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“Can I have a puppy, Daddy? Can I? Can I? I’ll love it and bathe it. I promise! Can I?” I never gave my consent to my daughter, but as is the way in many administrations, the power behind the throne is well-known, and the Minister for Home Affairs gave her permission and funded the venture. No risk of un-fun-ded man-date.

Economists are supposed to understand that economies grow not just from the initial spending on investments, but from the money and time spent on maintenance and refurbishment.

The puppy has been a good investment. It has increased the job opportunities in the Queendom several-fold. Lots of people who did not know that they would benefit from this small venture have now found themselves part of the core labour force to keep it running. And, it runs a lot, usually in circles, and also slipping and sliding on the tiles.

The workforce also ensures that this beast is socialized. Barking at strangers is discouraged, except if they are the garbage men. Gardeners, postmen, neighbours are all alright. Sniff and remember them sell.

Refurbishment is going on. The chairs that is being chewed will need to be repaired. My sneakers have become a toy to be destroyed again and again. Why did the puppy have to eat my avocado plant? “Not good, puppy!” More replacements will be needed soon. Rack up the cost.

Many people have complained during the current recession about the lack of ‘quality’ jobs. Flipping burgers is deemed to be not one of those. But, I’d take it, if I weren’t already retired. How about poo-scooper? The career opportunities are limited, but it’s outdoor work and has flexible hours. The main scooper is often occupied during the daytime doing intensive studies, and her supervisor and benefactor is often travelling. So the auxiliary force, some migrant workers, come into play often. Surprisingly, given that Jamaica has not seen snow and frozen ground since all the years I have known the place, the puppy has an aversion to stepping out in adverse weather conditions. Adverse? Yes, when dew is on the ground, his little legs do not clear the grass by much. As he stoops to conquer, his tush touches herbaceous leaves. Tickly! Aha! A raffia mat is nearby and has the rough feel of natural landscape. So, he chooses that. “Zeus!” Is he indeed The Devil? Let me find that dog. Screenshot 2014-02-11 09.10.02

Having an animal as a pet is a moving experience. You have to move everything. What are my shoes doing in the kitchen? Why are my underpants lying in the yard? How did my wife’s handbag get into the utility room? Don’t leave homework lying around. It will be eaten.

If we thought our house was haunted, we’d have been having fits. My golf balls have become hazards as they are strewn around the tiled floors. My bag is no protection if I have not zipped closed every pocket. The critter has the intelligence to climb up and snag things out of them. So, my gloves are all over the place. Golf tees are rattling around the floors. I hope he has his fill of golf balls; it seems that 20 is the number he finds fun. He has no retrieving instincts. But, he is a hoarder. Many things find their way into his bed. Many things are nowhere to be found. Men have little care sometimes about how they look, but I usually prefer two socks that match. Now, I’ve found my attitude to that has become much looser. One sock, any sock, is a plus.

Like many animals in Jamaica, a dog will eat almost anything presented as food. Mangoes? Oh, yes! Scraps of chicken? Yummy! Coconut jelly? Really?

Dogs will also make anything into a scary object. Boo! Of he goes, scurrying for shelter. Hiding under a table. Is the coast clear, yet? I have no hope that a burglar will have to deal with anything more than sharp little teeth grazing his or her gnarled feet. But, the yapping can be annoying. I’ve seen the puppy maul a toilet roll, so maybe he has some tricks up his legs.

It’s not yet mid-morning, and the day has already been hectic. The puppy is building up energy for a lot of fun later. He’s curled up in his bed. Vicious brute, sleeping soundly, dreaming of pouncing on all who dare approach. Grrr!

“Daddy? Do you love my puppy?” I do, and imagine how good he would be with some roasted sweet potato and a green salad 🙂 “Zeus! Come here, puppy!”