Thursday, 27 April 2017

New dog, new posts, and soon-to-be new home...

Milly in Devon - new dog, retired greyhound and bed-hogger

Last July when I resolved to be a better blogger I couldn't have made a bigger mistake. I'm not going to write about what happened here (if anyone really wants to know, there's a brief update on my About page).

I'm cautious, now, about saying I'll be here more regularly. For a start, there are now three dogs to be walked. Milly arrived in December and was an instant hit with Cuddy. Pip doesn't really care either way, except when someone else has the sofa and she wants it.

Milly meets Cuddy

Pip is Senior Dog, and conscious of her status. She's not conscious of much else, in fact, and spends most of the day asking to be let out, then in, then out again. I saw a post on Facebook yesterday of a dog outside a French window with the caption "Let me in because I want to go out again." That's Pip. She's had mast cell tumours for several years - in fact, has lived far longer than we expected - but she is full of cheerful anticipation for walks and food and, at twelve, is quite a good age for a small brown lurcher.

 Milly discovers the sea

Pip and Cuddy snuggling - a fairly rare occurrence

Pip and Milly do not snuggle. Cuddy will cuddle anyone, he's the cuddliest dog I've known. We should have called him Cuddles. I often do. He's also an escapologist. You walk near a fence with him and one minute he's beside you and the next - PING! - he's over it. And miles away. After a fox, a deer, a hare, a rook... we have to take him round the garden on a lead. Fortunately, Milly doesn't really know that she can jump, and Pip can't any more, so he goes alone, which makes him more inclined to come back. But lurchers and recall don't mix.

When Milly arrived she was highly neurotic - she's always hated bangs and loud noises, so I was a bit apprehensive about the move, as we are usually surrounded by bird-scarers. In Devon, she used to refuse to go for walks if she heard the steam train whistle - just dig her toes in and refuse to move. So we didn't make demands on her - if she wouldn't go beyond the garden we didn't push her, if she wanted to spend the whole day on my bed we let her. It's paid off, she is now much more confident and obviously sees herself as not just a member of the family but of the pack as well. I was also a little nervous about her reaction to the cat and the hens, but it's been okay. Indeed, she seems to rather like the Loki the cat, while the hens are generally ignored after an initial dreadful moment when she caught one and I thought she might have hurt it. But the hen was merely ruffled and Milly received one of her very rare tellings-off - they are so rare that it seemed to take immediate effect. The chickens are, wisely, still a bit wary. (In fact, I could wish they were more so, as we have a fox lives very close by.)

I like this one! (All but the first photo © Slink Jadranko) 

Although my intention is to get back to blogging much more regularly, a mad decision to move house may interfere. We're only moving a few miles, to somewhere with slightly less land, and it won't happen for a couple of months, but it's going to be a very busy summer!


15 comments:

  1. Nice to see you here. Lovely dog pics. Hope the move goes ok when and if it happens.

    Currently reading Just One Darn Thing After Another. Thought you might like to know that. :-)

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  2. Thanks, Cath! And yes, very pleased to know, I hope you love it as much as I do :-)

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  3. As someone who walked a rather similar path a decade or so ago I am sending you all my best thoughts GC. The Bears are there for you as well. I am also just coming back to blogging after a long absence. Somehow once you've started it becomes part of your life, doesn't it. Perhaps we can encourage each other.

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    1. Thank you, Alex - I am just re-starting blog reading habits, and will look forward with pleasure to catching up with you. Love to your Bears from my Bears (somehow, the dogs collectively became The Bears after I'd watched film-maker Gordon Buchanan wandering round a N. American forest calling "hey, Bear..." at around the time we adopted the small podgy black bear-creature who became the sylph-like Cuddy. The epithet stuck.) Yes indeed, let us encourage each other.

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  4. It's nice to hear from you again! I too liked One Damn Thing After Another, and read all the sequels. Now I've finished them, you need to recommend my next read!

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    1. Wow, there's a responsibility, Pat! Shall have to think about that :-)

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  5. Love the pics of your dogs. We have lived with 5 pets for some time, all rescue animals with their own quirks. 3 dogs 2 cats are now 3 cats and 2 dogs. I read what you have been up to over the past year and I commisserate completely. As ling term bloggers we all pass through change of life events that affect our reading and writing. Loyal followers will stick with you as friends. I hope once you move to your new home and settle in other life efents will settle too and you'll be wondering what you can get up to next. All the best from the Penguin and me.

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  6. Love the pics of your dogs. We have lived with 5 pets for some time, all rescue animals with their own quirks. 3 dogs 2 cats are now 3 cats and 2 dogs. I read what you have been up to over the past year and I commisserate completely. As ling term bloggers we all pass through change of life events that affect our reading and writing. Loyal followers will stick with you as friends. I hope once you move to your new home and settle in other life efents will settle too and you'll be wondering what you can get up to next. All the best from the Penguin and me.

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    1. Thank you both. And I love your new-look blog.

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  7. So sorry to hear about your mom and step-dad. We've missed you and are glad your back. Loved 'getting to know your dogs'! I miss having dogs. We had the three labs and haven't the heart to get another dog since the last one passed. Good luck with it he move!

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    1. Thank you, Peggy Ann. I was thinking about my mother this morning, and how hard she'd found it when the dog she had before Milly died. She couldn't bear to have another and it was my stepfather who insisted. But she ended up loving Milly very much.

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  8. I'm glad you're back too - missed you. I hope all goes well with your move.

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    1. Thanks, Margaret - it's nice to be catching up with old friends.

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  9. I had a Chocolate Labrador that liked to leave the premises, though only if a haste was open or he was being walked off leash. Current C.L. sticks close to me. If i am home, Abby the Labby Number Nine stays home, but if I leave and she is out, she will climb the fence in search of me. Lovely Lucy is almost twelve and barely can leave the house.

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  10. Oh, friend, I'm sorry you've been having a hard time. Your dogs are beautiful, and I hope you're being extra kind to yourself as you're coming off such a difficult time. Very very best of luck with your move!

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