Scratch are on the rise. A nightmarish cross between furry little doggies and sharp clawed killing machines. They’re invading Swallow and something’s gotta be done. Donuts, the rugby-loving Welsh Terrier decides enough is enough. Together with his bestest mates and a well-chewed odd-shaped ball, he’s gonna endgame this invasion once and for all. Sure! It can only end in tears. At the infamous battle of the Tesco Extra 5 bins.
It is a particularly fresh sniffing day in the small Buckinghamshire town of Swallow on the edge of the drinkThames. Winter is melting away along with all the whitedrink as daffodils and croci spring out of the ground in Herdwick pooping park, waving about and begging fourlegs to squirt on them. And what can be better than that? When a squirt is all that really matters, apart from a good noshing, of course.
Trouble is, the change in the weather and what with the bright hot ball in the sky getting brighter, a lot of unwanted scratch are also being attracted out into the light. It’s no longer safe for a decent fourlegs to go sniffing around the undergrowth and the marker posts in the woods and cocking a leg. They just sit there, watching, waiting. An unspeakable contempt in their malign presence. And it’s getting worse. For some unknown reason, more and more scratch are appearing in Swallow. It just might have something to do with the opening of the scratch sanctuary down the far end of Nelson Avenue, close by Tesco Extra.
Howdy doody everyone
Sniffs like bacon at Greggs all day brekkers
Nah, sniffs heavy legs to me over on the farms
Doner kebab at the Turkish
Doner don’t start cooking til the afternoon
Muttwits the load of yous…it’s scratch!
It’s a particularly troublesome sniff hanging over the Swallow air. Worse still, the scratch sanctuary is just ‘round the corner from Tesco Extra, and it’s five county council bins. Swallow’s fours are caught completely unawares and there’s a bad sniff all over. It’s just not natural!
“oi,yerlittleWelshbugga” Wynn scolds, holding up a bowl of sausage and scrambled egg ‘yermomsaysyougottagoonadiet…butafterthis, mate” and drops it down in front of the rather large and pudgy Welsh Terrier, Donuts.
Donut’s snout is in it before the bowl even touches the ground.
That’s what I’m talking about as his snout vacuums up the breakfast, his second breakfast, starting across the bottom of the bowl before methodically sweeping ‘round all the edges, thorough and professional like.
Ah, Pork, burnt down one side, just the way I like’m
He looks up expectantly at Wynn his companion and food provider, “don’ttellyermom,butI’malsogivingyoumine”
And, ah, Wyn, next time would be good if breakfast can be a bit breakfaster! For some extraordinary reason, Wynn snorts and walks away.
Donuts sniffs all over the immediate eating area, disappointed to find nothing further except a crumb of sausage stuck in the mat. He nibbles at it til it comes free and licks over the spot for good measure. Right then boyo, that’s brekkers ticked off, walkies up next
The tinkle of a choke chain flaps Donut’s earflaps. Gotta get out! Gotta get out! His thick curly-haired toes scrabbling for purchase on the tiled floor he bolts out the kitchen and into the hallway, lassoing himself onto the choke Wynn is holding open for him, unable to check his speed before snout crumples into glass front door.
“easymate” Wynn tugs him back “let’sgetthedooropenfirst” and before he knows it, Donuts is already outside into the hall of the apartment block and scrabbling his way towards the lifts.
“..andmakesureyoutakethestairs,Wynn,thatdog’sfatenoughasit is” shouts out Dona packmom from inside the apartment.
I don’t do stairs! Donuts reminds Wynn, sitting at the lift and giving him the eye.
Wynn shakes his head, presses the lift call, quietly as he can
“whatdidIjustsay?” the voice from down the hall, making Wynn cringe.
Pooper-scooper at the ready, Wynn follows Donuts at a sloping half-crouch up the path between the communal gardens leading away from the apartment block. One part of the renovation project underway across Swallow as it gets increasingly absorbed into the growing conurbation of London further up the drinkThames. The block was a shabby old council tenant beforenows. Nows its a chick pied-a-terre for young professional hindlegs commuting into the Smoke. This don’t mean a thing to Donuts, who’s happy to grace the flowerbeds with his poop. And the walkways, stairwells and even the lift if given half the chance.
Keep up bach he admonishes Wynn, bouncing along, his back legs straining a bit under his considerable weight. Wynn stops to sprinkle some peanuts in their husks under the trees, enjoying feeding the grey furrylegs who scurry all over the place.
Waste of good peanuts and if they weren’t husked, Donuts would eat them himself.
A healthy poop later, just on the paving edge to keep Wynn sharp, and not in the flowerbeds, Donuts pulls his companion into Birch Street, down to Nelson Avenue, across the road, and into Herdwick pooping park.
Sniff you, yer fat Welsh bast’ad
Sniff you too, One Ear calls Donuts to One Ear, who used to be known as Tuffy, beforenows, and hates to be called One Ear since it was bit off by Big Knickers ‘enry. Who used to be called just plain Henry beforenows, but – anyways, that’s another story.
It’s Tuffy, by the way One Ear replies, hurt.
Ear today, gone tomorra Donut ripostes.
Anyways, watcha doin’ Dognuts?
