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dimanche 19 mars 2017

DOGS AND DEERS




CHAPTER 109 :

      


        




Hello all of you,



I hope things are going on smoothly for you, and that wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you are perkier than ever and looking on the bright side.
I know life is not always a bowl of cherries, but come on, stop whining and wallowing in self-pity ! Pull yourself together and get ready ! What for ? Spring, of course ! Sunshine, gentle breeze and green grass are just round the corner. Here, scores of sunny yellow daffodils and primroses have already  heralded the end of the grim Winter days.

But, to be honest, the weather is still unsettled, and, even if the sun pokes out from time to time, hail storms and gusty wind have kept the four of us indoors over the last few weeks.

For Dearhubby and me, no problem : our last strolling at the local bookshop has cluttered the coffee table and the bookshelves for a while. By the time we are done with all those novels, thrillers, biographies and essays, the lawn-mower will be humming desesperately for its first outing.

But for our two dogs, things are quite different.
Of course, during the bright intervals they can frolic in the garden, and, to be more down-to-earth (literally), do their business there, as well, but nothing much to do with the wild !
I mean, you already know they are not the sporty type (see chapter : a running buddy), but even if snuggling in their baskets with some treats to chew is their favourite hobby, they do enjoy walking along the wild Breton paths.
Especially Ulysse, the Coton de Tulear. He is a jolly walker and has plenty of friends around, so, on rainy days, his sniffing time is never long enough to get news from all his nearby pals. Training his snout on the blades of grass, flower buds, weeds, brambles and ferns of our garden smells a bit like the same old same old !
A quick glance to check the neighbour's cat remember what " no trespassing "means, and he rushes back home to shake the drizzle from his fur onto the baseboards, or, when Perky the groomer is quick enough, get a gentle rubbing. When he realizes that his favourite dog walkers will stay cooped up all day long, no wonder then that he gets a bit gloomy.
That cute little dog is over 14 now, which means he is in his human late seventies, so he is the eldest in the family, and we have all been told to respect our elders, but you know what ?
I think I am a well-educated dog-owner, and in spite of his sad eyes, I don't yield to his whims : I just respect his sulking time !

For Canaille, the English Springer, that's another story ...
When we settled down here, his inner explorer woke up. The garden looked like a jungle, and every morning when I opened the door to let him out, he used to bark good-bye and go on his daily expedition searching for a clearing to do his Springer sprawl . I needed to whistle at least 5 times to get him back. Well, to be honest, I'm a poor whistler and the first three times counted for nothing.
Now, pawing out alone is just a spooky challenge... The wind blowing more strongly, the turtledoves cooing louder, the neighbour's cat's golden eyes shining through the hedge, or the cheeky magpies patrolling the orchard, well, all that makes him scared stiff.
Our budding Dr Livingstone had turned into a clingy stay-at-home dog.
Don't get me wrong ! I'm not telling you our dog is a chicken (suppose he read my blog !). He is an English Springer Spaniel, and  in his family tree there are plenty of first-rate hunters . Unfortunately, going shooting is not our cup of tea, so we have trained him only to hunt crackers and cookies and now that's the only game he is not afraid of.
But, let me tell you why he mustn't be laughed at.

Some weeks ago, he was still on stage, performing in " Mind the watch dog ! ", a play directed by himself. It was a character part and it required to be thought about a lot ... So, he used to spend quite a few hours rehearsing in his dressing-room (my study) on the luxury couch offered by his fans. Everything was going on smoothly : his audience
(Dearhubby and me) was won over, and he had already been awarded many prizes (mainly treats). He was so self-confident that some evenings after the show, he just behaved like a star, you know, waiting for an encore in front of the treat-drawer !
The play had been running continuously for nearly three years till the fatal Golden Bone Night.
He was the only nominee in his category, so that day  at dusk when the curtain went up ( I mean, when I opened the door), he pawed out quite eagerly and started his one-dog show.
Once  every nook and cranny of the garden had been searched, before getting back to the wings (the kitchen), he squatted ' for an urgent matter '.
A few seconds later, when he turned back to get back home, he came face to face with Mrs Deer.
Do you remember her ? She played the leading role in the early days of my blog.
Since then, she had been pushed into the background.

Did she bear a grudge against Canaille, because he had stolen the show from her, or had she come to ask for a walk-on part for her fawn hidden in the nearby bushes ?
I really don't know, but anyway, she didn't gallop off, and Canaille, either, cause he was petrified !
His imploring eyes tried to let Mrs Deer know he would not harm her, and that, far from enemies, they were allies in that chaotic and crazy world. In vain ! Mrs Deer didn't return his shy and fuzzy feelings.
Instead, she took a few steps back, put her head down in full on battling ram position and ... jumped over our poor doggy.
One of her hooves hurt his back and sent him to the vet in emergency.
Fortunately, more fear than harm !
An injection, some painkillers, treats and cuddles later,he was back on stage, but fearful for ever, I'm afraid.

Yet, " Mind the watch dog ! " is still running, but Canaille plays only in the matinee performances. For the night ones, Ulysse is his stand-in. He is a good actor, but, I must confess that when he patrols the garden, no way to see nature up close, to commune with the wild !
He wants to be the only one in the limelights, and rabbits, foxes and weasels have to behave and stay backstage(in the undergrowth), yet
Mrs Deer hasn't lost ground  she  still 'dictates the play ' !
But after all, years ago our place used to be her place, so ...


That's all for this week, folks. Enjoy your reading and share it !

And don't forget : BE PERKY !





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