My Dad’s all time favourite film is True Confessions starring the greatest actor in the history of the world, Robert DeNiro, and another similarly great actor and another of Dad’s favourites, Robert Duvall. Must be an age thing!
The reason I mention that little gem is that I have a True Confession of my own to make. Don’t see them making a movie out of it mind you, but who knows today? They said the cinema was dead after the making of Watching Paint Dry III yet film goers continue to fill the coffers of Hollywood moguls like every last cinema seat was the last remaining seat on the last remaining liferaft on the tragically stricken Titanic. In fact I shouldn’t be the least bit surprised if I’d had a movie offer or two by the time you finish reading this!
The confession? Oh yes. The other day, I was really naughty. And when I say really naughty, I do mean, ‘Really, Really Naughty’!
The three of us – Mum, Dad and Me – had gone out for a drive and ended up outside my best friend Mischa’s house. I was so excited I can’t tell you. I hadn’t seen Misch for the better part of a week and I was suffering from serious withdrawal symptoms.
Imagine my horror then when Mum and Dad buggered off inside and left me in the back of the car. I was tamping!
Well, I kicked off didn’t I. I couldn’t help myself. Who wouldn’t? I’ve never been a destructive dog. It’s not in my nature. And I think the only thing that saved me from a good verbal tongue lashing from Dad was the fact that I’d never damaged a single thing either in the house or in the car even when I was a wee Puplet with a brain the size of a pea.
But this was different!
This time, my dander was well and truly up. I was simply incandescent with rage. When barking didn’t hasten their return from the house, I head butted the back door of the car a few times. (Not to be recommended by the way. It hurts!).
Anyway, having come to the conclusion that in an all out war with the back door there was only going to be one winner, I turned my attention to the dog guard.
I have a Jeep. Well, what self respecting German Shepherd of any breeding, doesn’t? But for whatever unfathomable reason, when Mum and Dad went into Mischa’s house that day, they left me the wrong side of the dog guard. The ‘other’ side, the side between the guard and the back door, the side where the spare wheel lives, the side all the junk gets put, the car cleaners, the car touch-up paint, the poo bags. The tradesman’s side. Can you blame me for being livid?
One of the things I’ve always liked about those nice Jeep people is the way they manage to think of everything. Dad loves his coffee cup holder for example. Mum loves her heated seat. Me? I love the fact that the dog guard has a convenient gap down each side just about the size and shape of a German Shepherd’s head. See, told you Jeep think of everything!
Anyway, I was so overwrought at being dumped by Mum and Dad, and having decided I was trapped and that there was no way out, there was only one option left. REVENGE!
So, seething with rage, I eased my head through the gap in this German Shepherd-friendly dog guard and what’s the first thing I saw right in front of me? One delectable, juicy, tasty, barely used and virtually new, rear seat belt. Yum, yum I thought to myself!
And with that, I sunk my teeth into the seat belt. Revenge never tasted so good. In fact it tasted so good, I tore into it again. And again. And again. And again. Then, just for good measure, I chewed up the tiny pieces of soggy polyester webbing and spat them out all over the back seat so everyone could later enjoy my tasty entrée.
My appetite for revenge still not sated, I then turned my attention to the main course. The bright and shiny grey leather headrest. Let me tell you, a headrest never looked so good. It looked wonderful. It looked like a tender, juicy piece of prime rib dripping tantalisingly with a blue cheese and garlic sauce and topped off with finely grated, flame grilled bone biscuit. I am a dog of class you know!
Pretty soon, the headrest had gone the way of the seat belt. Destroyed. Put out of serviceable action. Rendered inoperable. Knackered. Caput!
I’d barely finished my meal when, whoops, Mum and Dad are back. Oh Shit. Just as well I didn’t get around to selecting dessert!
Dad was the first to spot the scene of total devastation in his rear view mirror as he pulled away. I ducked lower behind the rear seat imagining I was starring in an episode of Duck Dynasty and that I was the duck. I kept hearing Dad growling over and over again, “I can’t believe what I’ve just seen. I won’t believe what I’ve just seen. I’m going to ignore what I’ve just seen because I’m sure I haven’t actually seen it and when we get home it will be as if none of this had ever happened and I won’t actually have seen anything or have any recollection of any part of this conversation.” Remarkably composed my Dad. Sometimes. Occasionally. Once!
Anyway, when we got back to the house and Dad opened the back door to let me out, he was apoplectic. I mean his face was scarlet. I’ve never seen a humanoid that colour. And teeth. I’ve seen more friendly teeth on a hungry, snarling, salivating, rabid Rottweiler. Let me tell you I was scared. Seriously. You should have seen this thing. I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t my Dad. This was an angry, spitting, snarling monster who looked like he wanted to tear my head off with his bare paws and then spit down my open neck for good measure. I’m telling you, this thing was mean!
So how come I’m still here to relate this sorry tale? Why aren’t I six feet under and pushing up daisies or hitching a ride to Nowheresville with all my worldly possessions strapped to my back? Because I’m one really lucky young GSD. Because for all his bluster, Dad really, really loves me. And when it comes down to it, he’s a bit of an old softy who remembers what it was like to be an occasionally rebellious and impetuous youth.
He also knows of course that my memory is pretty short and that if he had punished me, chances are I probably wouldn’t have understood what I was being punished for anyway. I might just have ended up afraid of him and not knowing what to expect next time I made a tiny error of judgement.
No, it was punishment enough for me that I had to sleep in my bed that evening instead of stretched out on Mum’s feet in front of the fire. I wasn’t even allowed to watch my favourite TV programme, the aforementioned Duck Dynasty. (That Robertson family cracks me up). And to add insult to injury, and this was the saddest part, neither Mum nor Dad gave me a cuddle before going to bed. Mum and dad always give me a cuddle before we all go to bed at night. Always.
Anyway, I knew I’d done something wrong and I’d learned what signs to look for next time. If there is a next time you understand. Which I hope there won’t be because we’re a really happy family and we all love each other very, very much.
I just need to remember that Mum is not well and that Dad is just, well, old. But importantly they love me to bits and I love them the same. Aren’t I just the luckiest young dog in the whole wide world?