Since Walter the saluki/whippet puppy arrived in our house in October, our two tom cats took the huff and moved upstairs where they take their meals and rest after a hard day’s night of loafing around.
Naturally the puppy wanted to follow, despite a few feline right-handers being dished out, so we went back to the early 2000s when our kids were little and bought a stair gate.
A Berlin Wall separating the bountiful, food-filled downstairs with the silent and austere upstairs.
The only trouble is Walter is very, very thin, despite eating his own bodyweight in expensive complete food every day.
And before long he found a way to jimmy himself through the bars and up the stairs to perform his one-dog tribute to the Waterloo Cup – stopping only to hoover up the cats’ food in under three seconds.
So we wrapped chicken wire around the gate and the stair rods so the entrance to our home now looks like one of those maximum security prisons in America Trevor McDonald off the telly makes programmes about.
Did that stop Walter? Did it balls. Within a week he’d managed to open the lock on the gate and bound around the bedrooms like he was at a trampoline park.
Then on Monday we reached a new low. I walked through the front door to be met by Walter and gave him his customary, “Who’s a good boy?” greeting. Then the boss said: “He’s not been a good boy. He’s chewed your vinyl.”
Vinyl bores of a certain age such as myself have collected records over the years which have somehow increased in value faster than London property. My Bloody Valentine, Oasis and Pulp albums bought for single figures now sell on eBay for 10 times their original value.
Thankfully, if that’s the right word, Walter had helped himself to a pile of old singles including Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Brother Louie by Modern Talking and My Perfect Cousin by The Undertones.
The telling off he got were the three words no dog wants to hear. “Who. Did. That?” Then he pulled his best guilty face and walked in slow motion to his bed.