Posted in Pet-Minding, Photographs


Footpath disappearing into dark trees

Pete is probably wondering what happened to the photos I said I would put here one day when he was photoless… it was the day I went out myself and took some pictures, just by chance. I sat down to look through them and they weren’t too awful, but then things started happening (just ordinary everyday things not worth blogging about) and I didn’t have time to put them up that day.

And so it went on over the next few days… a mixture of being busy doing other things or feeling too sleepy.

But today I spruced up two of the pictures… they’re not exciting or significant in any way, but they’re part of my everyday backdrop. There are no birds or butterflies, but I noticed a blurry spot which was either a bee or a hoverfly. I couldn’t see it clearly enough to make it out… maybe it was hoping I would blog about it.

Anyway, the first photo is of a little path up the side of a small hill. I used to go this way to work. I had a light summer coat which was a lovely fresh red, and it had a hood. I didn’t meet any wolves though…. not then.

The second picture is where I DID meet wolves, or should I say, on two separate occasions here, Thundercloud and I were set upon by those unleashed hounds from hell. It’s from the wrong viewpoint (this is actually the route the hounds from hell were taking when they spotted us… we were coming down at right angles to this). Maybe if I do another Diddums Tour with my camera, I can go to the very spot where… (distant sound of ferocious baying)…. oh, wait a minute.

Dog pack trail
Posted in Pet-Minding, Rants

Dogs and Ducks

A couple of times lately when out walking Thundercloud, a bunch of dogs (three or four of varying breeds and sizes) suddenly rounded the corner and we found ourselves in the middle of them. No owners in sight. On both occasions one of the dogs got a little sarky, though both groups were different. Thundercloud looked curiously at them; the other dogs paused, stared back, then the nearest, biggest one snarled and barked (perhaps deciding that Thundercloud was bigger, therefore a little scary).

Still no owners in sight, having been left well behind by the dogs.

One of the groups we bumped into was coming down a small footpath from the duck pond – they had been looking around there hopefully. Maybe for breadcrumbs, maybe for ducks! The lead dog growled and I looked around for the owners, then realized they weren’t ahead of me with their dogs – they were well away down the hill behind me, strolling leisurely along in another direction entirely.

When dogs have questionable temperaments or are running around in a pack, I don’t think they should be off the leash or out of their owners’ direct control. Especially when they’re anywhere near ducks, moorhens and swans – or cats and children (like on small residential roads).

Comments for this entry (from its previous life on Blogigo):

1. kateblogs wrote at Mar 26, 2007 at 15:42: I know what you mean about people leaving their dogs to run free, I often come across similar groups when I take our dogs out. One couple in particular walk 3 or 4 terrier type dogs, which rampage around the fields trying to pick fights with everything they see, while their owners sit on a bench chatting, completely oblivious to it all.

Posted in Pet-Minding, Rants

Gone to the Dogs

I thought I was having a break from dogs today! Someone else is walking Thundercloud, and Wee Hairy Dog has gone home. So I headed out to the small supermarket next door.

The intention was to get their special cheapo brand of washing powder, but they had something new that was three times the price. I held back, and got other things instead. A half-price duck for the cats and me, along with other odds and ends. Kept the basket light as I would have to carry it home.

While I was over at the far side of the supermarket, frowning with disappointment at the choice of washing powder, the tinned music suddenly cut out with an audible scrape.

“Ahhmmrgghrh mmmgmmmhh hmmmlb,” said a voice over the tannoy.
With this sort of hearing loss, you hear the voice but not the words.
“That’s odd,” I thought – “they don’t usually bark things over the tannoy here – it’s just a wee supermarket. I hope there isn’t something going on, like a fire, and we all have to leave!”
The tinned music returned, and I thought “nah – more likely they’re not sure how much the toilet paper is, or one of their tills has broken down.”

After a minute, the voice was back.
“Grhmfphrb girn mrhmmagre mn barkurrur,” it said.
“Well,” I thought, I should just pop over there and see what’s going on – maybe there’s a bomb and they want me to leave! It’s stupid just standing here assuming the tannoy has nothing to do with me.”

