I think rereading my old entries was a good thing. I think writing new entries is a good thing. I think I’m able to put my mind a bit more in order knowing what’s going on.
My dad was not a nice person when I was growing up. He’s not much better now if I’m being honest. There are definitely moments when I like him more and there are definitely moments when I very much do not like him. As I’ve gotten older and after I moved out, it seems my dad is less of a threat, less scary and just in general, less.
A few weeks ago now, I shouted at him. I had good reason to, not just shouting at him for the sake of it.
A few months ago, we got a dog. When I say we, I mean my wife and I. We both work full time. She works Monday – Friday, I work shifts – two days, two nights, four days off. We obviously needed someone to look after Bandit for my two days shifts during the week. Before we got Bandit, we asked my parents if they would be willing to look after him on those two days, they said yes. My dad is retired now, and my mum is part retired and now works from home any way.
Originally, we thought that my parents had forgotten How To Puppy. Bandit was still being toilet trained and he thought that my parents going upstairs for a wee was a group activity. If you can see where this is going, gold star for you. Twice in one day, he went upstairs with each of my parents and wee’d on the carpet in the landing. My mum shouted, which got him to stop and then took him outside. That’s fine. I would have shouted too.
My dad however, not only did he shout, he threw his slipper. Not a normal soft indoor slipper, no, it’s a slipper croc, so it’s heavy, it’s solid. Bandit ran down the stairs, and my dad threw his other slipper too and shouted to my mum “GET THAT DOG OUTSIDE, NOW!”
They didn’t tell me this, they told my wife when she picked him up. Her response was “Right…”. She was unsure on how to react. I was just leaving work and she asked me to phone as she was leaving my parents house. She told me about it. I didn’t immediately say anything to my dad. I was going to hold on, it wasn’t a phone call or text conversation that I wanted to have.
So a bit later on, we’ve all eaten and we decide to take Bandit down to the beach for his walk. It’s only a 10 minute drive away and it was still summer so it was bright until late. As we were leaving, we saw my dad arrive with my brothers dog.
I couldn’t help myself, I was speaking before I had a chance to think what I was saying.
Me: I‘ve been told you threw a slipper at my dog –
Dad (with pride in his voice): Not just one, I threw both!
Me: Well, don’t.
Dad: But he –
Me: I don’t care what he did. You do not throw anything at my dog.
He tried to defend himself and I wouldn’t let him. We walked away.
It felt good to shout at him. It had been a long time coming, that’s for sure.
Bandit no longer goes to my parents on my day shifts. They were making him sick.
We found out that he has a sensitive stomach, but we’re not sure what it is that doesn’t agree with him.
We went through 4 different types of kibble, 3 different types of dog meat, human food, until he just hadn’t eaten in almost 48 hours. He was having loose poo and was farting almost constantly. We know dog farts aren’t like roses, but these were rancid and were every 30 seconds. We were recommended to try raw food and he’s been excellent since. But him being on raw food means that he can’t have any type of “normal” dog food as it has different digestion rates and can make him very poorly. We also didn’t know what he could and couldn’t have so we were slowly introducing him to different proteins to see what worked better.
Every time he went to my parents, he came back with loose poo. We had him at home for 6 days and he was back to normal only for it to happen again. We had asked my parents to pick up the “grazing” biscuits they have down for my brother’s dog. We had asked for them to only give him the treats that we provided. They did not.
We ended up going round for a surprise roast dinner, we planned to just drop something off and go but my mum asked 6 times if we wanted to stay so we stayed. While we were eating, Bandit was there. Face at our plates. My wife said “We’re not sure how this has started, we don’t feed him from our plates.” My parents started doing muffled laughs and going “Sshh, don’t blow us up!” to Bandit. I asked if they had been feeding him off their plates, my mum said “Only a bit of bread and meat and stuff…” She said it sheepishly. She knew I was annoyed. I told her to stop and reminded them that he can’t have it and this is why he’s being poorly.
The next time he was round at my parents for Doggy Day Care, I was picking him up. My wife had had a long day and just wanted to go home, an extra hour at my parents wasn’t going to make a difference.
So when I got there, I asked how he had been. My dad said he had done 4 poos on the walk, each more loose than the last. I asked if they’re fed him anything, they said no. As I was leaving with him, my mum mentioned that he ate all of their dogs biscuits as soon as he arrived.
Me: So he has eaten something today. I have asked if you can pick them up when you know he’s coming.
Brother: They’re her grazing biscuits, they’re part of her routine!
Me: Are you refilling her biscuits when he’s eaten them?
Dad: No, we’re not.
Me: So she’s not getting the biscuits if he’s eating them or you’re picking them up anyway?
Me: Can you please keep picking the biscuits up when you know he’s coming?
Brother: No, it’s part of her routine. You’ll just have to find someone else to look after him won’t you?!
And I walked out.
Bandit has not been back to my parents without us since. My parents haven’t asked about him coming back. I’ve not mentioned it either.
I phoned my friend’s mum, who has a cat sitting business – she’s looked after our cats before when we’ve been away, if she was willing to add us to her client roster. She agreed as long as we didn’t advertise it and that we understood she wouldn’t post photos of him on her Facebook page. I said of course! She’s doing us a massive favour and I love her immensely. We have definitely made the right decision.
Forever, standing my ground,