Are you ready to adopt a Stafford?
- To prepare for adoption, go to the local Veterinary Surgeon. Tip the contents of your purse/wallet onto his counter and tell him to help himself. Then go to the pet shop. Arrange to have your wages paid directly to their accountant. Go home and read the paper in peace for the last time.
- Before you finally adopt a Stafford, find an couple who already have one and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their dog to run riot. Suggest ways in which they might improve their dog's sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behaviour. Enjoy it - it'll be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.
- To discover how the night feels, go to bed at 10pm. Set the alarm for midnight,
wake up and throw yourself violently onto the floor. Place a 56lb bag of potatoes
on the duvet and attempt to get back under the covers. Reset the alarm for
5.30am and, just as you are awaking, slap yourself in the face with a large
wet sponge. Get up, make breakfast, keep this up for 14 years, try to look
- Can you stand the mess that dogs can make? To find out first throw 2 gallons of mud onto a newly mopped kitchen floor, smear the excess up the sides of the cooker and kitchen units. Tread a little into the hall and living room carpets. Stick your fingers in the flower-beds and rub them on the clean walls. Now, how does that look?
- Walk down the road with one arm fully extended, break into a job extending the arm even further. Say "heel" nicely, several times. Shout "heel" several more. Scream "stop pulling damn you". Ignore looks from passers by.
- Forget the BMW and buy a Ford Sierra. Buy a rawhide chew, a packet of dog biscuits and a large bone. Mash them down the back of the rear seats. Go to the hairdresser's and obtain a week's floor sweepings. Distribute liberally on the seats and carpets. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There, perfect!
- Get ready to go out, try to sneak out of the door without making a sound. Go halfway down the garden path, come back. Five minutes later try again. Come back. Put on the stereo and make soothing noises. Try again. Come back. Ring friends and tell them to come round and see you instead.
- Practice sitting on not more than 1/8th of the sofa and try out different methods of balancing a hot cup on your knees. When, if ever, you perfect this, try eating a packet of crisps/biscuits silently whilst keeping the packet totally out of sight. Give up and sprinkle crumbly residue down back of sofa.
- Tie 2 dinner forks together and put a dog lead on a door hook. Rehearse picking up the dog lead silently. When it rattles scratch yourself very hard down the shins with the forks. Repeat procedure several times. Go to the sports shop and obtain a pair of goalkeepers shinpads.
Always repeat everything you say at least 5 times. Always repeat everything....
This article first appeared in the Northern SBT Rescue's magazine, Summer 1996
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