Cautiously I went round by the tills – a couple was just leaving the supermarket, the doors wide open. They were looking back at something I couldn’t see, grinning. Everybody else had stopped what they were doing and were craning their necks in the same direction – reminiscent of a Giles cartoon.

A man appeared, dragging a yellow Labrador dog by the collar. It didn’t appear to have a leash, and didn’t want to leave. It was probably too interested in the food.
“Ah, so,” I thought, breathing a sigh of relief, and returned to my shopping.

When I took my food to the magazine till (as none of the ‘conveyor belt’ tills seemed to be open), two young men, about 22, were buying about four carrier bags of food. They eventually left, and I bought my food (just one carrier bag). I went out through the automatic doors, and nearly got mown down by the yellow Labrador, which was hurtling around like a missile. For a moment I thought it was going to run past me into the supermarket again.

It turned back, and I saw the two men were standing beside the doors, throwing things for it to catch.

I set off across the car park and crossed the road. A yellow dog ran past me. I looked round and the young men were behind, but angling their path so that they would step onto the pavement ahead of me, rather than behind. I’m always meeting with this assumption from young men that they have a natural right to be ahead, and it never fails to drive my blood pressure sky high. If they wanted to get home in such a hurry, did they have to stop for a game of frisbee in front of the supermarket doors? They could have left well ahead of me – would already be nearly home.

They got past, but not as fast as they would have liked – I eventually stopped so that we wouldn’t have to continue walking neck by neck. Then the dog galloped across the road to interfere with a woman coming the other way; she had a very small dog on a leash. The men called their dog back, but it didn’t respond right away, continuing to rush around like a mad thing.

I got home quite a bit crosser than when I left. I thought I was having a nice quiet Sunday…

Posted in Pet-Minding

Thundercloud on a Leash

Though eager to set out for a walk, N.’s dog was in a bad mood. When I pulled out a drawer to get her lead and collar, she reared up and slammed a large clawed foot on my hand. I could feel the shock run up my arm.

During the walk, she suddenly headed off down side turnings as though to say “well I don’t care what YOU want to do, I’M going down here.” When crossing roads, she shouldered in front of me, placing a paw squarely on my foot. When we came across a nice muddy bit of grass, she rolled over and rubbed her halter in the mud, one gleaming eye fixed on my face. While ambling along a pavement, she decided it was time to cross, and swerved sharply across my path.

Mum said, “Don’t let her off with it!”
“With what?” I asked, brows beginning to beetle warningly.
“With being bossy.”
“I didn’t say I let her off with anything,” I said.

We cut through a park, following a winding trail. N.’s dog stopped to pay her respects to the soil on one side of the track. It was covered with a thick layer of last autumn’s leaves. Having finished, she turned round and enthusiastically kicked up the leaves into a whirling maelstrom. Green doggie bag in hand, I waited patiently.

She stepped back onto the path. Behind her was a dark scar in the earth where she had scraped away the leaves, and next to the scar lay her ‘present’, still in full view.

“You missed a bit,” I complained, pointing, but she ambled off without a backward glance. Well, at least it’s someone else’s turn tomorrow.

Posted in Pet-Minding


Waiting for a small dog to come and stay overnight. They always give me a specific time when they’ll arrive with him, and then arrive three hours early (just as I’m getting back from grocery shopping) or three hours late. It leaves me uncertain about when or even whether they’re coming. Currently we are 66 minutes past Zero Hour and it’s getting dark. I was thinking of putting my boots on so that I could trot straight out for a short hobble round the block with the dog when he arrives, just to make sure he didn’t need to spend a penny, but then I could clearly imagine myself sitting all night with my boots on, waiting for a dog who didn’t come.

It’s a sad life – hee. I suppose there are worse things I could be doing.

I had the TV on for a few minutes and saw people chasing an escaped cassowary. Somebody said “… and now it is up to us to sit back and wait for the cassowary to walk back in her own time.” It was the ‘it’s up to us’ that grated – ‘we have to wait’ would use less breath and makes more sense, or ‘all we can do is wait’.

Still no dog. All I can do is wait.

After the flitting of the bats,
When thickest dark did trance the sky,
She drew her casement-curtain by,
And glanced athwart the glooming flats.
She only said, “The night is dreary,
He cometh not,” she said;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!”

From ‘Mariana’ by Tennyson