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A New Laptop, Bear’s Female Colleagues & A Clever Pup

I got a really nice surprise present on Wednesday of last week. A new laptop. Completely out of the blue. The boy child received the Chromebook he’d wanted for his birthday and was perfectly happy all Sunday afternoon sorting it out and adding all his apps. I meanwhile have been struggling to get anything to work on my ancient Acer for over a year. It has to sit on a freezer block because the fan no longer works well enough to cool the CPU and other components and it’s RAM is only about 2 GB, so it barely manages to keep two tabs accessible and Chrome is a nightmare. Snails are faster. It has to be hard wired to the WiFi modem because it won’t connect otherwise and permanently plugged into the power because the battery is dead and won’t charge.

So when I got a knock on the door and handed a package addressed to me, I was somewhat taken aback. I hadn’t ordered anything and Bear hadn’t said anything about expecting a package. When I opened it I found a refurbished Dell laptop with Windows 10 and 4GB of RAM. Obviously I had to message Bear to find out what it was all about and was responded to with “You’re welcome.!” Okay. A sudden self-initiated flash of consideration from Bear. Far more surprising than the actual gift if I’m honest. So I’ve been, for the past 10 days, slowly figuring out how things work and getting used to the smaller screen, less compact keyboard and the positioning of some of the keys and trying to figure out why in the hell I went and deleted all my bookmarks from Chrome on my old laptop. Stupid.!

The Beer-tasting last Saturday went fairly well, but taking the pup was a complete pain in the ass. The colleague who hosted the beer-tasting lives in a tiny first-floor apartment that you couldn’t swing a kitten in, never mind host 5 people and an energetic puppy. So we all sat outside in the community area and had to attach the pup’s lead to a length of rope, which is turn was attached to a huge wooden column, so we weren’t constantly being dragged out of our chairs. Pup spent the entire afternoon, evening and night happily ripping the grass up by the roots, chewing on it and leaving huge clods all over the lawn, barking his ass off at anything that moved and trying to jump on all of us at opportune moments to steal food.

All Bear’s work colleagues were women, which kind of explains why he took me with him. Had there been any men among the beer-tasting colleagues, he wouldn’t have felt the need to invite me because he would have mentioned that there were men going. The fact that he didn’t made me realise they were all women, which doesn’t bother me at all. What bothers me is that he doesn’t mention that they’re all women. When there’s men involved in any of his work socials, he mentions them by name, when there isn’t, he calls them colleagues. It’s almost like he thinks there’s something wrong in spending time with his female work colleagues, so he doesn’t mention them as female. Like I might have an issue with it.

One of them was 23, another in her early thirties and the host is 50. All of them are beer drinkers, all of them his friends on Untappd and none of them remotely interested in a romantic capacity in Bear. They were more interested in me than him, having known him for a decade and heard all about me, but never having met me. It was an interesting evening, when we weren’t jumping up to rescue some poor wandering individual from the attentions of the nutso pup, who alternately treated people like friends and then enemies. We finally packed up at 2am and headed for bed, which for me was in the eaves of a tiny bedroom that you could only just get a double bed and the pup’s crate in. My nose was 3 inches from the ceiling, which for a claustrophobe is not at all fun.

I spent the night lying awake, listening to Bear snore and the pup fart, keeping an eye on that damned ceiling and waiting for the dawn to come, which it did at 4.30am with the usual morning chorus and traffic, which was surprisingly closer than I’d realised. Of course with so much light coming in the pup was awake and so was Bear, none too pleased to see the time… so as quietly as possible (in an apartment that creaks and squeaks and squeals at every turn), we got dressed and made our way outside with the dog to wait 4-5 hours for everyone else to get up before making breakfast. Pup slept like the dead for the rest of Sunday and most of Monday We slept really well on Sunday night too.

Puppy Training has been going okay’ish so far, with socially acceptable behaviour consisting of looking into our eyes and touching our hands with his nose, when told to. All things he’s been doing since we got him. He’s half Border Collie so he has an intense stare and he always touches our hands with his nose when he wants something, a trait in Toller’s apparently. Until this week I’ve seen little point in going to the lessons that only make pup anxious and over-excited. This week we’ve been teaching him to stay when he’s sat down and to lie down from a sitting position. We’ve decided to train him in Dutch from now on. Although he’ll still have the known English instruction at home, as he already understands that.

It’s getting too frustrating for Bear that the dog listens only to me because I’m the only one he spends an extended amount of time with every day. Bear’s trying to teach him in Dutch and the dog’s ignoring him, but when I command him in English, he does as he’s told straight away. So I agreed that the dog should be trained in Dutch and that I would practice his Dutch training at home too. He’s a damned clever little pup, already he lies down when told and stays sat down until told to come, even if Bear has walked to the bottom of the patio. As long as he can’t see the treat he’s going to get as we walk away, he’ll stay put. He’s also becoming a lot more affectionate. He comes to us for cuddles and tummy rubs and when I sit down in the evenings to watch TV, he comes and sits next to me and settles down to sleep.

A marked change from the racing around like a lunatic, bouncing off of us on his route around the living/dining/patio area. He only does that once a day now, instead of four/five times a day.


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