Playing With Words


We really thought we were going to lose Jeffie last night. He’s an old dog, and he’s old in that way that you see with dogs sometimes1, seeming to be physically older than his years. He’s just so skinny all of a sudden, and looks really quite skeletal. Last night he didn’t eat all of his dinner, refused to get up for his bedtime milk, which is pretty much unheard of, and just looked so … dull. But this morning he seems a lot brighter, ate his breakfast (and some of Sid’s) with enthusiasm, enjoyed his foam bath2 and was eager for his walk.

Possibly this contributed to the frivolity which ensued as we approached our house on the way home.

Me: ‘Oh look, there’s the post lady!’

OH: ‘Yes, she’s late today, isn’t she?’

Me: ‘We may have some post, after all.’

OH: ‘It’ll be a bill. Oh, you might get something else. You’re always getting post … but I suppose I don’t really do post like you do.’

Me: ‘Mmm… It might be my new CD!’

OH: ‘What new CD?’

Me: ‘The Great Nef!’3

OH (Sighing): ‘Haven’t you got enough yet?’

Me: ‘I could be facetious and say ‘You can Neffa have enough!”

OH: ‘Ha! That’s a very good pun.’


OH (Muttering disconsolately) ‘And it should have been mine!

And Jeffie? He seems to be back to his usual self, thank goodness!


1 And with people , too, for that matter. I could name some names … but I won’t.

2 A while ago the vet gave me (Ha! Gave me and charged me for it .. ) a kind of foam shampoo for dogs called Ermidrá. You squirt foam all over them and rub it well into the coat, then a couple of minutes later, brush it out. Their fur comes up so beautifully shiny and clean, and it keeps Jeffie’s dandruff in check. Both Sid and Jeff really love the massage that comes along with it.

3 ‘The Great Nef’ is what OH calls my new favourite Italian singer. His name is really Giovanni Pellino, but he goes by the stage name of ‘Neffa’. Neffa doesn’t seem to have a translation in Italian, but in English a nef is ‘an elaborate table decoration in the shape of a ship for holding such things as table napkins and condiments’ Somehow I don’t think Sr. Pellino meant that.

If you so wish, you can hear one of my favourite Neffa songs here. It’s about the end of a relationship as far as I can tell, and he goes on and on about how he’s not going to miss her. Uh-uh. Not at all. Yah boo sucks to her, and so on.

11 thoughts on “Playing With Words

  1. Carol 7th March 2015 / 1:35 am

    Glad Jeffie is better. So hard to watch them as they age.

    • Jay 7th March 2015 / 8:30 am

      Thanks. It is, Carol, it really is .. but you know that from experience just as well as I do, don’t you?

  2. Rob Lenihan 7th March 2015 / 3:19 am

    I’m so happy that Jeffie has bounced back! Keep it up, brother! And I sympathize with OH. I’m the punster in my family and I get all kinds of twisted if somebody else does a word play on me. I really want to PUNish them!

    • Jay 7th March 2015 / 8:34 am

      Ahahahahah!! Thanks, Rob!

      It’s funny, but we are as bad as each other for playing with words. It’s almost like a competition. There are some things I’m better at, and some OH is better at. Not quite the same thing as a good pun, but he does a wonderful ‘when I were a lad we had/didn’t have … ‘ monologue that just runs on and on, and it’s just so funny. All I can do is interject the odd incident just to keep him going. If I tried it on my own I’d run out of steam pretty quickly.

      His favourites are along the lines of ‘We had one piece of coal to last us the whole winter … and we had to share that with the family next door’ and ‘Mouse for Sunday dinner? Ha!! We were lucky if we got the TAIL!’ He’s really funny.

  3. nick 7th March 2015 / 9:37 am

    I’m impressed by OH’s ability to keep the “When I were a lad” stories running indefinitely. Like you, I run out of steam rapidly (and we could never afford any steam in our house, I can tell you).

    Yes, an old dog (or cat) showing its age is as sad as a once-sprightly human. There are one or two of our neighbourhood cats that now struggle to climb fences or do anything too physically demanding. I wonder if they feel embarrassed by it?

    • Jay 7th March 2015 / 10:25 am

      I don’t think dogs feel embarrassed. They are very much ‘live in the moment’ creatures and don’t waste time on regrets. Cats, however, do very often give the appearance of being embarrassed. They probably aren’t really, but they do a great impression!

      Good bit of wit in there, about running out of steam. Now it’s my turn to be impressed!

  4. Secret Agent Woman 7th March 2015 / 4:49 pm

    Grey’s get so bony in their old age – so vulnerable looking. I’m glad he’s doing a little better.

    • Jay 7th March 2015 / 4:59 pm

      They really do. So sad to see … thank you!

  5. liz 11th March 2015 / 12:30 pm

    Can you use the shampoo on dogs not called Ermidra? (Sorry, playing with words!)

    Love the dialogue. Sounds like Husband and me.

    George is only 7 but is the laziest dog in the world. He has to be lifted into the bag of our car. He’s never jumped in. Well, perhaps once or twice when we’ve collected him from kennels but mostly he just waits to be lifted.

  6. Jay 11th March 2015 / 1:18 pm

    Haha! Took me a while, but I got there in the end!

    It’s a good job mine will jump in – they’re both too big for us to lift, though I could probably manage Jeffie these days.

    • liz 11th March 2015 / 7:37 pm

      George does put his front paws up … eventually. Still I struggle to lift his bottom!

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