a rather thorough licking.

And that was the pattern for the rest of his stay:
"Have a crack at Milly - bugger it, she sat down.
Oh well, I'll have a lick of my own rude bits;
Then I'll find the tennis ball; and
Hope that someone from the cute orange dog's house throws it.
Ooooh hang on, Milly's got up again, I'll have another go.........."

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