The dog’s back. For good.
In 2017 we decided that it wasn’t enough to move house, to a place that needed loads of work doing on it, have a baby and do the Edinburgh Fringe. We also decided to take on a puppy. A friend of my mother-in-law’s from the gym had had a dog that had got pregnant during a holiday fling and was trying to offload six tiny puppies. So we said we’d take one.
In our defence we assumed we’d be moving into the house in June (it was initially meant to be ready by the end of April), we’d get the dog in July and get to know here before we went to Edinburgh and then we’d come back in September and have the baby in October. That was no kind of pressure.
Sadly, as you might recall the house wasn’t ready by June, or by mid-July when we had to move out of our London home. Or by the end of Edinburgh.
So we got back to a building site, with one of us heavily pregnant (I am not telling you which one) and with a rambunctious, but now very large puppy, who had become attached to her original owner.
We tried to live together in two rooms.
It didn’t work out.
The dog shat everywhere and there wasn’t the comfort needed for a pregnant person (still not telling you who it was). So in September 2017 Catie moved back in with her parents and I lived in the new house with the dog.
The builders worked quickly now and the house was inhabitable (but by no means finished) by the end of September. Everyone came back to the house. It was quite tricky and unpleasant. Then Catie had a baby. And it hadn’t even been her that had been pregnant.
So we had a half-finished house, a two and a half year old, a baby and an untrained over-excited dog that ate anything left near to it and needed a lot of attention. And a boiler that was going to try to kill us all.
It was quite a tense time, if I am honest.
We struggled on for a good while, trying to juggle all these many balls, largely of our own making (a couple of them literally), until we realised we’d taken on a bit too much and decided to share Wolfie (as our dog became known, though her full name was Professor Wolfenstein) with Catie’s parents. Which largely meant, they were going to be looking after her.
And though we’ve seen a lot of Wolfie and had her at ours some of the time, today was the day that we were finally charged with taking back what was rightfully ours. And now things have settled down somewhat and our house is pretty much finished and has largely stopped trying to murder us - we are ready.
And I think having Wolfie back might actually be the saving of me.
Because she needs to be walked, which means I will be doing some of the walking and might finally start to get back into shape.
I took her on a 65 minute tramp through the woods this morning - the brambles were rotting away on the vine (well the bramble) because no one but us seems to want to eat them - and then this evening another 35 minutes around a big freshly ploughed field as the sun went down. It was just the burning off of calories that my new diet regime demanded. And she’s a very sweet tempered massive dog and I am very happy to have her back full time. Though am still struggling to understand what the fuck 2017 Richard and Catie were thinking in agreeing to take her on. Those guys were a right pair of fucking idiots. I mean, even if the house had been ready and not full of carbon monoxide. What possessed them?
I picked up Wolfie's poo too. Even though on the first occasion she’d done it far enough away from the path to not be a problem. Because even though no one was looking, I am not going to be accused of dog poo hypocrisy.
But even when picking up poo (all right maybe not then) and even though we have ultimately taken on another mouth to feed and another bum to (I wish it actually was just) wipe, I felt enormously happy and satisfied on those walks. This is our home now.
A year ago, it was just me cleaning dog sick and diarrhoea off a carpet. But now we’re a family. And I am cleaning loose stools off grass verges instead. And that is an improvement my friends. I am the luckiest man alive.
Thanks so much to everyone who has backed the RHLSTP kickstarter. We hit the target today with 10 days to spare. There is still time to get your hands on the exclusive rewards (we might be selling the badge at gigs, but nothing else will be available for sale anywhere else) and any extra money will go towards 2019 RHLSTPs.
And another big name added to the RHLSTP roster for series 14 - it's Edinburgh comedy award winner Rose Matefeo who will be appearing on the 22nd October alongside Michael Sheen. Tickets here.