Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Doggy People.

You're either a doggy person or you're not.We are! Since childhood I remember a succession of dogs; unconditional wagging of tails, welcoming bark, giving of paws and head resting on knee, spanning the years. They are your guarantee of regular runs and walks, witnessing every season from close by, from the primroses by the river bank, the green lace canopy of branches in the woods, crunching through the Autumn leaves together, to the paw marks and footsteps side by side in the snow. The ball or frisbee become part of the routine, faithfully returned and slowly surrendered knowing it leads to another throw! The walks are part of your day, complete with sound bites: hearing the dawn chorus (if it's a working day) to the plaintive cry of the fox at night. The advantage of your adult children still living at home is that everyone gets their walking turn! Our current dog Buddy is aptly named; he is almost a sheepdog except for his cocker spaniel ears and is a lovable Mutt. On retirement, my husband reinvented himself as a tour guide. One of the highlights on the Ring of Kerry tour is a visit to a sheep farm where a demonstration of herding sheep is given by the farmer with his Border Collie dogs. Last Summer, there was an extra attraction of a litter of Border Collie puppies at the sheep farm which led to talk of acquiring a puppy, the implication of a second dog, and how Buddy would react.The upshot was a two day trip to the Ring of Kerry with a prolonged stop at the sheep farm, near Moll's Gap to collect our new puppy Rossi (called after an Italian motorcyclist that our son follows!) As far as our new black and white puppy was concerned, he was taken from scampering around his farmyard, to being placed in a moving box that shook (an old Mini) which eventually arrived at an unfamiliar place with a smaller back grassy "farmyard." He also had a different "shed" which had two dog baskets, a washing machine and cupboards instead of the familiar bed of straw. Letting out two dogs together calls for a bit of dexterity, leads tend to tangle and you're holding the ball, frisbee and "pooper scooper" in the other hand. Rossi has settled in well, was house trained within a few weeks, gets on with his older mate and sometimes cuddles up in the same basket!  Tummy patting is the order of the day though I keep telling him there was was no time for that carry on around the farmyard! The leg of the table has been chewed, an old boot demolished, the stuffing ripped out of a faded cushion (found him sitting in the middle of a cloud of white wadding,) the Spring bulbs were rooted up and used as toys but he is an affectionate little fellow and now one of the pack! I have a soft spot for films featuring dogs;  Walt Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" and "101 Dalmatians." Recently, we saw the film "The Artist" which we loved; of course the dog Uggi stole the show! "As Good as it Gets" with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt featured a very appealing little dog.   We get our children reared, and then we're fussing about our dogs! (Please check photos!)


  1. haha, I love Buddy and Rossi.I think Buddy got very calm character.He treats little Rossi like his son. He never boss him, I think it is another round.

    I love to have a dog too, maybe when we settle down in the future. Maybe we will get a puppy - prefer it either like Buddy or Rossi. They are very beautiful and clever dog.

    I remember my grandparents also got several dogs. In China ,most of family lack of knowledge in how to train them properly. They are quite wild , sometimes they might bite . We blame them at that time. But now I realize it is not complete their fault. They should be told right or wrong when they were puppy.

  2. Nice piece of writing (needs paragraphs though!!)
    I'm not a dog person but I will say that I prefer them to cats.