Walking Wynn here he flicks his head back, indicating the morose companion behind him.
Tuffy sits and idly rubs his belly with all the time in the world.
Catch a load of that scratch sniff he says, his snout quivering, one leg daintily cocked.
Donuts sniffs the air. He certainly sniffs Tuffy, he can sniff a few fourlegs, those ugly-sounding flaplegs up in the marker posts and various hindlegs wandering around the park, obviously lost. (They really are a useless species!) And he can even sniff the sound of the sap squirting its way up all the marker posts as they prepare to pump leaves out into the spring air. But scratch? Dog-damnit!! It’s true. A whole pooper-scooper load of scratch sniff!
Up at five bins Tuffy keeps belly rubbing taking it over, lock, stock and bin, can you believe?
Tesco Extra five bins? Donuts knows Tuffy is simple, probably because he can only hear half of anything these days, but…
Yes, Tesco Extra’s. Who else got five bins, mate?
You’re having a laugh!
I ain’t. And they are!
Donuts is shocked. Scratch ‘round the five bins!
I’ll drag Wyn round theres and have a sniff then
Careful up there Dognuts. They’re nasty bas’tads the load of’ems
Scratch? Donuts scoffs, hauling on Wynn’s lead and leaving Tuffy to sort out his belly rubbing.
Scratch taking over Tesco Extra five bins! It just ain’t natural!
Feeding mat? Symmetrically placed upon floor without wrinkles. Feed bowl? Centered on mat, equidistant to all four edges. Water bowl? Brimming with clean water.
Mister Park, the Korean Jindo, lives a quiet and fastidious life together with his companions P.Smith packfather and L.Smith packmother. The companions, referred to by all as Profit&Loss, also live an orderly life. It may have something to do with the fact that Profit&Loss are both elderly hindlegs and any sort of disorder in the houseden is something not be tolerated. No. Not never. P.Smith ensures that Mister Park’s stainless steel feeding bowls are always scrubbed after usage to mirror perfection, every morning when the bright hot ball is thrown into the sky. And every evening when the bright hot ball falls back down to the ground. Mister Park appreciates his bowls scrubbed perfect.
Furthermore, L.Smith stalks Mister Park around the houseden with her dustpan and brush, wherever the bright hot ball happens to be, sweeping up every wisp of shed hair or spec of outside dirt caught between his toes. Shed hair and specs of dirt are totally unacceptable in the P&L houseden. Mister Park appreciates his houseden immaculate.
There is one huge and extraordinary thorn in the whole dog-damn furry butt to all this law and order: the forth resident of the houseden. It goes by the name of Sherbet.
Out of nowhere a huge puke-yellow coloured scratch jumps down to the floor, pads over to Mister Park’s feeding mat and commences to slurp water from his shiny stainless steel drinking bowl.
Well, this’s…this’s simply outrageous!
To make matters worse it then starts rubbing its cheek whiskers along the sides of the shiny stainless steel bowl, licking along the rim and then using its puke-yellow furry toes to wipe said whiskers. Meanwhile, spots of water are nows all over the place, plus something stuck between the fangs in its dog-damn awful mouth is nows floating in the remaining drinking water. Needless to say, the shiny stainless steel drinking bowl ain’t so shiny no more.
Now look here, Sherbet, this is just nasty, nasty, nasty behaviour
Mister Park sits neatly away from his mat, upon his powder blue sleeping cushion, patiently waiting for the scratch to move away from his things. Perhaps, any other right proper fourlegs will be tearing out puke-yellow fur hairs by now, laying down the law with some good old fashioned fourlegs slap time. But not Mister Park.
That’s cos he’s an excruciatingly well-mannered little fourlegs. And maybe cos he’s also Korean.
And whats more…it’s just …just not fair!
Oh, but there’s worse.
For some inexplicable dog-damn reason, Profit&Loss are quite content to let this puke-yellow monster run roughshod over the houseden. There’s no shiny-as-mirror cleaning of its feeding bowls and there’s certainly no chasing behind its big fat, furry, pukey butt with a dustpan and brush. Oh no, not at all. Sherbet simply gets away with dirty murder.
Now look here, Sherbet, do step away from my drinking bowl…please
Sherbet just stares at Mister Park, licking its toes like its got all the dog-damned time in the world.
Mister Park lifts a toe to step forward.
“MISTERPARK,” a voice from above cautions “don’tyougoupsettingSherbet! She’sasmuchapartofthidshouseasyou!” L.Smith packmother, the Loss half of Profit&Loss, peers down at the little Jindo, who’s frozen in mid-step. “remember,she’sinadelicateway”
I am simply cautioning her of the severity of her actions
“anddon’tyougetyappingandall” Loss cups Mister Park’s earflaps, giving them a short cautionary tug in opposite directions “nothowwebehaveinthishouseholdisit?…no,notatall”
Sherbet stares with dark flat eyes, licking at her big puke-yellow toe. Yeah, go stuff yerself she might almost be saying if she could talk. Though, obviously, the nasty animal is not intelligent enough to talk.
There’s only one thing for it. The only way to get himself off the sharp end. Mister Park rolls on his back and throws all four toes into the air for a well-deserved rub.
(Donuts part.2 follows next week…)