There’s a brilliant Netflix show about a specialist Israeli intelligence unit, called Fauda. I looked up what Fauda meant in Israeli and it translates, brilliantly, as ‘chaos’. In the show, whenever a mission is compromised or one of the spies finds themselves in a gunfight, they shout “Fauda! Fauda!” into their walkie-talkies to alert their colleagues.
My wife and I got so invested in the show that we started messaging the word ‘fauda’ to each other whenever small domestic problems arose. Run out of milk? ‘Fauda!’ One of the kids is sick and wants a day off school? ‘Fauda!’ Ha ha. Aren’t we amusing? Well, nobody is laughing in my house any more. Because these days we are living in a completely un-ironic state of genuine domestic chaos. Yes, friends, we accidentally bought a puppy. ‘FAUDA!’ We had always wanted a dog. But we had a neurotic cat who wouldn’t have liked it. When the cat died we got a kitten to help soothe the pain. We should have left it at the kitten. But we got cocky and we decided we needed a puppy too.
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On December 27, me, my wife and our two kids hit the road from London to a breeder’s farm in Norfolk where I handed over the price of a half-decent second-hand hatchback in return for a three-month-old cockapoo puppy which we named Cookie. She was beautiful and cuddly but we couldn’t help but notice in the car journey home that she stunk. Was it naive of us to imagine that our dog would be a special dog that smelt of peaches or lavender? Yes it was. And our naivety didn’t end there.
The thing about having a puppy is that you are constantly thinking about another creature’s bowel movements. Honestly, my days used to be quite relaxed and pleasant. A little gym session in the morning, a bit of writing in the afternoon, knock up a bowl of pasta for dinner, then watch the box until bedtime. Lovely.
Now my schedule is entirely built around when Cookie might next need the toilet. I take her out in the garden at nighttime and implore her to do her business. She sniffs about and starts to play. I don’t want her to play. It is cold and dark and I want her to just get it over with. Sometimes I use the torch on my phone to check what she is up to. Shining a light at a dog’s bumhole at one in the morning is a sobering experience, I can tell you.