Izzy the gorgeous white and black terrier (pictured below) had cleverly managed to buy, hand write and post our dear little Dogadoo a Scooby Doo-themed invitation, asking us around to help celebrate her 2nd (or 14th, depending on either human or canine age interpretation) birthday and commemorate moving into a new place at Kensington.Apparently Douglas the fuzzy muttley (adopted after a cruel dumping at Mambray Creek) arrived first, and promptly left a fragrant calling card or three on the back lawn. Whilst hostess Izzy busied herself giving them a good sniff, William the whippet seized the moment to expertly squeeze himself into the cat-flap and cock his leg on the loungeroom beanbag. Luckily Eleanor (aka Izzy's Owner) deducted that, at age thirteen (or 91 if you're four-legged), William was reduced to producing 'dry runs' as a purely symbolic gesture and no damage (or saturating) was done.
My pooch, Dogadoo, heaved up her breakfast as soon as she arrived via the back gate. Not being the world's classiest guest, my first reaction was to say, "Ah well, you know what dogs like to do...it'll be cleaned up soon enough", but Eleanor (Izzy's owner) decided to find some newspapers and get rid of it so that the party guests would still have their appetites for chew bones, mutt mints and chook necks.
The tone had already been set for this doggee soiree however: - poo, wee and vomit, and all in the first five minutes! All it needed now was some ear-bleedingly loud doof-doof, P-plated gatecrashers and a visit by the police to be the carbon copy of the 18th birthday party down the street that we'd suffered through recently (including having lemons stripped from the neighbouring tree and thoughtfully placed under our windshield wipers).
I decided it was time to hand out a Schmackos beef hide for each of the guests. Izzy and Douglas looked at them doubtfully - in terms of size to height ratio I guess it was like asking them to gnaw through a boogie board. William the elder took his off to eat in privacy behind the willow tree and Dogadoo flopped on the doormat, holding it between both paws and gnawing at it protectively. It would be nice to be able to write about Dogadoo behaving impeccably after that but alas that wasn't the case. She snapped irritably at any pooch who ventured within a metre of her until every last shred of the beef hide was eaten.
William (as you can see here) was rather non-plussed by the whole event and was clearly hoping that there'd be a fire, a broadsheet newspaper, a pipe and a rocking chair for him to enjoy and retire to.
He was quite happy to let the three young upstarts have a good tussle over the pass-the-parcel event: it was pointless telling the three boneheads that each layer had liver treats in it and each guest was going to receive a doggy rope ball. Photography was an even more pointless exercise because their wagging tails, wriggly bodies and twitchy noses made posing an impossibility.
Soon it was time for party hats but Dogadoo was not impressed. She had hers on for about three seconds before jumping clear from my restraining arms, flapping her ears like a centrifuge and escaping the infernal appendage.
Douglas was more tolerant, but no less inclined to sit still for a photograph.
It was then that the humans decided to go inside and have a cup of tea, some croissants and mud cake and leave the dogs outside. "They all seem pretty happy now - I'm sure we can trust them," said William-the -Whippet's owner. "We can see them all from here," replied Eleanor reassuringly. It felt as though we were four Norwood yummy-mummies leaving our 3 three years olds unsupervised in the garden....
Sort of. Douggie started howling, so was brought inside to the laundry and placed behind a child-proof gate so that he could see his beloved owners but not chew at the table cloth. William sought sanctuary from the rabble by hiding amongst the bushes and, as the rain started falling, Izzy decided to retreat to the warmth of her kennel.
My Dogadoo sat on the mat, looking forlornly at us eating, drinking and making merry inside; occasionally adding a heart-rending whine to make the croissant flakes stick in my throat like ash. "You won't die out there, furry-face," I told her.
An hour later we both walked home in the soft rain. Dogadoo's tail wagged as she forced me to stand and wait patiently as she strained to birth the Norton Summit of butt nuggets and eagerly investigated her party bag of treats including a pig's ear, chew-toy and bone at the other end. Life was good in Dogadoo Land.