I had just moved into Tiny House Ontario when my cousin Vernie, who is also a neighbour, called and asked if I could babysit his dog while they went to Maine. I love dogs so of course this was not a problem for me. He offered to sweeten the deal which was not necessary at all, I told him, I would take care of the dog without anything. Still he said he would make me a recycled wood bedside table for Tiny House Ontario. A pretty good trade; of course I said yes.
Vernie along with being one of the smartest and most interesting people I have ever known, is a carpenter. Really more than that, he is a comedian and an artist with a capital A. He probably never had a lot of money to explore his creative side, so he created art out of things that people left behind, way before this recycled art became hype or trend. I am a huge fan of everything Vernie does. Really, if I had an unlimited amount of money I would love to have a big space to have an artist’s collective and I would most certainly want Vernie to be a part of this. Not just for his talent but also for his amazing ability to recall history, family background and make me laugh my head off. The man knows how to do about everything, except for how to train a dog, that is.
So, a couple of days later he and his wife left, a few times a day I hopped on my trusty little steed, and I went to take care of Andy Capp. When I pulled up on my little bike, there the dog would be, large as life, a muscle bound fool, with his tongue hanging out, happily waiting for me to bring him out for a walk. It was not really like that, because every time the fool of a dog brought me on a walk (to remember). Ok, so I am still not telling you the whole truth. Actually, it was more that he brought me for a drag, all over the place, and often it was right down on the ground where Andy brought me and then he would jump on me a few times for fun too. I spent the week sore and filthy from the multiple dragging incidents. Despite the fact that Andy is about half my size he is about 10 times my fitness level and thus he knocked me off my feet into dust, grass, mud. He pulled me into the ditch face first and also escaped my grasp more than once.
On the second visit before I knew better, I brought him into Vernie’s house and he tore the mattresses and bedding right off the beds. He peed on my handbag too, that day, just for good measure. It was a week of tomfoolery and chaos and I was mighty glad to see Vernie arrive home! I have actually never met a dog as busy as Andy; it is a good thing that he is such a beautiful animal. Part Akita with all this gorgeous fur colouring, eyes and confirmation. A stunning, and stunningly stupid, dog for sure.
Turns out that Andy hurt Vernie’s wife more than once. She says that they are ‘not friends’ and I am sure that she means it. She is older than me and he was able to hurt me too. He does not mean to; despite the pee on my purse, he is not a mean spirited creature at all, but rather just an excited and very strong, goofy puppy. I suspect that he is not the right dog for retired people.
Anyway, as for the bedside table, Vernie carved the door and built this gorgeous little cabinet. I asked him to stamp his name on the back of it. Since I am a huge fan of Vernie, I could not be more thrilled with this fantastically whimsical and creative piece. Then who would not love to own this gorgeous creation? Honestly, every time I go up the ladder stairs, I admire it. I think this lovely little cupboard is totally and absolutely worth the week with Andy Capp.
Still, I have to admit, I will hold my breath for a moment if they ask me this summer to babysit Andy. Before I agree, I will of course hope that Andy will have calmed down a little with age; or at least that I got a little smarter and more prepared over the winter.