Scaling The Learning Curve

The unerring beauty of Sophie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has graced chez Strachan for the past 24 hours. Our copper and cream furred guest furnishing my spouse and me with love, companionship and much needed exercise.

Although we’d previously cared for our wee chum, my wife Karen and I have never owned a dog; consequently we remain on a steep learning curve. A sojourn of self-growth to understand canine needs; acquiring an awareness of something which comes as second nature to experienced pooch owners.


I’m still count myself a dog-sitting novice, but from our infrequent canine-care experiences I’ve picked up a soupcon of useful tips. These snippets include:-

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) aren’t overly arsed about viewing Disney’s ‘Lady & The Tramp’ movie. Evidently, the rom-com genre isn’t as popular in the canine world as it is with humans.
  • I’m now aware that high pitched whistling of Bernstein/Sondheim’s ‘A Boy Like That’ from the musical ‘West Side Story’ tends to make canines bark a lot. I’m unaware whether the catalyst of that canine attention seeking is out of displeasure, or an exhibition of happiness. If pushed, though, I’d plump for the former.
  • In fact, the high pitched whistling of any song makes dogs bark a lot.
  • Additionally, my high pitched whistling of Bernstein/Sondheim’s ‘A Boy Like That’ to a dog makes my wife shout a lot.
  • So does high pitched whistling of any other song to canines.
  • Feeding Sophie from the dining table is frowned upon by my spouse. Especially if the food in question originated from her plate.
  • Encouraging bad behaviour from our wee furry chum by shouting “Attack!” whilst simultaneously pointing at Karen is also frowned upon by the wife.
  • Shouting “Attack!” whilst pointing at the missus, in parallel to performing the high pitched whistling of Bernstein/Sondheim’s ‘A Boy Like That’ absolutely infuriates my betrothed.
  • Sophie likes to be read a bedtime story……. Although, to be honest, is potentially only feigning interest to occupy me; negating my opportunity to cacophonously whistle Broadway hits.
  • Our little house guest has never been to Belgium…… To clarify, Sophie didn’t tell me that, my missus filled in that particular knowledge void….. I’m unclear how Karen knows that, or indeed recall why we were asking a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel about it’s travel experiences.
  • Dogs aren’t interested in proof-reading blogs.
  • My wife isn’t interested in proof-reading blogs.
  • My website had it’s first ever hit from the Solomon Isles yesterday….. It wasn’t Sophie, though, as refuses to visit my “rubbish” website. Additionally, she wasn’t in the Solomon Isles yesterday. The CKCS was here remember.
  • As with Belgium, our diminutive visitor has never visited the Solomon Isles.
  • My wife has visited Belgium, but as yet hasn’t set foot on the Solomon Isles.
  • Karen doesn’t know where the Solomon Isles are; Sophie believes they reside to the east of Papua New Guinea.
  • The Solomon Isles are disappointed my missus doesn’t know where they are. They blame the 1970’s education system in Birtley.
  • A Birtley education executive claims the Solomon Islanders are “Talking out of their ring-pieces !” Going on to say he was educated in the town during that decade, and was aware of the south Pacific isles location…… Although, when pressed further, admitted he wasn’t sure where the Pacific Ocean was.
  • Sophie has been to Papua New Guinea, however declined to take the small hop to the Solomons. Mooting the islands need to address their outdated views on the 1970’s Birtley education system.

So endeth my comprehensive list of recently acquired knowledge into mastering of the art of dog-sitting.


**            The Solomon Islanders appear in this narrative courtesy of a Solomon Islands barman called Leonard.

***         Belgium appears courtesy of the Flemish Appearance Agreement Association.

****      Birtley appears courtesy of former US ambassador Henry Kissinger.

*****    My wife Karen appears in this work courtesy of K-Tel records.

****** The Flemish Appearance Agreement Association appear courtesy of the Solomon Islanders.

******* The K-Tel records appearance in unapproved.

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