Hay: Dog on a cold tile roof

I’ve been going to the dogs lately. That’s for sure, you may say, but what I really mean is I’ve been thinking a little more about dogs than I usually do, which is quite a lot, actually.

After nearly an entire lifetime of having one or possibly two dogs around at all times, a couple of years ago we unfortunately became dog-less. Both Scamp, the Deranged Shih Tzu, and Scotty, the Cement Head West Highland White, somehow got old on us and within a fairly short time both of them left us alone here in this veil of tears. After experiencing a severe pet shortage for a couple of summers, the Better Half accidentally bonded with a rescue cat that needed a home, and so little Chicklet is now happily ruling our household, scratching the furniture and becoming a much larger Chubblet. It’s surprising how much I really like this dumb cat, although, in reality, she’s not, you know, technically, a dog.

So I’ve sort of been looking. Out of the corner of my eye, mind you, but still kind of squinting at the possibility of having another dog around one of these days. And then just when I think it might be time, I happen to read an article or notice a news story and I’m miraculously, albeit temporarily, cured of this notion.

For example, I noticed that in the U.K. this week the Daily Mirror did a full page spread about a dog on a roof. In a barking story – sorry – make that a breaking story – it seems a large four-year-old Rottweiler named Cooper was disturbing the neighbours by loud, aggressive and incessant yapping. It was discovered that the big black rotty was in fact standing way up there on the rather steep and slippery tiled roof of a house. The house belongs to the Pickford family, as does Cooper, and the Pickfords were enjoying a pint at a nearby pub when frazzled neighbours “burst through the door” to tell them their dog was stuck on top of their house. It seems the mutt has made his way up into the attic and then “bashed the skylight open” and crawled out onto the roof – the skylight closing behind him.

The Pickfords ran home and sure enough there was their highly excited Rottweiler, high up on the precipice, yelling at everyone and everything. The fire department was called but just as the lights and sirens arrived, Mr. Pickford had managed to dangle himself out of the skylight far enough to grab Cooper by the tail and drag him back into the house. I believe Mr. Pickford survived without losing his arm and you’ll be happy to know that Cooper was just fine.

Not to be out-dogged, the Internet news site BuzzFeed had a little feature on dodgy dogs, including a mutt who ate “vanilla-scented candles, one and a half boxes of chocolate-covered cherries, about 60 fish oil pills all at one time, and a sewing needle”. They also mention an old pit bull who scarfed up 500 (yes, 500!) paintballs, and his potty output was neon orange for a week. And then there’s the basset hound that ran over and peed on a little girl’s backpack “while she was waiting for the bus.” Oh, and the Labrador who ran in through a neighbour’s dog door and ate the bacon right off the guy’s plate. And there were about 20 more of these tales, most of them much worse.

So, in second thought, maybe getting another dog can wait for a while. Besides, we’ll have to ask permission from our chunklet cat, and you know how that’s gonna go.

Harley Hay is a writer and filmmaker in Red Deer.

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