Canine Del Boy needed to fence dodgy doggy goods

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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You know how sometimes you meet people and they make you feel bad? Well, last week, I didn’t wipe another dog’s slobber off my dog’s nose, but someone else at the beach did. Ouch. I am not a truly loving owner.

That made me feel guilty until I remembered I was cross with him for sticking his nose in places it shouldn’t go.

I won’t embarrass you with the details of what happened in the dressing gown incident – suffice to say I shall not come downstairs again without pyjamas. Firmly done-up pyjamas. Made of the thickest cotton and steel mixture money can buy. With granny pants underneath and the dressing gown wrapped nappy-style around all of that.

The dog is going through a phase of nose-sticking which can be shocking for visitors. Worse, he’s committing other criminal activities under my nose.

The other day I lifted the curtains around his cage (sounds fancy, but they’re not) only to discover he has been hoarding stuff. Maybe he’s looking for a suitable fence to get rid of it to – there’s a dodgy-looking Alsatian from the park who I’m sure is on the lam.

Item number one in his treasure trove was a screwdriver, end chewed beyond repair and stolen, I assume, when I was reconstructing the vacuum cleaner. This must have taken every ounce of the dog’s courage as the vacuum is his arch enemy.

Although the machine was in tatters on its side (as it is quite often), the dog coming within three feet is unbelievable. He had – I guess – snatched the trophy from what he hoped was the jaws of the vacuum’s death.

There were also tissues, toilet rolls, assorted recycling items and one of my favourite cardigans, as well as a stapler. Obviously.

But his most fiercely-guarded item was a toilet brush removed stealthily from its pot sometime in the past three days and carefully tucked under his blanket. Perhaps I should have realised from his bad breath that he’d been gnawing on something unsavoury.

While I feel I should be nicer to him and give him slobbery kisses like all those better-than-me owners, I’ll rein in the guilt, smile serenely and think: I ‘nose’ where that’s been.