Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Life of Brian

My 'Brian's Eye' view of the world
Now it has come to my attention that the crew has been writing an account of this trip without consulting me or asking for my input. And me - a Seadog of the Month at that. What a cheek.
So while the self-styled captain is off shopping I've decided to put my best paw forward and get on the computer while I've got the chance. (As soon as he gets back he'll be on it again - it's all he seems to do when we're not going along.)
I must say I do find this boating a strange game. We start off in the morning with a lot of noise from that engine - which won't keep quiet however much I yap at it - and sometimes a bit of shouting from my master and mistress too. Then we go along for the day and moor up somewhere that generally looks exactly like the place we were in before.
They keep putting me up on the roof to stop me getting on and off. It's alright for them; when they need a pee they just go to the toilet on the boat. I have to hold it in until one of them realises I'm desperate. Then my mistress jumps off with me at a bridge and we walk along the towpath. What am I supposed to do now? Half my pack is on the boat and sailing away; the other half with me. How can I keep control? I have to rush backwards and forwards.
I always seem to get in trouble when we stop, too. People and dogs keep coming onto my territory, even though I've marked out the towpath as our patch. Then I get shouted at and told I'm a "bad dog" when I jump out and try to scare them off with barking.
It's a worry too when I'm on the roof and one of the crew disappears inside. How do I know they're still on board? When it comes to philosophy I'm a follower of George Berkeley – "Any knowledge of the world is to be obtained only through direct perception" – so if I can't see them or hear them or smell them, they don't exist. It's an awful worry, y'know.
I must say, though, that I do enjoy getting the attention of the ladies. I'm a bit of a looker, though I say it myself, and ladies always give me a stroke and fuss. It was wonderful being moored up in the middle of 'Birmingham' as there were lots of pretty young girls to wag my tail at. (We're talking human ladies here, not dogs - though I find myself drawn to them too despite being the victim of an unfortunate accident in the nether regions on which I don't care to dwell.)
I suppose I'm getting a bit more laid back in my old age when it comes to other dogs. I still like to show them who's boss - especially those big things like alsatians and rotweillers that think they own the place. A quick nip round the back legs usually sorts them out. Get your retaliation in first is my motto. I did get a particular telling off from my master when I had a go at a vicar's dog "that wasn't very Christian" he said. Well how was I to know; I thought a man wearing a dog collar was just some sort of special dog-lover.
The thing is, though, that we never stay in one place long enough for me to make proper friends with other dogs. We were in this nice little mooring for a few days and I made a pal with a young alsatian. We were having great games. Then next thing I know we were off again. Now we're in another mooring for a couple of days; there's a couple of friendly dogs here and we've just got past that old, you know, first sniffing session, but I'll bet we'll be moving soon.
You'll notice I haven't said anything about swimming yet. I just don't understand why some dogs seem to enjoy swimming in that filthy canal water. I must admit I've fallen in a couple of times (once I was pushed in by a very nasty spaniel) and I can tell you it's horrible. But at least my owners have stopped putting me in that nasty lifejacket thing - so cumbersome, uncomfortable and unflattering to my figure. Quite embarrassing.
Oh, I can hear the boss returning. Time to press 'save' and nip back to my bed. Cheerio for now.

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