The Dog That Time Forgot


I mean that in the “Peanuts” sense. In the same way as Charlie Brown might say, resignedly, “Good Grief.”

I am in week two of a new job. I have fought through the last two days of teaching with a stonking migraine, with half an eye on a mother who has just emerged from hospital after a grand total of five brain ops, and a sideways glance at a little nephew starting school.

I am bad at being new. I obsess, I polarise, I moan, I self reproach, I cannot keep my discomfort to myself.

I am so bad at being new that I have renamed the cat in a sweeping comfort gesture. Sod everyone else: he’s Clive. Clive Bond, allowedly, in a tribute to the family’s democratically elected name of James Bond, but Clive is his name.

So me and Clive, we’re like that. We see eye to eye: often literally and often upside down, because Clive loves nothing more than to scale my back while I’m labouring at schoolwork with tiny pointed krampons, ending his journey at my head and stooping over to regard my fringe.

Clive is discomforting our other four-legged member of the family. He has destroyed the status quo with one impudent sweep of his tiny paw. Macaulay is getting more cuddles and extra treats and fussing than he has in the rest of his life put together, but this is cutting no ice with the family dog. No: if there’s one thing the dog does with the assured alacrity of a maestro, it’s reproach.

There are times when Macaulay is very noisy indeed, and there are times when he is silent as the grave.

His noisy times are usually bound up with remonstrance. He is the local doggy police force, and it is his job to stand at the back gate barking corrections at every dog on its way to the forest.

But his quiet times: they are many. He can sit silent so that we don’t know he’s there. When he helps himself to a place on the sofa he can be almost not there at all, in fact, or when he helps a bag of ham off the table to its rightful place in his stomach.

There are advantages to being quiet: and there are disadvantages.

Thursday morning: my first day, second week. We were off on a school trip and I had woken up with surprise headache. I must get up early, look over my planning, prepare the children’s outfits, cover Maddie’s workbooks in sticky backed plastic, make packed lunches, dispatch Maddie to the train with Phil, and take Felix and the dog to my sister’s: Felix to be dropped off at school, the dog to spend a day at Al’s house.

All this, and I needed to pick up migraine medication to stem this head before it got dangerous. I should arrive at school by 8am; I texted my colleague to say I would be 15 minutes later, because I needed to stop at the early chemist.

This long, long list I almost achieved. I did all these things, arriving suitably attired in the school car park, nursing my butterflies. There was no time to spare: I must dash in to begin my school day.

And then I turned round, and looked down the long length of my estate car.

And who should be standing silently at the back, but the dog: reproach etched large on his mien.

Oh, bugger.

It is fortunate that I have a kind sister who could come to collect him with all speed. But I still had to leave my keys at a bemused school office, telling them my sister would need these to collect the dog. No-one even smirked. Dead pan responses wherever I went.

And none more dead pan than the moustachio’d silent creature who waited, dourly, for collection in the back of a mercedes estate in the car park.



53 thoughts on “The Dog That Time Forgot

  1. I feel like a bit of a sadist but I find the lame adventure of yours rather amusing — and while suffering a “stonking migraine”. Maybe Mac is using his capacity to be stealth to get back at you for bringing Clive Bond into the household? Glad it ultimately worked out and that your sister was available to come to your rescue and retrieve the dog.

    1. He forgets everything the moment he is out on a walk, Isobel πŸ™‚ Today the cat has had his first set of injections so he’s out for the count. Macaulay is enjoying the personal space.

  2. I’m so full of admiration that you can get all this together – and with a migraine. I have never had a migraine, but then again I have never had a dog. Dogs, migraine, teaching, getting children ready – I’ve got to go back to bed, I’m feeling dizzy:)

  3. I’m feeling sort of sorry for Macaulay. And in the picture, he does look woeful. But you did have a lot to do, and a migraine. Don’t blame you. I’d be screaming.

  4. Now if you’d done that when you were still with us, I could have met Mac! And I’d even have chauffeured him to your sis!

    Hope the new job’s going well!

    1. It has been fairly hairy, BB. Every time we thought we were out of the woods something would happen and she would be back in Charing Cross. Fingers crossed things will go ok from now on.

  5. It’s no wonder you had a headache with all that going on, Kate – and in the morning too! It takes me all my time to just get ready in the morning, and look semi-decent! I like the name Clive, by the way!

