Archie the Mischievous is misbehaving. Big Time.
Mr B, in his role as Official Photographer for the Bowls Club, is endeavouring to take a photograph of Captain, Our Captain
handing over a large cheque to the representative from his chosen charity. Massed behind are the ranks of bowlers, all looking super smart in their whites, as befits the occasion. Then there, right at the front, is Archie, rolling all over the ground on his
back waving his legs in the air and generally behavinqg like the mischievous eighteen month old that he is.
Did I mention that Archie is a puppy? I think perhaps I forgot to mention that rather important fact.
He has come along with Sarah, the charming young woman from WADARS (Worthing and District Animal Rescue Services) to accept the Captain's cheque on behalf of the charity. Sarah tells me that she is in the middle of moving house and is knee deep in boxes -
so it is admirable in the extreme that she has taken time out from emptying boxes to join us all on the bowling green. Archie apparently accompanies her wherever she goes. Well, you wouldn't want to leave him in the new house, with all those exciting boxes,
now would you? After all, says Sarah, he is only eighteen months old. Doubtless he will quieten down in time....
I know another eighteen month old who is Just Like Archie. What is more he is coming over for
the day on Monday and his mother, aka the Middle of the Darling Daughters, tells me that Young Faris, the Demolition Boy, is, if anything, even more trouble than ever. She advises a major sweep through my home to move anything precious / breakable / of sentimental
value onto a high shelf. I have decided to make a start on the basis that our home is not at all Faris-friendly. Mr B says we should just tell him not to touch anything but I reckon this will be like telling Archie to sit up, wag his tail and smile for the
I fetch the step ladders from the kitchen cupboard and start transferring all our family photographs from the window sills onto the top of our shelf units. They look quite good there, though they will
undoubtedly gather dust if I leave them there for ever. I clear a space on the sideboard for my model Jazz Band who currently stand in the fireplace but will need to be moved to a place of safety for their own good. Faris always makes a bee-line for them on
entering our lounge. I wonder how long it will take him to find them? Tomorrow I will move all the books off the window sills and find a large storage box in which to stow all the papers, magazines, letters, half-written stories, newspaper cuttings and other
"stuff" (or "junk" as Mr B would term it) for the duration of Faris's visit. You can see that I do have at least the basis of A Plan of Action.
I am, however, in something of a dilemma about the towers containing
our CDs and DVDs. On past visits to our house Young Faris has had a field day pulling the contents from the shelves and strewing them across the floor. It takes simply ages to put them all back again. The dilemma is this: do we decide that enough is enough
and seek to persuade our youngest grandson of the Error of His Ways? Or do I simply remove the temptation by emptying the bottom four shelves of both towers? Mr B favours the former course of action; I, weak-willed, veer towards the latter.
Then, of course, there is the garden. So much space to play in, he should be in his element. Except that we all know he will ignore the garden toys, the bats and balls and hoops, and make straight for the bird bath which he
will attempt to dismantle with his bare hands. What to do? I can't exactly put the bird bath on a high shelf.
You are probably thinking that diversionary tactics would be the best way forward. I do
agree with you but I am not sure Faris will. Just in case I will have the mega blocks at the ready, along with the crate of exciting toys garnered from the Samaritans charity shop down the road over the years, and the box of children's books. Faris will doubtless
march through the house, past the mega blocks, out into the garden and make straight for the bird bath. He is a right little magpie, this boy of mine - brave, bold and always looking for the main chance. And the bird bath.
Everyone at the Bowls Club loved Archie the Mischievous, despite his bad behaviour in front of the cameras. Some dogs - and people - can get away with absolutely anything.
I know someone else like that....