No, I refuse to do it. I clasped my paws over my eyes, eyes which were also tightly clenched, just in case my paws forgot what they were doing and slipped down.
As many of you know, sighthounds are of a sensitive nature and I was not prepared to endure the months of flashbacks I would undoubtedly have if I decided to take the brave step and observe the absolute buffoonery that was taking place in front of me.
Muvver had, in a most unexpected turn of events, decided that she needed to increase her level of fitness. Considering that she scuttled and lurched around like an arthritic crab at the best of times, I was dubious. Impressed at her optimism, but mainly dubious. After some soul searching and a little sorrowful keening, she sadly put down her beloved breakfast pastry, and with a resolution that surprised both myself and Hector, she declared that enough was enough and marched out of the room.
This declaration caused Hector and myself to exchange alarmed glances over our steaming mugs of Earl Grey, as she had not made her thought processes clear to us in any way. We were bewildered and also slightly apprehensive at what she might do next as she can be a little unpredictable sometimes, especially after caffeine. After a hurried, guilt infused conversation between ourselves we decided that neither of us had transgressed recently in a manner that might merit actual eviction, so we relaxed and I speared her abandoned croissant with a beautifully polished claw.
I forgot this dramatic breakfast scene and continued on my houndly duties of gentle walks around the estate (avec parasol to protect myself from unexpected ear and pointy nose sizzling), high level duvet nest building, food snaffling and of course snoozing. One afternoon, during an especially comfortable nap, wherein my limbs were arranged at Jarvis Cocker-esque angles and I had deployed my gentle puffed cheek inflations, the doorbell woke me.
I slowly prised opened an eye, decided I really couldn’t be bothered so I closed it again and prepared to re enter dreamland again. I was happily surveying my field of a new breed of very slow moving, plumptious squirrels when I was reclaimed once again by reality by an animated Muvver, squawking and fondling a box that our smashing postman Nigel had just handed her.
She opened it with what Hector refers to as her ‘bony chicken claws’, unjust I might add, they are just a bit firkly sometimes, and it was with a trepidatious sigh that I then realised that she had bought herself a weighted hula hoop.
Nothing good would come of this. Hector paled when he spotted it and began to gather up all his breakable precious things that were within swinging range of an out of control hoop, operated by an out of control wonderchump.
We are now back to the beginning of this little tale my good friends, me with my eyes closed and Hector reciting a little prayer to anyone that would listen. I assume the god of hoops? Was there such a thing?
Eventually I could no longer ignore the clattering and sporadic sound of whirring air, and I surveyed the scene before me. I watched for some time and what surprised me was that after some false starts she was actually quite good at it! Who knew that she could move her hips in such a rhythmical fashion (not unlike Sister Josephine last week!). It was not necessarily with the litheness of Jagger…but nevertheless an excellent, exuberant effort.
What was even more surprising was later that day, when I walked into the kitchen to discover Hector having a crafty go with it! He was magnificent! This was a shock to me as I had once seen him ice skating, and he looked like a tasered fish trying to reach the shore. This sporting excellence was all very unexpected and made me paws for thought. If they, a couple of uncoordinated lunatics could do it…then surely it would be a natural fit for a graceful and athletic hound such as myself?
I must say that after my bell ringing efforts the previous week I was not that keen, but I felt that an unspoken challenge had been cast forth, one which I was duty bound to accept.
I attempted to do it standing upright on my back paws, once again returning to my heady days performing in a high octane circus troupe. I had cut rather a fine figure in a leotard and a top hat *sighs wistfully.
Sadly, through the passage of time my core strength had deserted me and I can, on a normal day only just about shimmy my way through a crowded bar in my special high heeled brogues without toppling over.
Thus far the hula hoop had proved to be a step too far. Not wanting to admit defeat, I then decided to make the hoop smaller and try it, with all four paws firmly on the ground, using my houndly midsection to propel the hoop of doom in the recommended circular action.
I believe my mistake was trying this on a tiled floor, which had historically caused me some difficulty of ‘purchase’ when scampering for a Scooby snack. It was with an enormous lurch, in which I expended a great deal of energy in the launching of the hoop, that my paws lost all traction with the floor and I shot across the tiles at great velocity, traversing the room in mere nano seconds and rocketing off out into the porch. I ended up tangled in a pile of walking boots and was instantly enveloped by a falling cagoule parachute. Yet again the hound had ‘had a fall’!
*Through the clouds of dust, a paw can be seen to bravely emerge from a heap…
Thankfully the verdict was that I was mostly unharmed if not a little shaken and sheepish, although I think we will all be happier if I stick to a gentle stroll to maintain my lithe and limber physique. I think we can also agree that the only hula hoops I am interested in should be eaten off your fingers/paws, one by one.
Pip pip my good pals, until next time.
A sideways Spindles view