Monday, February 14, 2011

Snow, 2

This dog has taught me to appreciate baby steps, and the step forward after the two steps back. He has shown me just how popular cat statues and monuments are in Brunswick, because for the first week, he was transfixed by all of them. Cat mementos are more popular and lifelike than I had ever considered, and for a while made every stroll an extended nightmare of arm-wrestling and sighs.

I gush uncontrollably when he stops to smell something in the gutter, and takes forever to inspect fallen branches in Methven Park. I can’t bear to correct him when he drags his muzzle along parked cars, smelling them, because smelling means he’s using more than his eyes to process the world.

He has started to develop the kleptomania I had read so much about, and which is so much cuter when he doesn’t realise he has an audience. He ripped the cover off my book by doing turns on my bed, where he wasn’t meant to be allowed. He suddenly pounces on toys that for he hadn’t acknowledged for the previous 3 weeks. He follows me into the shower, opening the door if I don’t invite him in, and lies on the floor, occasionally sighing with frustration. The shadow of his nose poking the shower curtain, and the dark little dots that mist and water leave on the dark parts of his face. The way women always comment on his eyeliner. The way old men always look approvingly at me, before some abhorrent comment about greyhound racing. The way kids love his little bootie, and are never scared of his muzzle until their parents panic and pull them away.

How, whenever I forget, the white hairs on everything I own remind me that he’s at home, asleep, probably oblivious to how much I love him. I don’t know how anybody can foster dogs and not be completely destroyed by it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


number9dreamnumber9dream by David Mitchell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

As many times as I tried to come back to number9dream, it couldn't hold my attention. It is one of David Mitchell’s earlier books, and reads as such – it moves clunkily between dream like states and real world happenings, in a way that annoyed me rather than swept and kept me in. I can’t get beyond half way, and wish I hadn’t started. I started reading it in Tokyo, where the first couple of chapters were set in places that if I hadn’t seen, I could imagine, and which kept me reading.

There is none of the deft character building of Mitchell’s other works (particularly The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet), and the awkward dialogue prevented me from ever caring about any of the characters. Whenever I was getting close to being sucked into a scene, some dialogue wrenched me out like an ill-written line in a movie which slams you back into your seat, in the theatre, surrounded by people, and watching a screen. The moment is gone, and you’ve lost your train of thought.

Maybe I’ll try again later, but for now, many more books are calling.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I have visited the meat sections of the supermarkets at Barkly Square for the first time in my life, and though I haven’t mustered the courage for more than an extended gaze in the direction of the butcher, it’s probably next. The only way I can tell between what has been designated as dog food is by price, unless it has a sticker with a picture of an animal. Being a dog or cat, because no supermarket intending to sell its meat would put a picture of a cow on its beef packet, surely.

I buy zucchinis for me and Snow, and we share what was formerly my breakfast toast, and the 2-pack biscuits that I steal lovingly from my housemate. I wonder whether me being so attached to him is making him too attached to me, and what it will mean for when he is adopted. The hallway is long enough for him to pick up just too much speed to enable him to stop before hitting the door at the end. His bed takes up the floor space that was left after my bed and bookshelves. He takes his special treats because it would be a sin not to take something offered, and drops them because actually, pig ears are kind of gross until you’re by yourself and well, there they are. Like internet porn, I guess.

His front legs are so long and lanky that he can’t shake his body without them splaying everywhere. His tail has hairless lines along the vertebrae from where it hits everything when it wags. He sighs for attention and doesn’t seem to know how to break the fall from standing to lying down. He doesn’t seem to know a lot of things.