Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category
…if we had but known it.
That’s Beary on the right hand side.
I had gone to the petshop alone and taken this photo, and it took me two nights to persuade Michael to even go and take a look. Fortunately, she was still there when we went back and Michael was instantly smitten.
And she has been with us ever since
Yesterday, we took the dogs for a walk, and about halfway on our route the rain caught us.
This, in itself, was no cause for concern, but the encroaching lightning was. We started running, and the dogs sort of shuffled along. Then, when it started raining in ernest, they really took off. It was quite funny, as they squinted their eyes closed against the rain drops and flattened their ears – but they each had a huge grin on their face, as we pelted along the road in the rain.
If I hadn’t been nervous about the lightning, I would have enjoyed it thoroughly. But as Michael is a walking lightning conductor, I was somewhat on edge!
We got home safe and sound (and in record speed) and I think we will always remember the time we went walkies in the rain, lol.
This has been a perennially popular post of mine, my number one hits magnet
I thought it time for a little update…
Sure, she was the world’s cutest puppy, my baby Bear:
Isn’t she just the cutest big puppy in the world, at 3 years old?
And she has given us nothing but the purest love
Chow Chows are just the best!
Yesterday, while we were out and about on our walk, a lady and her two daughters stopped next to us in their car, to ask us if we had seen their Siamese cat, Sylvester, who has been missing since 28 Jan.
Shame, the lady says she has barely slept since he went missing and is looking for him every day.
(Teddy’s ears pricked up at the mention of the word ‘cat’.)
I assured her that we would keep an eye out, and got her address from her in case.
As we were saying our goodbyes, though, she looked at Beary and said, “What a beautiful dog.” I beamed at that, but then she went on to say, “She’s a cross between a…?” and waited expectantly for me to continue.
“Actually, she’s a thoroughbred,” I said, less beamily.
“Oh, just with the long face, I thought there might be some…”
“Collie?” I supplied.
“Yes!” she said.
“We get it all the time,” I said, “She’s our little Lassie Chow. But her parents are registered Chows, all the same.”
We waved our new friends goodbye and wished them luck with finding their beloved Sylvester.
Michael and I continued the conversation as we went on.
“I don’t care if she’s not 100% Chow. She’s beautiful and I love her,” said Michael.
“Of course!,” I said. “But her previous owner assured me that the parents had papers and we could register her if we wanted to. Still, I wouldn’t be too surprised if there was a collie in the old family tree, somewhere.”
This was naturally all pretty tongue-in-cheek. We aren’t that snobbish.
But we do get it a lot, people wanting to know what Beary is mixed with, lol.
I don’t know what it is, but frankly, I think it improved the breed.
On the other hand, I have seen photo’s of Chows that look exactly like Beary, that are show-Chows. That is just how some of them look.
But remember, they are descended from wolves, which would probably explain the long snout. It’s not the collie-dog coming out – it’s the wolfie
Check out the sunglasses-tan on that dog ;-p
As for Teddy-boy, he is as traditional as they get; no-one ever questions his parentage…
But oh, how he loves his Beary. He is inseparable from her! They are quite a striking pair, we attract a lot of attention on the road, as does Michael in his WP rugby jersey…
To see Part 1 of the walking saga, click here. This is the photo part of it
We take care not to bandy the word ‘walk’ about if we are not prepared to put our money where our (collective) mouth is. Teddy has ears like a lynx, understands the word ‘walk’ only too well, and if he hears it spoken out loud, well, then you have to deliver. He is this quiet, aloof dog, but it’s like he has an alter ego on walks. Large and in charge, lol.
So if we wanna ‘talk the talk’ then we gotta ‘walk the walk’. Literally.
As for the cast of characters on our route, obviously I couldn’t include all of them. We go past a lot of dogs. But these are a few that we look out for and have gotten to know a bit.
