My dog, Jones, has several bad habits the latest of which is that of clawing and digging at our polished timber door when we are not home. I’m not sure why he does this but I have many theories: either he is trying to open the door in which case he is simply daft, as he has neither the thumbs nor the height needed to unlock it. Or perhaps he is genuinely distressed and goes slightly mental when he can’t see us. As the majority of the door is glass he could be trying to fight off a mysterious and puzzling twin dog in the reflection. Whatever the reason I need a solution.
I cleverly tried to wrap cardboard boxes around the door by closing it in the hinge side and where the door closes in the middle. In my mind this was some kind on impenetrable fortress, which Jones quickly demolished and carried on destroying rented property. We decided to do the only sensible thing and ask Google what we should do. Google provided us with a link to a website of a company that touted the ability to make magical dog booties that dogs could not take off. These booties promised to prevent harmful scratching. We placed our order online and waited the usual ten days it takes for anything to reach our continent from the more moderately priced USA. When they arrived I was more than disappointed by what looked like small red party balloons. I could have brought a pack of 50 from the supermarket and saved us all a lot of time. They were difficult to put on. After all it’s not like my dog is going to lay on his back and volunteer his paws, one after the other, especially to a frightening red rubber bootie! This level of difficulty in putting them on might lead one to an expectation that they may indeed not come off and therefore “prevent harmful scratching”. You could imagine my surprise when I came home after leaving him for only three hours to find these ridiculous red rubber socks lying on the ground, filthy and riddled with bite holes. Moments later my surprise was not so great to see my back door covered in deep “harmful scratches”.
A few days later I wanted to redeem the booties, to find a purpose for them. One rainy night I had an idea. I could use the balloon socks to take the dog for a walk and then when we get back he will have dry feet still! Amazing – I know. That was the night I learned that almost everyone in the world has an aversion to a dog who is wearing little red shoes. It doesn’t fit their worldview; it’s kind of like racism but for dogs with shoes. There were a number of different reactions, all of them embarrassing. Some whispered quietly to their friends “is that dog wearing shoes?” Along with a combination of “yes, little red shoes”, “oh my God” and much laughter.
I knew it was time to take Jones home and retire the red booties forever when I walked past a group of drunken pub goers who began shouting to each other. “Is that dog wearing shoes?” bleated the first yobbo. “Yeah, It’s wearing fu***g red slippers” replied another of the mob. They were all beginning to point and draw far too much attention. Imagine how Jones would feel if he could understand what was happening. He didn’t ask for red balloon slippers (except for destroying a door which was asking for some kind of punishment) but here he was standing in the rain with ridiculous red balloon shoes on his paws being laughed at by a group of drunken pub bogans. I swear he clicked those slippers together three times per pair and home he went.