The thing is with Steve Canavan - February 27, 2014

DOG DOLDRUMS I like dogs but not when they get too close
DOG DOLDRUMS I like dogs but not when they get too close
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I’ve no problem with dogs.

Growing up in Bury there was always a dog in the house, from Sam, the greyhound who met a messy end when he made the questionable decision to wander on to the nearby M62 (though on the plus-side it was a quick death – it tends to be when you get in the way of an Eddie Stobart lorry), to Tess, who lived for 17 years before literally conking out as she chased a tennis ball during a walk.

It was devastating at the time, but also bleeding annoying as she weighed a tonne and we had to carry her lifeless body half a mile back home where my dad stuck her in a sack and buried her in the garden.

The point is I’m a dog lover. Yet there is one thing that is starting to irritate me, something I’m sure has only begun in the last few years and which has happened to me three times in the past week alone.

It is other people allowing their dogs to sniff me. I don’t like it.

Just yesterday, while walking in St Annes, a woman with her dog on a lead approached from the opposite direction. The dog – which, by the way, was an Alsatian about the size of a baby elephant, which looked ready for its next meal, – was on one of those elastic style leads.

Instead of keeping this beast reigned in, its owner held the lead loosely, allowing her Alsatian to bound menacingly toward me and start sniffing quite forcefully around my crotch area.

‘Oh Rex,’ laughed the woman, ‘leave the man alone’.

Not once did she attempt to pull her dog away, she just smiled, raised her eyes, and gave me a ‘what can you do?’ sort of look.

I’ll tell you what you can do love, keep your pet under control.

I’m fond of dogs but call me picky, I don’t want one sticking his nose in my groin region, especially one with such big teeth and a look on its face that says ‘dinnertime’.

This also raises another issue, namely why do dogs seem to be so obsessed with crotches?

In the interests of enlightening both you and I – but mainly because I had the rest of this page to fill – I Googled it and discovered a website called Dog Academy, which has an entire section called How To Stop Your Dog Sniffing Crotches.

“Dogs have powerful noses,” it says, “with roughly 220 million scent receptors in the nose (people average around five), so it’s perfectly natural that the nose would be used to investigate a newcomer.

“To permanently end your dog’s desire to sniff a guest’s crotch region, train it to sit and stay around guests.

“Have a bag of treats to hand.”

Which doesn’t exactly explains why a dog is fond of the groin region as opposed to, say, elbows.

All this browsing of the internet led me to another site called Daily Puppy, which was even more entertaining, with handy easy-to-read features like ‘what does it mean when a dog is smelling other dogs’ butts?’ and ‘why does my chihuahua shake so much?’

The answer to the first, by the way, is it’s a normal dog greeting (‘dogs have anal glands just inside their rectums [apologies to those tucking into their tea], which produce a strong odour. They can find out all sorts of information just by getting a whiff back there’) while the latter is because Chihuahuas have high metabolisms (which wasn’t quite as exciting an answer as I’d hoped ... I thought they might just get nervous in company or something).

I have to dash now.

I’m walking to the shop to buy milk, though will wear a cricket box for protection just in case that Alsatian’s out.

Spare me the dawn chorus!

Mrs Canavan and I had a big argument the other day about the alarm clock.

The row was prompted by my objection to her use of the snooze button.

She is one of those people – inconsiderate so and so’s, as I refer to them – who, when the alarm sounds in the morning, presses snooze, which, as many of you will know, means it goes off again 10 minutes later.

She does this four times, from 7am to 7.40, when she finally rises.

Now my alarm doesn’t go off till half 9 (I start work at 9, but each day I tell the editor I’m doing an early interview at someone’s house and so far he’s fallen for it ... though this probably isn’t the best place to be telling you about this ruse).

So it annoys me immensely that each morning I am woken at 7am, and usually just at that moment in my dream where Pamela Anderson says ‘lovely dinner, shall we go back to my place handsome?’, and then at 10 minute intervals thereafter.

This frustration eventually got the better of me the other day and I called Mrs Canavan selfish.

She responded by labelling me lazy. Then she slammed the mocha chocolate table with her fist.

I’m now sleeping in the back bedroom, where there are no nasty early alarms but on the downside the radiator makes a lot of loud, cranking noises when the central heating comes on at 6am. I’ll keep you posted on what happens next.