Thinking Strange Thoughts - You Bloody Hound

I generally write a load of lies, but believe it or not this is all true.

Many years ago my granddad had a dog called Dixie. It was a black and white spotted Dalmatian and was completely mad, mind you it met its match with my granddad who was at least as mad as Dixie if not madder.

We all called him by his name, Dixie, but for some reason my granddad had a different name for him, “You Bloody Hound”. We lived about 200 metres from my granddad’s house and every now and again you would hear shouts of ‘You Bloody Hound” and you would know that Dixie was in trouble.

Whenever Dixie did something a bit naughty, granddad had a way of dealing with him that has probably never occurred to your average dog trainer. For example, one day as I walked into the house I heard a sudden shout of “You Bloody Hound”, I walked into granddad’s lounge and there he was holding his empty mug and moaning at the dog.. It turned out that he’d put his mug of tea on the floor for a moment and Dixie had drunk it, now this is a fairly normal thing for a dog to do and all you can do is remember not to leave your mug on the floor again, but that wasn’t good enough for granddad, he had a better idea. “Right you like tea do you” he asked the dog. “Well, we’ll soon see about that” Off he went into the kitchen and about ten minutes later reappeared with a huge bowel of tea. “Now, lets see how you like that” he said to Dixie. Dixie seemed to like it very well and quickly gulped it down. Granddad disappeared back to the kitchen and soon came back with another full bowel, “He’ll soon be sick of tea and wont touch it again” he assured me. Unfortunately Dixie did not seem to understand this concept and kept gulping down bowels of tea as fast as granddad could make them, until eventually there was no tea left.

Another time, I heard the familiar shout, it was the middle of winter and i found granddad moaning at Dixie for lying in front of the fire. “He keeps lying in front of the fire and stopping the heat getting out” he explained to me “but I’ll teach him a lesson” he said as he piled more coal onto the fire. Dixie lay as close as he could get without igniting, looking very content with things. Granddad started moving the settee and other furniture around until he had barricaded Dixie in front of the fireplace with no way out. ’We’ll soon see how much you like the fire, you bloody hound” he explained to Dixie, who nodded happily and managed to drag himself a bit closer to the fire. A couple of hours later I came back, The dog was snoring away, he was so close to the fire that his fur was singeing, meanwhile granddad was in the kitchen wearing his greatcoat, “He’ll crack any minute, he wont sit in front of that fire again”, but he did not sound confident, I think he was starting to realize that Dixie had asbestos skin.

Another strange thing about granddad was how slow he would drive, he had a big maroon Bedford van and he would drive through town so slowly that, mothers would overtake him whilst pushing their prams. He was the only person I’ve ever known who was stopped by the police for driving too slowly on the motorway, they thought something was wrong as he was holding up all the traffic, but he assured them that he was just being careful. We lived about ten kilometres from Stafford in England and one day I went with him into Stafford to do some shopping, it took us about three hours to get there cause not only was he driving slow, but every time that we went past someone’s house, he would slow almost to a standstill just on the off chance that a car came out of the driveway.

Later that evening we drove back into town, it was warm and granddad had his window wound right down, he was driving so slowly that he was actually chatting to people who were walking past. I’d lost the will to go on and just wanted to go to bed, suddenly as we were about two hundred metres from home, Dixie flew through the open window and landed on top of his dad, he must have been waiting at the end of the road for hours. Granddad fell backwards with his dog on top of him licking his face, luckily we were traveling so slowly that we just drifted into the hedgerow. Granddad managed to remove Dixie’s tongue from his mouth just long enough to shout “You Bloody Hound’, but he was smiling so I guess they loved each other really.

Happy Days Steve.


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