It's a dog eat cat world. Get used to it
OPINION: My wife and I are getting our first dog.
I've never been a dog guy. I've always been more of a car guy. If you put petrol in it and it goes bang – I'm interested. Wet fur, smelly breath and being responsible for another biochemical machine is less appealing.
But – hallelujah – I have seen the light. Where do I sign up for join Club Canine?
I test drove a dog last weekend. I had no frame of reference for what dog life entails, but after walking the mean streets of Christchurch I can report I wasted my youth trying to attract young women with cars.
I should have just got a dog and done away with all the old pigs I spent my youth driving. Because, judging by the way I was swamped by about a million women as we walked the city, it's a better tool for meeting gals than a lowered Cortina.
I was test-driving the dog due to the fact a friend is moving overseas for a year and needs someone to look after her pooch. She gets an obedient babysitter. We get a happy dog.
So I'm soon to be the caretaker of Griffin, a white German shepherd, 5 years old yet retaining some puppydog goofiness.
He's bigger than I would have chosen. He's also long-haired, which wasn't on my wishlist – but a life of lint rollers and non-stop vacuuming seems a small price to pay for such an amiable companion.
There's also that doggy smell, that lab-in-the-back-of-a-stationwagon-after-a-trip-to-the-beach smell. But hey, I'm sure he thinks I stink like human so I try not to be too judgy.
Griffin might just be the perfect dog. He's well-trained, behaves around children, can do tricks and is just as happy to chill as to take a walk on the beach.
We stalked the streets; we jumped over park benches; we stood outside the cat café and stared menacingly through the window - thug life, baby.
The picking up of poos was a fresh experience, it felt strangely intimate and the warmth of the stool weirded me out. But once you've cleaned a pub toilet on a Sunday morning, a bit of dog crap in a plastic bag seems positively genteel.
Griffin really is a good boy and I'm sure we're going to be besties for the next year.
I'd say he was without fault was it not for his inclination to kill cats. He's had altercations with two of the significant cats in my family circle that have led to us now being unwelcome at certain dwellings.
My dodgy brother-in-law has taken to calling the poor dog Gareth Morgan and teasing me that I'll have a cat death on my hands.
"You and that mutt aren't welcome round here no more."
I've explained that dogs attacking cats is fine. Cats are stupid, smarmy and selfish – they make no sense as pets and couldn't do puppy dog eyes if their lives depended on it.
Whereas dogs, they're waiting for you when you get up and spend their whole day doing nothing but giving back.
Besides, big deal, dogs kill cats – it's just the lore of the cartoon jungle. Dogs kill cats, cats kill birds and birds kill insects – without it we couldn't have an old woman who swallowed a fly.
So I'm sorry to Manuel and Pipi, the traumatised cats of my family, but my new best friend is here to stay. Best you get up that tree when you see me pull up on your driveway now that I'm a dog guy.
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- The Press