I live with a dog. All right – my dog. If we started this note from his perspective, it would read a little differently. Anyway, I live with Rex Phillips. That is his name. It is a suitable appellation. Everyone agrees that when at rest he has a most royal demeanour. He sits with his small fox terrier paws elegantly crossed, head erect, eyes making only the barest of contact. You never look a prince in the eye. Don’t you know the first thing about etiquette?
Rex is a prince among men. In his mind at least. The only trouble with his regal bearing is that I fear it does not accord with his place in the world. He is after all a dog. A fact that seems to mystify him somewhat.
Sadly, we are not as one, Rex Phillips and I. Recently, I have been attempting to halt diplomatic relations with his highness. What meagre communion and meeting of minds we might have shared has come abruptly to a halt.You might call it a standoff.
Everyone else in the household maintains that they love the Canis Rexus but, as I am always at pains to point out, I am the only one who regularly succumbs to his silent doggy pressures. What is a prince if not a subtle communicator of his will to power?
Perhaps he is too subtle, as I am the only one who ever really gives in to that dogged will.
And his entire Machiavellian will is bent toward this single thought:‘ When will my stupid subject take me for my damn walk?’ Every time I venture into my walk-in wardrobe (you can see where he might have developed the association) and rifle around for a bit (often aimlessly, because it can be a tricky thing, getting dressed) Rex positions himself outside the door and begins to sigh.
It starts patiently but with an undertow of exasperation: ‘Will you get a move on…’ and builds up to a climax of irritation laced with despair: ‘For goodness’ sake woman, what can be taking you so long? Put your walking shoes on already and let’s go!’
You can tell he thinks fur is a far superior solution to the perennial problem of the elements in relation to bare skin. He is also impervious to the import of a stiletto – the mere fact that I have spent time in the walk-in wardrobe implies a walk. Duggh!
But lately I am totally ignoring him. Our standoff is the result of years of angst, a couple of falls (mine), some near misses, one vomit (his) and several very tender muscles. Also my knee is now playing up. No, I am not an old crock of a dog walker/runner. Rex has simply broken me. As soon as he gets the leash/ harness/choke chain – I have tried every permutation – about his neck, he transmogrifies into Thor the Avenger. Nothing regal about him now. He is just some crazed highwayman cutting the coach off at the pass. Rex the beast: a solid ball of fur and teeth and spittle pulling for all its worth and attacking everything that moves. Well, almost everything. Inexplicably he positively ignores the toy poodle on Saxonwold Drive. He literally looks the other way.
But for the rest he behaves like those little Gremlins from outer space and my childhood – evil, malcontent little buggers with murder in their eyes. I used mace on him once. My man was in his ‘You will carry mace for protection’ phase. He was not necessarily thinking of Rex at the time.But Rex had turned into the abominable monster outside Woolies and all that the mace did was cause him a moment of delight. ‘Yes! Now this is more like it – burning pepper spray introduced into the maelstrom of battle – nice one, lady!’ It’s like a particularly hardcore chapter in The Hunger
Games. Rex is going to take out the neighbourhood; it’s a life and death battle of wills in the leafy suburbs; do not be fooled, people. And the minute we get home?
Prince Charles could take some coaching from this fellow. Instant poise.
Somebody told me about a dog whisperer. Apparently you call the lady on the phone and she tunes in to your animal there and then. Your creature promptly explains via the ethernet what is going on and she then reports back to you. The person who told me about that whisperer is now feeding her prince free-range chicken and veg every morning and night, and considering a name change. Apparently he is not happy with ‘Leo’. I am so not calling her. I already know what’s going on in Rex’s canine brain. I am not his bitch; I don’t care what he tells the lady on the phone.
chan ce a stand five pairs To oneof shoes
* towin Star local
Sam of welove (Yay! desig
ner shoe Lin),visit Sam
claire .co.za. Marie WHAT I AM READING Frances Corner is Head of London College of Fashion. Unsurprisingly, given her obvious allegiance to the cause, she has penned a book called ‘Why Fashion Matters’. It is practically a call to arms – a vivid compendium of facts, figures (3-trillion-dollar business anyone?) and vignettes marshalled into a glamorous package to make her point: ignore fashion at your peril. THIS MONTH GO TO page 12 to see what inspired me in the fashion wardrobe.