Dirty Dawgs

It’s a lovely crisp clear day in London, and as the sun rose this morning on my short walk to North Sheen station the sky lit up with an array of soft colour. However I didn’t have the chance to wonder at nature’s natural beauty…no, I had to treacherously navigate my small suburban street with my eyes fixed firmly on the pavement.

For as usual throughout my morning stroll I had to weave my way through the minefield of daily dog turd.

I live within 10 minutes of the spacious Richmond Park and the wondrous Kew Gardens; my neighbourhood is a dog walkers paradise. But almost all of these mutts seem to disregard their animal’s deposits, leaving them for the dog-less masses to smear and stick to shoes, wheels and hallway rugs.

And more recently for me the issue has become all the more relevant and frustrating. Although my little boy can now toddle (just), in order to transport him any distance I must fish out my impressive off-road pushchair. It’s hydraulic suspension and chunky wheels can easily negotiate the tough Richmond Park terrain, but unfortunately it is also a magnet for the nasty brown stuff…

At least once a month I have to mix up a bucket of detergent and scrub down every floor in my house, to prevent my baby from crawling around in the gruesome poo trail that his pushchair has smeared from room to room.

I don’t blame the animals, they are unintelligent and much further down the evolutionary scale. Unfortunately it seems that in my area so are their owners…

Baby Telepathy

Apologies, no entry on the commute home yesterday – I met one of my old university housemates for a couple of beers near Waterloo. As predicted two beers morphed into six (and a meaty mezze from Tas) and I was in no state to type as I swayed on the train home…

But as I crept stealthily through my front door (at 10.45pm) I wasn’t greeted with the sweet silence of a sleeping wife and child – far from it. My little 13 month old son was doing his best to inform my neighbours, and their neighbours, that he was very much awake. Immediately I was hit with the heartfelt dread that perhaps I wasn’t quite as neat, contained and quiet in my arrival as I had previously believed.

“Oh no,” I half-whispered to my fiery looking wife, “did I just wake him?”

The relief on my face was obvious as she explained that he had erupted about 30 seconds before I rustled in. It could not have been my fault – I was at least 50 feet from the house, too far to have caused this sudden explosion.

Eventually after much bouncing and a shot of Calpol, he finally settled at about midnight. A particularly long day considering the 5.45 wake-up for my aforementioned exceptionally early commute in.

Lying in bed, desperately willing him to sleep, I had too much time to consider an unlikely coincidence. Over 18 hours earlier, moments before my unusually early morning alarm, he had let out a whimper, then a gurgle, and was obviously awake. My shower and breakfast had been punctuated with a light, happy chatting from behind his closed nursery door. Apparently my wife finally went to him moments after I had exited.

So twice in the past 24hrs my son had woken at an unusual and random time, which happened to coincide to within minutes of my emergence.

Years ago I watched a documentary, which attempted to prove that animals (namely dogs and cats) could accurately predict their owners’ arrival home. The tested animals were left at home as their owners went out at random times. Each time, the dogs especially, would become very animated within five minutes of their owners’ re-arrival, despite their being no obvious indicators that they were about to return home. The expert concluded that this “must” be down to unique telepathic ability that we as humans will never fully understand.

Now I don’t religiously accept every 9pm Channel4 documentary as absolute fact. It was hardly conclusive proof of a strange, revolutionary phenomena. But…maybe the documentary did tap into elements of truth. Maybe more primitive animals can use a telepathic field in a way we cannot comprehend.

And if dogs can do it, why not babies?

It’s amazing what wild ideas can be concocted with the help of sleep deprivation, lots of grilled meat and 6 premium lagers….