Doesn’t matter if it’s an elephant or a whale.
A squirrel or deer or a dog.
A mouse, or an ostrich or a dung beetle.
Doesn’t matter if they are real or cartoony or serious CG.
If critters come on our TV while Mayo the Bodacious Bichon is on duty, you would think the Huns were at the gate.
He is off like a heat-seeking missile, straight for the TV, leaping up and down like a maniac.
Barkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbark. Rrrrrr. Barkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbark
And he will not stop until he has scared the TV animals away.
The GM Finance thinks this is “so cute”.
Unless you are trying to watch a David Attenborough special.
Because it’s hard to concentrate when Mayo stands bolt upright in front of the TV, feet pushed aggressively against the cabinet, as he emits an almost inaudible growl.
Then, for the next 60 minutes, less commercial breaks, he barks and snarls and leaps savagely at any critter on TV.
LOBSTERS for crying out loud.
And it is not random, deranged barking.
He knows what he is doing.
Case in point.
Last week our top current affairs show did a piece on how three farm kids were dealing with New Zealand’s drought.
Mayo and I were happily watching this innocuous story, lazily ensconced in our recliner.
Then the farm kids were joined by their pet goat.
At which point Mayo went berserk.
Far crazier than when David Attenborough had brought lions and elephants and giraffes and black rhinos into our living room.
No, Mayo was absolutely certain this was the Demon Goat from Hell who must at all costs be defeated.
So he barked and barked and barked until, thank the Lord, the cameraman would do tight shots of the dried up land.
But even then, Mayo would stand ramrod straight, staring into the TV, like a marine with his finger on the trigger.
Because he knew, if those farm kids were still in our living room, the Demon Goat from Hell was lurking nearby.
And no damn Demon Goat was going to get us.
Not on his watch!
The bark-jump-watch-bark-jump-watch antics lasted at least five minutes – until the GM Finance had laughed and laughed and laughed,
and I had developed a headache.
Here is the interesting bit.
When one or two of the kids would be on the screen, Mayo would stand down.
But when all three of the kids were on camera, Mayo would lock and load, sensing his enemy was near.
And he was right every time.
Once, he went off his nut when I didn’t even see the goat because it was hidden by the kids.
All you could see, if you really looked close, was the goat’s left rear leg.
It did not fool Mayo for a moment.
In real life, it’s a totally different ballgame.
When we go walkies, there is usually a black cat sunning itself in the street. Mayo strolls up, the cat rolls over, and Mayo licks its belly. The cat bats him once, and Mayo happily prances away.
Mayo pays no notice at all to the ducks or countless little birds that populate our neighborhood.
Mayo even politely greets almost every dog that we pass.
But if a dog or a cat or a hippo or, God forbid, a demon goat comes on our TV, that’s when the dog poo hits the fan.
What is it with this felluh?
(P.S. Mayo is my sister-in-law’s dog. We are baby-sitting him while she is on Mission work in Timor).