Sunday, 22 February 2015

Our Pack

Halle, who always did
manage to land on her feet
My sister told me about a TV programme she had watched recently which detailed some of the finer points of animal behaviour.  She eagerly explained that the infamous three second memory of the goldfish is in fact a myth, it now being known that they can remember things for four whole months and are capable of recognising their owners.  She also earnestly informed me that cats do not always land on their feet so it is best not to test that theory.  Unsurprisingly though the most interesting nugget of information to my mind was about dogs.  

Being the owner of two dogs I have often had to wait whilst one had a wee on an innocuous looking tree stump following immediately by the other over exactly the same spot.  As it was always Barry after Gerty, and he is higher up the pecking order in our pack, I had always assumed that it was him asserting his dominance and proclaiming ownership of his territory.  Apparently not.  What dear Barry is doing is telling all other dogs in the vicinity how big his pack is.  He is proclaiming: "There are two of us so come and have a go, if you think you're hard enough!"
Sniffing out the right spot

This notion tickled me, not least because a pack size of two is hardly anything to write home about.  So, as one does to fill the voids in conversation, I repeated this fact to several others and finally to my husband who was mutually amused and entertained.  

A few days later on his day off from work and therefore my day off from walkies my husband returned from said walk and whilst brewing a cup of tea, nonchalantly mentioned that he had again observed the practice of double urination and had had to quell an instinctive urge to participate in a bid to exaggerate pack numbers.  This tickled me too.
Our Pack

Monday, 16 February 2015

Greatness in Numbers!

We went along to a Boston Terrier Meet-up in Bushey Park, Teddington yesterday. This is one of my absolute favourite ways to spend a Sunday because dog walkers are, in my humble opinion, the friendliest people on earth and when you own a Boston Terrier you can't help but be filled with joie de vivre so that makes Boston Terrier owners the friendliest of the friendliest people on earth!
I just love spending the morning walking and talking with kindred spirits and being reassured that there are plenty of other little black and white weirdos running around Surrey who have managed to slide their owners squarely under the paw!
It is both wonderful and terrifying to see so many Bostons all at once. you spend much of your morning thinking you are watching your, own only to realise you are keeping an eye on somebody else's little terror whilst yours is causing chaos elsewhere or fretting that you have lost yours when in fact they are trotting along behind you tucked closely into your shadow in true "companion breed"style!
An additional benefit of attending these meet-ups is the beautifully peaceful Sunday afternoon we have afterwards while our Bostons slumber lazily, contentedly and usually in the sunniest spot they can find!
I think what I love the most about these walks is that you are just surrounded by speeding, snorting, snuffling little beasties, all dashing about, stopping for a quick butt rub or joining the queue for someone else's treats. I'm not sure if being there staves off my desire for more or stokes the fire but I do know that I'd rather be nowhere else. I believe Barry's greatness is exponential when combined with other Bostons and I am sure that is why fate brought his insufferable side-kick Gertrude into our family too!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

It's been a while, I know...

...So much time has passed, so many things have happened and so much has changed.

In an unfathomable twist of events Barry has become somewhat more sedate.  Well, that might be a slight overstatement but he certainly is not El Diablo all the time anymore.  He tends rather to pick his moments to become unhinged, only letting his closest K9 pals see his silly side. Much to my amusement he has even taken to telling off young pups who badger him to play, in much the same way that he used to goad the seniors in the park.

Gertrude I suppose is much the same, just perhaps a little wider!  She is still the size of a puppy and still knows it, approaching shepherds, collies, greyhounds and anything else that may try to chase or herd her with trepidation and usually from behind my legs.

Last year was not all that much fun for me.  Not wishing to dwell on the matter, suffice it to say that I spent much of my time wishing that I was not here.  Or anywhere.  I had devised my argument with clarity and certainty that the world would in fact be a better place if I was not in it.  Of that fact I was adamant apart from one niggling thought lurking in the back of my mind.  My dogs.  There could be better wives, daughters and sisters but nobody would or could love my dogs as much as I do.

Now that may or may not be true but thank goodness I believed it!  And thank goodness for my dogs.  I gave them so little last year.  They were fed and watered but had so little in the way of growth and stimulation.  Despite this and always in my darkest hours Barry and Gertrude would be with me. By my side.  Curled up in bed shrouded in the shadows while the sun shone brightly outside.  Never questioning, never arguing and never judging.

That quality is most definitely evidence of greatness in my book.