I've jumped in the dog deep end. Escher, the brown German pointer x chocolate Labrador dog is now living in my house. So today I am going to work in my friend's garden with three dogs. I have complete confidence that this will work out. Dogs love gardening. Oh yes, they do.
Three Dogs - Winnie, Rusty, Escher
Then we will all walk/run around the Hororata racecourse. If there are any horses training we will all be on leads. Humans as well? Hmm... Then the dogs will be so tired they will sit happily in my car (and not chew the seat-belts) while I have a coffee with my friend at the country cafe.
A successful first dog-nanny day, with no dramas. We went for a walk in the forest instead of the racecourse. All my car's seat belts are still operational - in fact, Escher (who sits in the front seat) now has the belt threaded through his harness. After lunch we went to the dog park, where we all behaved. Now we are home, and all the cats except Tiger are seriously sulking.
- Tiger :
- Here is Tiger the tortoiseshell lolling on the table.
No, they do not wish to come inside and share their house with a strange, nosy, brown dog. If he cannot be removed, could I please carry their food out to the garage? But three cheers for Tiger the cat, who has no fear (and no shame), exposing her tempting fat furry tummy, then bopping Escher on the nose when he comes too close. Life just goes on as normal for Tiger. Well done, my fat tortoiseshell cat, well done.
Dogs with Tennis Balls
Wednesday 10th June
Taking notice of my own advice (for once) I have been busy trimming the edge of the Hump Garden with a sharp spade. This will create the illusion of orderliness. The dogs have been 'helping'. In other words, Rusty has been barking at the birds while Winnie plops her tennis ball at my feet.
Bored with Gardening!
But Escher seems slightly bored with gardening today, and is in dog-disgrace for chasing Tiddles the tabby underneath the decking. But we manage. Until Rusty steals Winnie's ball, and Esher's nose leads him off out of sight and into more potential trouble.
Now it's morning tea time, and I think we will go to the dog-park. Three dogs are ten times as 'tricky' than two. I have to remember to name the particular dog I am 'ordering'. I have to have a system for getting in and out of the car. You see, we all want to barge in and out at once. I've always considered my bottom nicely big enough to block a dog from exiting through the driver's door. Not so!
My Three Dogs
Friday 12th June
My goodness - there's been no time to write up my gardening journal. Three dogs is a hopeless excuse, but I'm having such fun. I am taking my responsibilities rather seriously, though, and I have a few grumpy cats to contend with.
There's no point scooping up a snarling feline into my arms. Cats prefer their own concept of safety to mine. This could mean the rafters in the garage, or the fork of a tree. My two young cats Tiddles and Buster tend to run for cover, which makes Escher squeak with even more delight. He loves cats, but his nose gets him into trouble.
Taking photographs of three dogs is impossible. They simply will not synchronise. In the garden they each have totally different speeds. I have the camera ready, and I call them. Winnie reacts immediately and runs over to me. Escher has a built-in delay, but then he gallops, ears flapping side-ways, and skids to a halt. By now Rusty is plodding along nicely, but by the time he arrives the two younger dogs are off again. I will have to try harder.
Things I am getting better at :
- Getting three excited dogs out of the car at the dog-park in an orderly, safe fashion.
- Feeding three hungry dogs in a well-mannered, orderly fashion.
- Remembering to name the correct dog before a dog-specific instruction.
Yesterday I even went to the dog park twice. And I wasn't a bit bored. Hmm...