My story about Tarquin , the Afghan Hound , was very popular with readers of my blog and I have been inundated with requests for more " Tarquin Tales " . So , you only have yourselves to blame for the following !
Tarquin was always different . It was immediately obvious that this puppy was totally wild ; extremely loving , but WILD !! Everything was done at top speed ,including going for walks , once he had accepted the leash ! He lived his whole life in the " fast lane " and I had to " pedal " furiously just to keep up ! He was very solidly built , probably due to a feeding regime that included daily fresh salmon , kindly provided by my husbands fishing habit !
It also soon became clear that Tarquin had no manners . He had none of the characteristic Afghan aloofness , he was a clown . He launched himself at any unsuspecting guest and ended up on their knee or over their shoulders , spilling their drinks and knocking over side tables . One friend , who visited regularly , used to quickly plant himself rigidly in one of our heavy , high backed leather chairs and Tarquin would fly into the room, leap over the sofa and land on our friend , knocking chair and occupant backwards onto the floor and the poor friend would be sat on and thoroughly licked . Tarquin loved everyone and everyone loved him .
But , alas , he was far too big and heavy to allow him to run freely through the house all the time and so we had to find some way of confining him when people called or when we had to leave him home alone ! Our two other Afghans stayed in the large kitchen , curled up in front of the Aga , but Tarquin leapt on them and made them cross and he ended up with a bloody nose for his pains . Nothing was safe , as he could jump so high and pots and pans were frequently over-turned .
Our house was a large , stone built , 6 bedroomed old building that had once been a private school and had also been the home of the local Lairds mother . All of the rooms were huge , including the laundry room . This housed a Belfast sink , cupboards , washing machine , tumble dryer and a large built in , airing cupboard with huge floor to ceiling sliding doors . So , as there seemed to be nothing that Tarquin could jump on or knock over , the laundry room would be " his " room when we were out . His sanctuary when he had to be " confined to barracks " . All went well and Tarquin accepted his occasional confinement ........ or so I thought !
A few days later I had a huge pile of washing to do . I sorted it into piles in the laundry room . The dogs were all outside in the sunny garden , their coats blowing in the breeze . It would be a great drying day !!
I put the first load into the washer and put my hand down to turn the control knob to "hot wash " and ........... NO KNOBS !! Just the chewed remains of the spindles ! I looked over at the tumble dryer and there were the same chewed spindles and no sign of any control knobs anywhere !
I didnt know what to do , other than frantically search the floor . So on hands and knees I inspected every inch of the room and there between the skirting board and a cupboard was a tiny gap and forced into the gap was the mangled remains of , what looked like , one of the washing machine controls . And that was it , no sign of anything else , nothing !! I can only surmise that Tarquin had actually eaten them !!
So, for the next few months , I had to use pliers to grip the spindle and turn it to the approximate region of " Normal wash " ... which was the only setting I was sure of , while the tumble dryer had two available settings ......... On or Off !! As for the missing controls ; well he did , indeed , eat them . And he didnt stop there !
We had to spend a few hours in Aberdeen , on business and so Tarquin was left on his own , in his room , for 4 hours or so . He had food and water , a radio , his bed and his toys . He could see out of the large sash window , he was quite safe . When we returned , I went straight to let him out and was greeted by my lovely boy , thick coat full of small pieces of wood . The huge 8 feet high , airing cupboard doors were no longer there and all the towels , sheets , etc. were pulled off the shelves and strewn around the room . Pieces of chewed and shredded wood littered the floor and Tarquin stood in the middle of all this devastation ..... beaming !
The tidying up process was very puzzling though . We shook the wood off all the linen and towels and put them in a huge pile to wash . I swept the floor and brushed all the pieces of wood from Tarquins coat and we put all the debris into a black bin-liner . There was barely enough for doors half the size of the original ones . What had happened to the rest ?
We found the answer to that over the next few days !................................