The Challenges Of Nouguietoo! By Helly Kemp

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John and I are having a big problem with our new 16-week-old little prince. Both of us are constantly causing the same problem….. Although it’s over six months now since we lost our Chihuahua ‘Nougat the Fearless,’ whenever we are supposed to call our new sable Chihuahua Silver Streak: SILVI, SILVO, STREAKY or the like, we keep calling out Nougat by mistake.

So now we have given up and are calling him NOUGUIETOO, which, of course, reverts back to the short Nouguie. He weighed just 1100gm when we brought him home at the end of September and he is absolutely gorgeous. He has been microchipped and vaccinated. But there are two more vaccinations to come. So we can’t socialise him or take him into the dog park next door to play with his predecessor’s fur-friends, nor take him for a walk outside the house till the end of November.

It’s really no surprise that we kept accidentally calling him Nougat, as we are still devastated by his loss and he is still always in our minds. Although our new fur-baby is not as beautiful in his dark colours as our little light champion was, we think he is even more intelligent and The Challenges Of Nouguietoo! By Helly Kemp funnier than Nougat, who was the cleverest dog we had over six decades.

Nouguie has a wonderful temperament and sense of humour, was nearly potty trained on his portable artificial grass tray toilet on arrival, and on first entry into our house, ran immediately into our bedroom up the sixfoot-long ramp to the top of our bed without hesitation. This took Nougat The Fearless several days with hesitation. Gwen Caskelly, the breeder, gave us his plastic, round food dish, which he carries to us when he wants his meal. And I don’t think John and I will ever have to wash our faces again as we are commanded to participate in the hourly ritual of cheek, neck, eye, ear, nose, and mouth cleansing sessions.

And if you’re not fast enough closing your mouth, you have your teeth cleaned as well. This affects me in particular, as I only breathe through my mouth. It took him just three days to plan his escape from his bath nursery at 4 am for an early morning attack in our bed. Nougat, admittedly was only six weeks old when he arrived, but he lived two months in the bath. Our new hero loves rolling speedily around the carpet like a gymnast, leaps up in the air like an Olympic high jumper and has already destroyed my best-loved sandals, the only ones I feel safe in after my shoulder replacement earlier this year. (Started chewing them before we woke up that fourth morning after he conquered the tall Mount Everest bath wall).

Nowadays he regularly struts the whole top of the circular bath wall around and around, like a soldier guarding the castle turret. From that height, he can see us easily in bed.

The bath nursery as you can see has some of our own huge toys including the white snow tiger I bought John some thirty years ago. I was actually not sure whether to place it into the bath, as I thought it might frighten our tiny newcomer. Guess what! The afternoon we brought the little one home and put him in the bath, Big Snowy was the first toy he attacked, climbing all the way up to his head, licking his shiny nose. And that’s how he started, parading on the top of the bath wall, then jumping onto the carpet, up the ramp and terrorising us in the early hours of the morning. But for four days we wondered how he got out of the bath, as even standing up, he could not see over the bath wall.

I wonder who the brightest spark in this family is!! Then, of course, there was the toilet paper, just like the TV advert, trailing into our bedroom from the other end of the house, the ice cubes from his water dish that skating all over the kitchen tiles, hallway and dining area, the paperwork extracted from my office bin, myriad fragments covering the floor, my huge Cassells Italian dictionary’s cover chewed off, but speedily replaced by John with leather.

And in my office he finds innumerable boxes with soft packaging materials or bags he crawls into and is very hard to find unless he pokes his head out and watches me on the computer. One day we so panicked, as neither of us could find him anywhere and although we knew no doors were left open, our hearts were still racing to search for him and that’s when I lifted out a Woolworths Canvas bag in my Post Office crate, in which he was fast asleep.

Well, at the moment we are getting less sleep than youknow-who, but it’s going to be a wonderfully exciting life with our new fur-baby, so full of love for life and for us.