On Pets & Perversions

chili rasbora boraras brigittae, creative commons applies

Header image: Atulbhats, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Some new additions in and out of the bedroom.

Johnny’s win affected me in a way I didn’t expect. I expected to be happy for him and instead, I cried full, heavy tears. Even if the situations weren’t in any way alike, I felt as though justice had been done. I felt hope, and just as Johnny could now recover his life, I could recover mine.

We’d heal, us INFPs, together.

On Monday I received a call. I was completely unaware of it, but apparently during my family dinner last week I looked like I was ready to throttle my mother, and Andy had noticed my not-so-hidden displeasure. Seeing my mother lift my dog by the collar was enough to infuriate me, and I was certain that actions would have consequences. I couldn’t do anything to stop her (I would have been outnumbered and on her turf anyway), but it was certainly more than enough to make me consider prohibiting her from visits with Hugo in future. After all, if you can’t treat my dog nicely, then you don’t deserve to spend time with him. My dog, my rules.

My dog is kind and obedient, but he is reward-based trained. That means if you want him to not go near something then you give him the “back”, the “sit” and the “wait” commands, then reward him once the object has been investigated or retrieved, you don’t simply push him out of the way instead. He might be a little dog, but little dogs have got ferociously big personalities and they will not be disrespected.

But she did, and because she did, he growled. He didn’t snap, he just let his protest be known. He communicated “hey, don’t push me. I don’t like to be pushed”. After all, it was his tennis ball that he was after – the little guy is justified!.

And because he growled and Mum considers herself as the “Alpha” (thank you for this, Cesar fucking Milan), she hauled him up by the collar, carried him out of the room, and dumped him in the back room. From that point, my dog was the bad dog. My very good (though misunderstood and now mistreated) dog was now the very bad dog. Period.

But my good dog is a good dog, and he was trained by me, to me. A whistle, a click of the clicker and a treat, that’s how I get my dog to behave. I respect him, he respects me – no pushing, no alpha rolls, and definitely no hitting.

Admittedly I did;’t have a clicker or treats on me last week, and looking back, perhaps I should have. I’ve now assembled a little kit with a treat pouch full of treats (that also contains a roll of dog poo bags in the front section, you know, because you can bever be too prepared!) and a clicker/whistle on a lanyard. Hugo won’t want to mess about anymore, he’ll just want to be where the treats are.

Also this week, I introduced eleven chili rasboras and ten more red cherry shrimp to my lounge aquarium. I knew that they were all coming on the Tuesday, and so I knew that the Tuesday woud be busy.

At about 9:20am, there was a knock on our door – the postman.

I like our postie, he’s youngish, friendly and he chats. He’s quieter, but he’s also talkative enough that we can have a conversation and when he handed over the two polystyrene boxes, he knew exacly what I’d ordered. We’ve had many fish-related chats before.

“I don’t know what keeps doing it!” I said resigned “the last lot more or lesss completely died off about a week ago, suddenly and unexpectdly.”

“I had a feeling you’d been buying more shrimp” he said.

“Shrimp and chilli rasboras. The rasboras I just love, I have three already and they’re quirkly little fish that are supposed to be shy and are anything but. As for the shrimp, if they die off now then I’m just sticking to fish and snails. At this rate, splitting an atom with my bare hands is probably easier! “. He laughed.

Losing my shrimp en masse had had me asking a lot of questions: My ammonia and nitrite levels were at 0, my TDS was within parameters and the substrate condition had improved ever since I took a bunch of crud out last week. Even with the new mineral blocks then I was still losing shrimp, so what, then, was the cause?

It turns out, I may have been somewhat over-cleaning my tanks.

How can my tank be clean and messy at the same time? Think of it a bit like replacing the air in a messy bedroom. The air might be better for you, but unless you tackle the mess then it’s still a hazard to your health. Instead, you need to stop swapping out the air so often, and actually do something about the mess. Regularly. Routinely.

Shrimp, it turns out, only want their ‘room’ cleaned twice in a month. Could calming down a little bit on my water chnges finally give me the colony that I desire? Here’s hoping!

For the first time in ever, I finally made it under the stairs this week. We don’t have an attic, but we instead have an under the stairs cupboard where we keep things that don’t have an otherwise home – like the toolbox that’s full of things that get used too often to live in the shed, and the Flash kitchen spray that we buy in bulk because we seem to get through it at an alarming rate. I thought my efforts to get more organised would be hopeless, and yet true to form, with a little work, it’s quite amazing how quickly you can make progress. The folding chairs are moving back to the shed (we don’t entertain nearly enough for them to live under the stairs) and instead, the understairs is going to double moreso as a pantry. It’s not huge, but for a few supplies then I’ve no doubt that it will make a difference.

On Thursday, I had a stroke of genius. One of the things that often happens for us is that Matt and I wind up feeling a bit kinky on a not-date night, and owing to that, we hesitate on breaking anything out because it’s not the “right” night. We agreed to relax the “rules”, but we hadn’t made any progress. To help with that, I – the appointed decorator of the household – had an idea.

“Why have you got self-adhesive hooks?”

“Decorating purposes” I said vaguely, I gave him a coy smile and sipped my tea. He sighed.

I worked at a leisurely pace, restocking the home and putting my montly Amazon shop wherever it needs to be. Shop away, I picked up two hooks and disappeared into the bedroom. I said nothing about them for much of the night.

“Did you approve of my notion, by the way?” I asked as I lie in bed.

“Your notion?”

“Look up” I said, nodding at the faux leather headboard behind me. He scrambled across to take a peek.

There, in the corner of the room and hidden just out of view on two chrome hooks, was the blindfold and our cuffs.

“You little- ! That’s such a good idea!”

“Do you want any more hooks up?”

“What for?”

“You when you’re naughty? No. Flogger? Crop? Paddle?”

“Yeah right! To have you that close to a paddle first thing in the morning? No chance! They stay where they are.”

I suppose he has a point.

cuffs ha

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