One day, coming back from swimming, I opened the door to be confronted by a distinct smell. I asked my husband a stern question, “Has CC (name of neighbours’ dog) been in the house?” “Yes! But how do you know that?” Husband apparently didn’t quite understand my question.
I told my husband that the smell of the dog’s presence was overpowering. If my husband had had a woman in the house, I would also have been able to detect the scent of a woman too. Scent is subtle. I can smell it. I don’t like bacon, for example, as its smell is too overpowering. A dog’s smell in a house is overwhelmingly strong if you’re not used to it.
Then we had a row. Actually I chose to have a row with my husband. I told him that he had known that I disliked a dirty dog in the house, but why didn’t he say no to the neighbours when they turned up with their beloved dog? I felt totally betrayed. I even warned him that if he ever let the dog in again, there would be serious consequences.
I dropped my swimming bag and started cleaning the house, thoroughly. When mopping the floor, I couldn’t stop commenting on the smell, mud and hair left by the dog and I somehow turned into an unreasonably angry woman after a relaxing swim.
I’m not the best housewife in the world and my house is never squeaky clean. We have a huge lizard, some locusts in the lounge, and occasionally the chickens would come in from the garden too. I’m used to pets and their smells and stains. Sometimes, our neighbours’ cat would find her ways to enter our house too. However, there’s nothing you could do with cats if they love coming round. We would just play with the cat and she would normally go back to her home later. Then she would appear in our house again.
My husband didn’t understand why the neighbours’ dog being in the house briefly deserved an argument. He is a gentle soul and he hardly raise his voice at home and he’s the more favourite parent in this household. He apologised for upsetting me and he promised to bar the dog from the house in the future. He said, “Ok, Ok! Next time I’ll tell them: sorry, Janet doesn’t like dogs. Are you happy now?” This statement is of course incorrect, but I explained I didn’t actually care being labelled incorrectly as such as long as the dog doesn’t come into the house, my territory.
It makes me feel the same about parenting. If my son cannot behave in a friend’s house, he will not be allowed to go again. I would not protect him. He can only go to people’s houses when he’s invited and when he can demonstrate an acceptable level of behaviour. Last time, my son misbehaved in a friend’s house, so I punished him and he never got an invitation again from the same family. If I exercised my rights as a parent to discipline my child, why would people not exercise the same level of discipline to their dog? Or is it because dogs have more rights than human? I must say that I have often seen how dogs are badly spoilt in this country and the indulgence utterly repels me.