Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 10.19.08
Stanstead, Quebec


Gnawty puppy onboard

STANSTEAD, QC | Diary of a puppy, week one
September 27

My plan to infiltrate the Family has been as brilliant and precise as anticipated. Over the first weeks of my life in that unsavory litter, where my schemes of domestic domination first sprung forth, I intentionally kept myself small in stature so as to prey upon their obvious salvation complex. "Runt," they say. I'll show them...

I am now spending my first evening in the Home. I have achieved maximum cuddliness and my tolerance for snuggles is ridiculously off the scale.

My only concern is the Man. He arrived home to discover that the Family had taken me into their possession. Appears distant, standoffish, vaguely hostile. I will have to keep my gorgeous brown eyes on him. May attempt lying irresistibly on his feet.

September 28
It appears the family has named me "Bella." It means "beautiful" in Italian. I am somewhat confused, however, as the Man occasionally refers to me as "Smella" and "Imbecella." Regardless, I thus far am ignoring their calls. I shan't respond until they call me by my true name: Chandwafa, Son of Nerwom, Destroyer of Chew Toys.

September 30
Puppy treats! Why in the name of all that is bony has no one told me about puppy treats? Are they meat or are they grain? I don't care. But, heavenly biscuity bounty, they are devilish in their dentifricial delight!

I sense the Family is attempting to perpetrate some kind of mind control with these comically bone-shaped morsels. They give them to me at seemingly random times. Just now, for example, they slipped one through the inedible bars of this cage they have heartlessly locked me in. Perhaps the treats assuage their guilt.
Discovered tail today. Wheeeee!

October 1
In the spirit of ruthless efficiency and my ongoing program to dominate the House, I have prepared a morning routine, which I shall adhere to faithfully:
5:30 a.m. -- Whine to awaken a human (anticipate Man or Woman as shorter ones tend to sleep/ignore). Leap up in excitement, possibly nip nose. Once taken outside, sit on grass, chase leaf, tug at human's slippers, sniff grass for ten minutes. Get taken back inside. Pee on floor.
6:00 a.m. -- Run around house. Grab and run with (in order), shoe, toy, sock, underwear, book, cat, sofa (you can do it!), recycling. Continue until entire Family is awake.
7:00 a.m. - Jump up at edge of breakfast table. Get pushed away. Jump at edge of breakfast table. Get pushed away. Continue until put outside by Family. Bark and wine at door until they let you back in. Pee on floor. Walk in pee.

October 2
Came upon Man lying on sofa this evening reading a delicious looking book. I placed my paws on sofa in adorable manner but was nonetheless shunned. I then had an ingenious stroke of geniusness -- ingratiate myself by chasing one of the countless infernal cats in this house.

And what ho? The man smiled. Not only but he hoisted me onto his belly where I snoozed a merry hour. Now that we have bonded, I shall surely rule over this domestic dominion with its vast bounty of people foods and its furniture ready to be slept and shed upon. There is nothing that can stand between me and utter... Oooh! A leaf!

October 3
As I near the end of my first week with the Family, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I have managed to break them through the use of shock and awe. Shock: "Aaggh! Bella's pooped on Mom's shoe!" And awe: "Awww, look at her sleeping on Dad's foot!"
On the other hand, I feel I feel my footing is not firm. Just today, chasing one of the cats, I lost my footing and skidded into a doorway. Humiliation! Then the neighbour's dog came charging at me and I failed to hold my ground. I believe I may have actually peed outside! And finally, my efforts to fully disrupt the Family's nighttime sleep were foiled by my inability to climb stairs. Damn you, puppy legs!
There are so many things I would like to chew but, alas, I must be patient. After all, there are things we gnaw, there are things we don't gnaw, then there are things we know we don't gnaw and things we don't know we don't gnaw.