For a few weeks now I have had a suspicion that Trevor is That Age. I won’t sully your mind with descriptions as to how I know this, suffice to say he has been a bit… frisky.
Yesterday and this morning, that friskiness made him quite bouncy and it was obvious he needed to go out and have a good long run to get some of that surging testosterone out of his little doggy system. Keen to be a good owner, I finished my morning work quickly and loaded him into the car. You see we have a gorge near us, or rather it is romantically called a gorge. In reality, it is a giant crater of a chalk pit caused by about a hundred years of cement making, but the council have turned it into a beautiful nature park so who am I to argue with their choice of name?
Trevor was delighted. I unclipped him from his lead and off he went to sniff. Every leaf, tree trunk and pot hole was thoroughly examined on the way down and then he dived into the lake for a bracing January swim, intent on chatting to a few ducks. It really was lovely.
A few minutes later, a young Jack Russell arrived. Being puppies they did what puppies do and ran around in excited circles, smelling each other’s genitals. The owner, a lovely man in a West Ham bobble hat, sat on the bench next to me and we chatted as our dogs tired themselves out.
“Ah- there’s Dolly,” he said looking past me. “How was her op?”
Dolly’s owner, who was also sporting a bobble hat, smiled down at the now three arse-sniffing dogs. “I’ve put it off till next week as she’s in season.”
My face fell and she saw it. “Has he been done?”
The fate of Trevor’s impressive golden balls is the source of much debate in the Heath household. I’ve read all the advice and chatted to the vet. Neutering Labradors before eighteen months can cause stunted growth, obesity and arthritis in later life. There is also no guarantee it will stop the ‘humpy-hump-humps’, as I affectionately call it, because half of them still continue to get frisky even after they’re seedless. The vet said, ‘let’s wait and see’. As Trevor has a bonk hip, it’s not as if we can put the little fella out to stud, so I’m fairly philosophical on the subject. So is my daughter.
The men in the house are staunchly against it, my son especially so. In the same way that all men wince when they see another man in pain and clutching his wedding vegetables, I am convinced there is some sort of a telepathic link between males and all scrotums. Having Trevor’s snipped is, in their head, a crime against humanity. But I digress…
Dolly is a dead ringer for Lady, in the iconic Disney film Lady and the Tramp. Long brown velvet ears, beautiful curly hair, sultry brown eyes. She was also, I now knew, in season.
“He’s at That Age,” I said nodding sagely.
“Then I had best take Dolly away.”
“Probably best,” I said preparing the lead.
Dolly was having none of it. She took one look at Trevor, all moist and glistening from his impromptu swim and began to flirt. I can only assume that to her he was the canine equivalent to Mr Darcy in the wet shirt. Golden fur plastered seductively to his magnificent doggy chest, those soulful brown eyes, that sexy, cold wet black nose…
Dolly’s owner tugged on her lead but the minx resisted. She made puppy-eyes at Trevor and lifted up her tail so he could get a proper look at the business end. My dog is no fool. He knew exactly what was on offer as his nose went in for a proper, lingering and intimate sniff.
Her owner panicked and took off at a sprint, dragging the shameless spaniel behind her. Unfortunately, she didn’t wait until I had clipped Trevor back on his lead. Like a rat up a drainpipe he was off after his lady love.
“Tr-revor!!!” I started running too. My short, fat legs going as fast as they could, which really isn’t very fast, and woefully inadequate under the circumstances. “I’ve got a treat! Does Trevor want a treat?”
Of course he didn’t.
At least not the sort I had.
He ignored the Bonio I was waving in the air like a loon and disappeared around the corner at speed. With hindsight, I'm prepared to concede a wheaty biscuit that helps keep teeth clean, and which I keep in my handbag for emergencies, was no substitute for a bit of consensual humpy-hump-humps, but at the time it was all I had in my arsenal.
Breathless, I rounded the corner and saw things had reached a critical stage. The vixen, Dolly was braced; bum in the air and tail to the side. Trevor was… resplendent… and I saw parts of my dog I hope never to see again. Despite his bonk hip, his back legs were doing the samba.
Dolly’s owner had sandwiched herself between the two rampant hounds, a human prophylactic to stop the inevitable pitter-patter of tiny paws, her bobble hat now skewed and Trevor’s muddy paw-prints all over the back of her pale pink trousers (who wears pink trousers on a dog walk?).
Using what I assume is a wrestling manoeuvre and muddying my own jeans in the process, I finally managed to pull him, still samba-ing away.
Sorry seemed inadequate.
We were both very polite and British about the incident before we hurried un opposite directions down the narrow path. Trevor was, understandably, furious. As I type this he is sleeping with his back to me and will probably sulk for the rest of the day. I am fine with that. I shall leave you, dear reader, with the text I sent my husband in the immediate aftermath… I’m off to buy a bobble hat.
Trevor the Dog is the registered keeper and author's best-friend of Virginia Heath. If you would like to read more of Trevor's antics, check out his webpage HERE