Arthur, our resident Agony Uncle and Californian dog Therapist is back to offer you advice, this week heading off a potential addiction and calming down a jogging victim.
I’ve been battling with a problem over the last couple of months that just seems to be getting the better of me. I live in a nice house with my humans and up until recently everything has been fine, we even have a back yard that I can roll around in and use whenever I want. My problem arose when our next door neighbours started to grow their own food and with that came a couple of CHICKENS! Now, I’m a terrier and deep down in my genes something tells me that chickens are for chasing. I try so hard to ignore the calling of my ancestors and rise above the urges but yesterday afternoon it got to the point when I woke up from a snooze and found myself barking and scrabbling at the fence that separates us. So humiliating! My humans got upset and locked me in the house but I could still hear the chickens clucking and scratching around next door. It’s diving me insane, I can’t help myself, I just want to catch one and bite into its scrawny neck. It wouldn’t take much to dig a hole under the fence but the consequences would be catastrophic. What should I do?
Barney, Surrey UK
My Dear Barney,
At least you have faced up to the fact that you have a problem. Lesser dogs would already have blood on their paws and as you say, be suffering harsh consequences. I run a program here in Malibu for sufferers like yourself called ‘Chickens Anonymous’ There’s a chapter near you and I will contact you privately to put you in touch with them. As we say in C.A., just one chicken is too far because once you’ve caught one a hundred wouldn’t be enough. Fight your urges and talk to someone who can help and possibly even sponsor you as soon as you can. You’re not alone.
Yesterday my human started a new fitness regime. About time too, I’ve been trying to tell him that he needed to lose a few pounds and that some of the pizza he was stuffing into his mouth would have been much appreciated by yours truly who has to get by with very meagre rations. Of course as you’d expect, that hasn’t happened, instead he’s started starving himself which puts him in a bad mood and now he insists on taking me out for morning ‘jogs’ where I have to put up with the humiliation of having a fat, scantily dressed human puffing along next to me. There’s no time to sniff the trees or swap news with passing dogs, just a slow, and I do mean slow, trot around the block, followed by an embarrassing wheezing display by the human as he leans on a gatepost and tries to get his breath back. I manage to get a good sniff of the post and relieve myself but it hardly counts as a good walk. What am I to do?
Molly, New Haven, C.T.
Don’t worry, it won’t last. It’s possible that even as I write he’s back in front of the T.V. stuffing pizzas into his face, if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s just a matter of days or weeks at the most. I’ve heard your story more times than I care to mention, my advice is to keep your temper and just ride it out.
If you’d like to benefit from Arthur’s wisdom contact him at email@example.com