Daft Dog … Clever Pup

I had one of those adventures that happen to me sometimes today – but I didn’t get muddy at all; possibly because despite all the downpours we have had the ground is drying out and the small drainage dykes are dry too.

So this morning was fairly Sunday morningish except that my boys did not allow me a long lie today – Pup has started this week insisting on being in his bed between 22:15 and 22:30 so when he has had enough sleep he wants to be up and about in the mornings.  If I can get into a pattern I will start taking them out as soon as we get up because it is starting to get too hot for them in the middle of the day.  Anyway there was building going on next door making a racket so once I had had breakfast and done everything I needed to get done we set off for our walk.

You can see the lovely blue sky but you can also see those clouds so I added an extra fleece today just in case and I took the game bag filled with dummies and camera.  Some days now Pup is perfect from the minute we step outside and others he is a horror for the first 1/4 mile.  Today he had grabbed a half mashed raw potato off the pavement within minutes which required me sticking my hand in his mouth to remove it.  Next I saw Tony Terrier coming the other way so I about turned the boys and sat them up tight into the corner of a wall.  Not a sound from either of them and I got a smile and a “thanks”.

Next we paused because a noisy oyster catcher was sitting shrieking at us and I wanted Pup to look, sit and then when I told him to gently ease forward to point and then stop when the bird flew away.  I cannot expect him to do that yet off lead but when he is on lead it is easy to show him what he needs to learn.  We let a neighbour go passed and Pup then wanted to pull to catch them up.  Eventually we got to the lane and the relief of letting the wee man off his lead.  It was shortly after that I spotted the glider overhead – it was tricky to photograph because of the sun (and I had stupidly left the camera set for moon pictures!) but very soothing to watch it thermalling.  Pup stopped and just waited for me each time I paused for photographs.

As we walked down the Estate road I spotted a hare laid up in the crop to he right … Pup was totally oblivious and Dog only realised once it ran.

Next up some botanical subjects … I loved the shapes of these daffodils now the flowers have gone …

Having taken pictures we carried on down the woodland path, over treecreeper bridge and onto the woods.  Pup was extremely biddable and apart from having to be told several times that he wasn’t to jump the big dyke to see the skittish beasts he stayed close.  I was particularly pleased with him when he found the remains of  a mallard drake – the head was missing and what he found was the skeleton and the two wings – well dried out.  He retrieved it straight to me.  I was thinking about keeping the wings (they are good tied to to puppy dummies for introduction to retrieving feather) but when I turned it over they were quite damaged so I tossed it away – only for Pup to immediately go get it and bring it back to me!  I thanked him again and took care to discard it more discreetly the second time.

We turned into the woods and went to the white grass clearing.  I changed Dog’s lead so he was on the 8m flexi lead which meant he could join in retrieving but couldn’t run away!  All was going really well; Pup had done some retrieves and then decided to leave the tennis ball behind and lost it.  I told Dog to stay and he lay down beside the game bag and did exactly what he was told while I walked 30m out and 30m back.  I made a huge fuss of him for staying as he had been told.

I didn’t immediately pick the lead up but I knelt down on the grass and hugged him and told him what a good boy he was being.  After 10 minutes he suddenly took it into his head to run … let the adventure begin!  He ran around the clearing with the lead handle bouncing behind him and ignoring the calls/whistles.  Pup was torn between coming back or chasing the lead handle that bounced enticingly like a bunny in front of him – the pretend bunny won!

I gathered my stuff up, grabbed the bag of kibble from the game nag ready to make a huge bribe and set off in roughly the right direction … by this time both dogs had disappeared into the trees and all was quiet.  A few minutes later a whistle recall brought Pup back to me and he was happy to wait while I clipped a lead onto his harness before he set off back the way he had come.  He took me in an almost perfect straight line (apart from dodging a few trees) to where Dog was sitting quietly and politely waiting with his lead snagged round a tree root.  He had doubled back as if he was on his way back to me when he got caught up.

I didn’t tell him off and he shyly wagged his tail … daft old Dog.  What a clever Pup though to be able to take me straight there; it would have taken me much longer to find him otherwise because he and the under canopy were a perfect match!  I might have been able to get him to “speak” if I had asked but with Pup’s help that wasn’t necessary.  We did a cross country scramble to get out of the woods (they aren’t big enough to be really lost and I knew where we were just not where the path was!)

By the time we got to the burn Dog was pretty thirsty and as I loosened the waist lead to let him get a drink he pulled it out of my hand and set off paddling along the burn.  He got a sever scolding and turned round and came back complete with his saturated lead.  He obviously doesn’t run to get away from me because he is very cuddly after one of these adventures – he just loves to run and he knows he can find me so he isn’t scared – but he would run so far if he didn’t get tangled that I have no control of what he does while he is gone and that s not acceptable.  I don’t think he will veer be cured of this and it is great that Pup is totally different.

Wonder who had pulled this out of it’s nest? it wasn’t broken but had obviously been lying there for some time and had damage so no chance that the chick would hatch … looks like a wood pigeon egg so we have plenty without this one.

The return journey was uneventful so I will leave you with a few more botanicals … just for enjoyment!

Dandelions and Cow Parsley

In Europe, a lot of superstition used to surround this flower. It was thought that if anyone picked it, a thunderstorm would break out. It was also thought to generate lightning and for this reason was never taken into a house. In parts of England, it was believed to attract adders, Britain’s only poisonous snake, with a notion that anyone picking the flower would be bitten before the year was out. In spite of being so common, the cuckoo flower has a long and fascinating history and even features in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost as “lady smocks all silver white”. More usually, the flowers are lilac coloured, but they can also be white. In fact, the plant is related to watercress and its leaves can be safely used in salads.

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About nonehpets

I have an interest in how interior design and adapting a home to support living independently for longer can be complementary. The blog Life Long Design is part of an holistic plan for establishing a social enterprise which will offer the people of Tayside opportunities to explore Telecare and the wider scope of assistive technologies. Enabling individuals to make more informed and responsible choices in the care and support they need in their independent living. I am also keen to see public transport more widely adopted and sustainable rural bus services in particular supported. The Blog Travels with a Megarider shares my journey to find serenity in my life as I make that transition form employment to social entrepreneur. One of my methods in increasing serenity is to travel as many miles as I can on a fixed price bus ticket and explore my own local places of interest. Places that I used to go past and had never stopped to look at; places of peace and tranquility; places where I have had some wonderful conversations with complete strangers. I would like to share with you a response to when I described that one paragraph in an e-mail made it sound simple: "Believe me, Cathy, it does not sound simple. You are taking on an incredible challenge for all the right reasons. It is ambitious and admirable - the sort of project that can change lives, including yours." He is right it is ambitious but when did we every achieve anything by settling for the status quo and ignoring what doesn't work for people? So I would welcome your company from time to time on this journey either simply as a reader or if you are brave enough adding your own thoughts to the comments as you feel moved.

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