Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Harvested Changes

     There have been days when it's been too hot to go on the usual long lunch time doggy walk across the fields, through the forest and splashing through forgotten puddles. 

     There have been days when it's been too wet at lunch time to do the same walk!

    And there have been days when it's been impossible to do the scenic lunch time walk due to work commitments.

     But on Bank Holiday Monday 26 August 2013, Bella & I headed out behind the Red Lion - her favourite walk (I think!) and we enjoyed the big wide open spaces - a bit more big and wide open than she was used to!

Gone were the 6ft nettles and weeds from the pathway - Yay!

Gone were the purple potato plants, dug up weeks ago.

Gone was the wheat which used to sway in the sunshine light!

      All that was left was dark, bare soil furrows and stubby, sharp sticks.  Even the bushes along the footpath between the fields was gone (I'm sure they were!)

      The Landscape looked alien......

.... with a tall, square orange spaceship sitting just off the footpath!

    I'm almost sure Bella thought she was in a different world! She constantly ran on to the fields and had to be called back; she constantly sniffed at any vegetation higher than twelve inches, perhaps with familiarity?!
The light breeze caught a fence post vainly trying to stand in the centre of the last of the weedy 12 inchers, and Bella's excitement level zipped to the top of the scale ..... and just as quickly down again when what she thought was live just couldn't be found!

          ..... In Memory Of .......
                     Green Fields, Hidden Treasures (i.e. field mice), and the Farmer's Calendar!

          Don't get me wrong! It's still SUMMER! We're having beautiful sunny days, but the Farmers' Seasons remind us of what's to come!


      Oh come on! Does Bella really know the difference!!!  Who knows! But she certainly knows where to cross the road to get to the path behind the Red Lion! And sometimes Mummy doesn't (says Bella!)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Cat Encounters of the Bella Kind!

       A couple of weeks ago while on the last walk of the day, but at the time when all the neighbourhood cats come out to play, Bella lost control, lunged after an unsuspecting kitty, snapped her "extrastrong, long dog lead specifically designed for large and heavy dog breeds, and chased poor Kitty into a corner. Fortunately Kitty fought back just a little as evidenced by the teeny drop of blood under Bella’s left eye, a hefty left hook me thinks! After roughly shoving the recalcitrant hyped up dog into the house, we both went in search of Kitty hoping we wouldn’t find a lifeless form somewhere behind the dustbins. Fortunately, said Kitty was spotted running madly across the small patch of grass to the next safe base under a car and there was no way that Kitty was going to come for a pet even when cooed to so sweetly! So another life down for Kitty, another Cat Encounter for Bella and another strong lead broken! Another 'cat-walk' encounter!

        For the next 10 days or so, she was taken out for her morning walk with the slip lead hooked on to the normal nylon lead to give her some wandering freedom. Her lunch time walk, with me, was just the slip lead! Easy to control and she responded beautifully with no problems.

       Today hubby and a friend fixed the flexi lead. Yay, because a good strong one can cost quite a fortune! So lunch time off we went, behind the Red Lion, between the wheat fields, on to the main road, through the churchgraveyard and up the little path where ........ a regal looking black cat was waiting!

      Thankfully the repaired flexi lead held. And so did I. Bella does not bark. She believes in quiet confrontation! So while she was straining at the end of the lead, the black cat simply sat in the pathway while deciding what to do, probably confused that there was no uncouth barking common to other 'lower class' canines he'd encountered. But on seeing that Bella was restrained and couldn’t quite get to him, and that she obediently returned to mama when called (Yes, she really did!), Black Cat held his ground in the middle of the narrow footpath. 

       To give her her due, Bella did sit quietly at my feet while we waited, in vain, for the Black Cat to vacate his territory. After a few minutes I considered our two options: One – turn around and go home another way leaving the Black Cat in peace to savour his victory; or Two – walk on, and claim the public footpath open to all, not just Black Cats!

     Bravely, we chose Option Two and with Bella held very closely to my heels and on the very shortest lead, we walked toward the Black Cat In The Middle Of The Path!  Black Cat quickly gave up his position and retreated through the hedge to safety!

     Confident that not many of the neighbourhood cats did lunch time strolls, we headed home cheerfully. Until the driveway where the resident Cat was sunning itself next to a car’s back wheel. But Bella, still on the short lead didn’t have half a chance of lunging at this one and while I held her close, she still managed to pirouette ungraciously on the gravel driveway. Fortunately this cat quickly recognised Bella as the predator and disappeared over the garden fence. Once again, Bella was ordered to sit, which she did and she even lay down on the pavement when told!

      How do you tell a dog she’s been good in obeying a command given to discipline her!? Once again it was a quiet encounter, and just as she did not not bark or whimper, so I also calmly and assertively controlled her and we walked home as if nothing had happened. Cesar Millan would surely have been proud of me!!


    Cat Encounters Are Emotionally Draining. But it was certainly good to see Bella respond positively.

    However, she is still serving a suspended sentence for Disturbing the Peace of the Village by Causing a Resident Cat to Dislodge Noisy Dustbins; Harrassing and Bullying said Cat with the Potential of doing Grievous Feline Harm; and Continual Aggressive Behaviour Towards the Feline Population! (Handed down by us - no real legal stuff going on here!)

     But she's so very good at home!! And everyone lives to stress another day!

 (Photo Credits: Both cat pictures from Google Images. Rest are the real Bella!)