On the day I was born … well, actually, I have no idea what the nurse said. Probably “Aww, how cute”. It’s an easy mistake to make.
When I have visitors I am Perfect Pup. I greet them shyly, make friends, then settle down to gentle play or a solid snooze, cementing my image as That Beautiful Well-Behaved Dog.
This is mere deception.
When the last guest waves good-bye; when the heavens open and the rain pours down; when the door shuts and leaves me alone with Them; then, I am … Hell Beast!
Hell Beast: Destroyer of Clothing
An early foray into implementing my reign of chaos. It transpires that jeans tear quite satisfyingly when calves are repeatedly nipped from behind. This same principle, slightly modified in the implementation, can be transferred to dangly bits of clothing. T-shirt hems, cardigan sleeves, and any form of skirt or loose trouser leg all have excellent potential for some gentle customisation. The newer the garment the easier the mark; another sad indication of the decline in retail and manufacturing standards from the halcyon days I have heard Them talk about, but it plays straight into my paws, so I’m not complaining.
Current score one new pair of jeans, a cardy and a top. My reign of terror begins. I am also open to black ops sponsorship from Fat Face, Mantaray, or any of Her other regular suppliers.
Oh, sorry, add a pair of combats to the list <snicker>.
Hell Beast: Trampler of Gardens, Despoiler of Floors
Lawns, borders, vegetable beds, bushes, large stands of hemp agrimony … all are as one to me.
Best trick, a perennial favourite: pretend to need the toilet; refuse to go to the toilet; eat absolutely anything I can find (bark, grass, stones, acorn cups); run into impenetrable bush and refuse to come out. Especially effective during heavy rain. For the ultimate finish, wait 10 minutes after going back inside before cracking off a wee without even asking to go back out.
A classic, never gets old.
Hell Beast: Fighter of Leads
In a pathetic attempt to deal with the preceding piece of brilliance, They have started taking me out to the garden on a lead. Ha! This merely provides further opportunity for mayhem. Should you find yourself in a similar situation, some top tips:
- leads make excellent tug toys
Your pack-mates will probably have heard that they shouldn’t encourage tugging or other ‘dominance’ games. Using your lead as the World’s Best Tug Toy will cause them much consternation as they seek to stop you tugging without making it a game. Fools, they have already lost.
- leads make excellent chew toys
If they finally get the lead to go slack, just gnaw on it for a while. Eventually they’ll wise up to this and spray it with something to make it taste horrible, but that’s fine, because gnawing segues neatly into the ultimate weapon
- lie down and refuse to move
Nothing quite conveys “screw you” as effectively as this move. Be sure that The Enemy knows that you really, really need the toilet. Walk confidently and happily on lead to your favourite spot. Sniff around briefly, before trotting to the middle of the lawn. Lie down and set like concrete, all the while practicing the following expressions:
- “What? Me? Need the toilet? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah”
- “You are soooooooooooooooooo mean to me”
- “Oooh, grass; think I’ll rip that up while I’m here”
- “They beat me you know, and barely give me any food at all. Please, please take me away, invisible stranger”
Hell Beast: Deaf to Command
I’m not stupid. I know my name, come, sit, down, stand, off, leave, no, busy, poo and everything else They say. No need for Them to know I know, though. A regular display of selective deafness helps ensure suitably high blood pressure in everyone who isn’t me.
There is one issue I need to work on. If I hear the word “cheese” I can’t stop myself. I have a problem, I admit it. But soon I’ll have that beaten, and then I will rule with iron paw and tin ear.
For … I AM HELL BEAST, BOW MORTAL SCUM AND FEAR MY PUNY BUT QUITE SHARP TEETH, ACTUALLY
It should be made clear that whilst Gibson sometimes likes to style himself as a Devil Dog dispatched direct from the fiery pits of Hell, bent on wreaking havoc and destruction at the whim of his Infernal Master, in reality this is in much the same way that a middle-aged accountant with a Harley likes to think he’s a bad-ass. I.e. not in the slightest.
We do, however, indulge his illusion from time to time. It makes him feel better. And, to be fair, he does have his moments.