One of my first jobs was working behind the bar at The Kensington Arms in Redland, Bristol
Times have changed however, 30 years ago the Kensington was a run of the mill place- the punters were pretty bohemian, but down to earth. It was a drinkers’ pub which served the odd hot snack, but I sold more packs of Old Holborn than pasties in my time behind the bar there.
During the late 80’s The Kensington Arms had a Jack Russell terrier in residence that was called “The Rat”. She was a source of amusement though if you “charged her up” correctly. After finishing the glass collecting and general clear up after a busy Saturday night shift the landlord would often get his staff a drink before we went off home. At this point the Rat would often totter into the front bar and join us. The game we played on her was a bit cruel, but she never learned from her previous mistakes. We used to pick her up and put her on the bar counter. Then we would pour her a drink. Her tipple was Guinness which she drank out of a half filled ashray.
The Rat would just lap it up and the Guinness soon took effect, which you could normally tell when her back legs started to give way. Fair play to the old girl though as she would sit there still on her haunches and sup away until her front legs went. At which point her head lolled about and then she normally zonked out. Once she had fallen asleep she would be scooped up and plonked in her basket by the evening shift as a present for the Sunday lunch shift to open as it were.
In reality it was like leaving a time bomb as the next morning the Rat would wake up with a cracking hangover. She would be cranky and foul tempered, which was no laughing matter if you were pulling pints with her around. She would get the arse ache, snap and growl and often nip your ankle as you walked past her. The Rat was simply a nightmare to deal with when she had a hangover, but like a lot of people she would never learn.