  6. How you do all that in the morning- without parental stress, new job angst, and, dear god, a migrane- is incredible. You are a wonder woman.
    Poor Macauley; don’t tell him I laughed a lot πŸ™‚

  7. The amazing Mac, once again steals the limelight through his invisible powers. Such a funny story to follow, even with the inherent difficulties with your migraine and your Mum’s hospital issues. I do hope her improvement continues forthwith. Cheers to a better day and wonderful weekend.

  8. Poor pup although there is a part of me that thinks he did it on purpose. Perhaps he was hoping you would need to take him home and once home, maybe you would spend the day with him! Animals are crafty, lovable but crafty.

    1. They are….we should develop a set of Lassie-type signals, shouldn’t we….one bark for ‘was that the correct turning at the roundabout, Kate?’ and two for ‘I’m still here, you know….”

  9. Oh, Macaulay.

    So sorry about the stonking migraine, a difficult way to even function normally, never mind be new and het up about it, but well done imposing your will and the proper name upon that cat.

    1. Thank you. I feel proud to own a cat called Clive.

      Though he’s a bit miserable today. First round of shots. I tell him, I say, that’s nothing, Clive, wait until you get The Snip….

  10. Oh I feel for you. I once forgot one of my sons within the multi-tasking to-do list of the time. May the migraines lose their grip asap and your new job be the kind of joy you are so good at showing all of us. And, bless sisters.

  11. You amaze me, Kate . . . and you seem, in cyber circles, to be the antithesis of the woman you describe thusly:

    I am bad at being new. I obsess, I polarise, I moan, I self reproach, I cannot keep my discomfort to myself.

    You, Kate, are a NINJA!
    Best of luck in the new position!

  12. Macaulay’s stealth-like skills make him a worthy companion for Bond … er, that is, Clive.
    Sorry about your migraine. A remedy I read about recommended ice cream. That’s supposed to freeze the receptors in your brain that cause the pain – I guess. The downside is you might have to have The Biggest Loser on your speed dial for any excessive weight gained from this remedy.
    About the new job, in no time at all … this will just be a distant memory. You will be fine.

  13. Oh! what a day it has been. I love that Clive has finally found some precedence over James πŸ˜€

    I hope the migraine is better now and Mac is getting little bit used to new four legged friend in house.

  14. Oh Kate, big hugs! A friend of mine has recently been told that her migraines are due to her skew teeth and she needs braces. I wish that type of an easy solution for you πŸ™‚

  15. I’m sending over all sorts of healing energy, Kate! I can’t believe migraines. I don’t know how you manage a day at school with one, never mind at home with the covers over your head in the pitch dark.

    I hope the medical world over there are concocting a migraine cocktail for you. My Early Childhood Education teacher friend would manage to get herself to the hospital where they kept a mixture to administer when she showed up. Otherwise she threatened to take herself to the RCMP station to be handcuffed instead of going to school.

    I’m dousing you in healing green and comforting cobalt blue.

  16. Leave it to Macaulay to insert some levity in an awful situation. I hope your mom is resting and recovering, even though she is sick of those two words. And, I hope your head is better today. I fear you sent it across the waves to me.

  17. Dear Kate, kudos to Macaulay, boos to the migraine, and “go for it” to the idea of writing a newspaper column. That’s what you’ve been doing with your blog posting all this time. And all of us wait eagerly for your next foray into history and human foibles. Peace.

  18. I know how it can happen…our dog once showed up at our church! That’s probably a story told another time myself, but I hadn’t thought of it in years! Kate, I’m really sorry to hear that your mother has had multiple hospitalizations and undoubtedly procedures. That’s enough all on its own to put you on edge. And then migraines, too. I hope this new week starts strong and that you make all the transitions you must without the stress that usually accompanies multiple fronts that need attending. You have a lot of responsibility and my admiration that you do it all well, as I know you do. I understand the fall-back position of moaning and obsessing…but in your case, I don’t think there could be too much. You frankly don’t have the time! πŸ™‚ oxo

  19. Good Grief – haha – hate to laugh at your misfortunes but your story is pretty funny – I can see the thought bubble above the unimpressed doggies head ‘My goodness, what is that silly woman doing – ho hum!’ Amazing what we can forget when stressed – soon after the birth of my boy I went shopping with my girlfriend and bubba – I had to go to the toilet, so girlfriend looked after the pram – I went to the toilet and then headed off by myself to the stores, completely forgetting about my friend and my newborn – doh!

  20. An additional complication you certainly didn’t need at that juncture!
    So Clive of India Bond of shaken not stirred gives you acupuncture to relieve stress during work? Handy … er. paw-y, that!

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