I was sitting in the sun, reading a magazine and just chilling. Matfield was lying a few meters away, snoring his head off. Hmmm life is good!
Matfield is my two-year-old Great Dane. He is a giant-of-a-dog who is like an in-your-face healthy, happy child with a character larger-than-life and extremes.
He is playful, verbal, loving, loyal, gentle, affectionate, always-excited-to-see-me, intimidating- to- others and protective- of-me. I often wish I could take him for a walk on a beach somewhere. He is bound to be an instant head-turner with his calm, regal demeanor. Who needs an online dating service? Hmmm I love that dog!
But, he drives me insane when he is inquisitive, clumsy, egocentric, forever-hungry, stubborn, messy and smelly. Sheesh you have never smelt anything so vile. Even he gets up, reluctantly, and moves away to escape the stench of his own farts. And, I’m convinced he houses a spit factory in that seemingly noble, dignified appearance. He leaves a trail of drool everywhere he goes. Matfield is also the worst slobbery-kisser you could ever imagine. (But, it’s either that or a self-imposed once-a-month, five-day, not-so-slobbery kissing marathon with my Comrades legs. After all, my heart is still running free at the other end of the country.)
Matfield’s imposing size and stature always gets him into lots of trouble. He just cannot help it. He is always in the way. There is always somebody in the house shouting at him. Matfield! Get out! OUT!
But, one look from those gentle, droopy-puppy-dog eyes, which are unusually green in colour, and my heart just melts with adoration. He is the most pleasant natured dog I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Needless to say he gets away with bloody murder.
One sunny winter’s day, when Matfield was about eight months old and already quite big, I was sitting outside reading a magazine whilst he was playing with the other dogs. All of a sudden he grabbed hold of the end of my scarf and began tugging – playfully but forcefully. It happened so quickly. He is strong. I panicked.
The tighter the scarf wound around my neck, the harder he pulled – and the more he wagged his tail, shaking his head from side to side whilst growling and snarling in delight. He was totally oblivious to my fear and severe discomfort. He was literally strangling me. I was choking – unable to speak or even breathe. I felt extreme pressure on my throat. My head felt like it wanted to explode. My eyes felt like they were popping out of their sockets. I was terrified. Oh my God!
Just then my care assistant came around the corner – thankfully.
She realized immediately that I was in trouble. She was wide-eyed as she rushed to stop Matfield, screeching his name at the top of her voice. Being inquisitive, he instantly turned his attention to her, still wagging his tail. She still had to dislodge the scarf from his canine tooth before loosening its grip around my neck. The tears were streaming down my cheeks as I was gasping for breath and the adrenalin was pumping through my veins. Initially, I couldn’t speak, partly due to shock and partly due to a very sore and tender throat. I was still hoarse hours later.
Later, after we had all calmed down and Matfield was fast asleep, snoring his head off, I started giggling. I was eventually crying tears of laughter.
Just imagine the headline in our local newspaper?
But, I still love my Matfield, the gentle giant.