My suburb is barking mad at me

I have written something about my two lovely dogs, Brown Dash and Pitch Black Afro, before.

But as we, members of the Fourth Estate like to say, that piece was written during what we call Happier Times.

Those were blissful days when, as Nina Simone would serenade in that gorgeous song, Summertime, I first brought to you the joy of fatherhood when, as Simone says, life was beautiful, your daddy was rich and your ma was good lookin' .


But behind every silver lining a dark cloud hovers, ready to throw your life into turmoil.

My kids, Dash and Afro are celebrities of some kind you know. Their names say it all. Besides, they have been given to me by my friend, Kuli Roberts.

You can see it in their sparkling eyes and shiny coats that there's a genetic connection somewhere.

The only problem is that media planners from advertising agencies have yet to knock on my door. By now I was expecting to be sitting pretty on some huge contracts - anything from my doggies appearing in Dogmore ads to featuring in movies to making public appearances at some celebrity events.

Instead of being my insurance for early retirement and buying my round-the-world cruise on the Queen Mary, Afro and Dash have made me the most hated man in my neighbourhood.

I even entertained the idea of fixing them a blind date with other groomed and refined breeds from upper crust families such as the Madibas or the Motsepes.

Only the best will do for my babies.

But my Gawd, can they bark! The bitch, Pitch Black Afro, especially is a howler. Round midnight is usually the time that she's in her element.

She has this talent of switching from a piercing falsetto to a rumbling soprano and back again in a matter of seconds. And when she's at it, she doesn't stop. Her symphony is the longest I have heard.

I wouldn't mind the barking if my home was some farm somewhere in the sticks.

But this is suburbia, babe. The neighbours are pissed off with me. The other day I found a note in my mailbox which threatened me with serious bodily harm if I didn't get rid of my mongrels.

Mongrels? Some people have no class.

Four years ago when I moved into the neighbourhood, an Afrikaner family stopped some thieves trying to break into my house dead in their tracks. The lice are now deservedly doing time in the slammer.

The same family scaled my wall to stop water from an overflowing swimming pool.

Now I'm wondering if they'll lift a finger if they find me bleeding to death in the driveway.

But I won't be intimidated into letting go of my Pitch Black and Brown Dash.

I mean, its like giving up your own children for adoption.


Poppa loves his kids too much for that.

I would rather sell and move on to some civilised place where dogs are treated with some modicum of respect.

As they say, it's a dog's life.