Firstly, our friends the lab-cross and the basset. We know the white dog’s name is Annabel, as we heard the kids call her that. The other one we just call Bassie. They look out for us, and our dogs just love them. Plenty of nose-touching going on through the fence…
One of the cutest sights that we encounter, has to be this Labrador. He really goes above and beyond the call of duty…take a look…
I’ve actually seen him walking along the top of the wall to get the perfect spot I don’t know how he gets up there. Must be something for him to climb up on the other side. He is a real sweetie. He was outside his gate one time, and he wagged his tail at me and tried to follow us home
Next up is Rottie. I don’t know her real name, but she looks like a rotweiler. Anyway, she always barked at us when we walked past, until one day when she was locked outside her gate. She was as friendly as can be that day, and communicated so clearly to us that she wanted to go back inside her garden. We rang the bell, until they opened the electric gate for her and in she popped. Ever since that day, she is much friendlier and makes communicative whimpers at us, like she’d say hello if she could…
Then there are the 3 Huskies, who greet us like family. Actually, they are distant relatives of the Chows I have dubbed them ‘the 3 Husketeers’ so I guess that makes the Basset ‘d’Artagnan’. They posed for this photo for an awfully long time. First my phone’s camera froze and then it wouldn’t go back to the camera app. and they just stood and waited for me so patiently…
On today’s walk, I spotted this friend of ours peeping over the wall. We normally see him around the corner, in front of his gate. I had no idea that he watched from the back view, too, because he doesn’t bark at us. Sneeky
There are so many more colourful little doggy characters; just like people, you get all sorts of personalities.
(I was going to sign off now, but I believe there is time for just one more…)
I think this is a Great Dane, and there is nothing little about him He’s not too happy about it when Teddy marks the tree in front of his house. Luckily there a high fence around the property.
I’m hoping to get a photo of Milo the Jack Russel one of these days to add to my collection. It’s becoming quite the hobby, lol.
Michael has his Endomondo stats, and I have my photo collection. A bit new-age, but as long as we’re having fun, right?
Back in the day, when we got Beary, we were quite proud of ourselves for taking our tiny bear-dog for a once-weekly walk. Maybe even twice a week.
She loved it, and quickly learnt the words and actions associated with going for a walk. She was a little terror to ‘dress’ in her harness, though But after some time, she calmed down and would put her own head through the front part, and then go and fetch her leash herself and bring it to us.
As you can imagine, we thought this was plenty cute, so the walks became more frequent.
A year and a bit later, we got Teddy, and he fell right in with the walking routine. In fact, as aloof as Ted is, when it came time for walkies, he’d be out of his skin with excitement.
Fast forward to a couple of years later and walking has become a daily institution, if you could put that word to a much-loved pastime. It’s just that we never, ever skip a day now, if we can possibly help it. Some days, over the weekends, we even go twice a day.
We love it, the dogs love it (oh, how they love it!), it’s exercise for us all, some fresh air and some ‘together’ time as a pack.
(Note, I didn’t use the word ‘family’. That is for sissies; we are a PACK, lol)
Teddy is at heart, I think, a rover. Some chows just are, and they have a need to roam around town, seeing what’s up, marking territory, reading their P-mail. (P-mail is a term coined by Michael, which is like an e-mail but…oh, you get the picture. (Just in case you don’t, though, it involves lifting one’s leg against a bush, after sniffing first to read any previous P-mails ).
So because we love him too much to just set him free to roam all over the place without us, we make sure to take him out every day to check his mail and reply where necessary. And we even run with him a bit if there is a cat he needs to chase. (Not really. We can’t keep up. With him or the cat. So we reign him in and he complains bitterly, but oh well. At least he gets to shout abuse at the cat.)
Sometimes, Ted does more than just P-mailing. Sometimes, he adds an ‘attachment’, if you know what I mean. (He takes a sh*t, do I have to spell it out? ;-p)
This is embarassing, because we don’t carry a poop-scoop with us. In fact, I delight in every poo, because it is one less that I have to pick up at home. Luckily for us, Ted mainly is an incognito pooper. He lifts his leg as if he is pee-ing, and you’d have to have an eagle-eye to see the droppings that ensue instead. And if at all possible, he does it into a handy bush, so there really is no evidence. Plus the lucky bush in question is getting fertilised.
Every now and then, though, he’ll do it on someone’s drive-way, right in front on them. And then we squirm.
Both dogs are very good ‘walk-dogs’. We do have to watch for their triggers, though. Cats, in Teddy’s case. And postmen and butterflies, in Beary’s case. We need to be fairly alert for these things, as they can take off at such abrupt speed that it’s liable to rip your arm out of its socket. Or pull you in front of a car.
Most of the time it is pretty peaceful.
We are feeling a much bigger sense of community. Everyone is so friendly when they are on foot. And we get little kids hanging out of their parents’ cars to wave at us all the time. Such fun. We are starting to become quite well-known around the neighbourhood, us and our chows.
For me, personally, the walking means a great deal. Quite apart from the benefits listed above, I never, ever get bored with walking. It is not something I take for granted. I grew up on a farm, where there was plenty of space, but it wasn’t safe to go walking about outside it’s perimeters. So I always wanted to do the townie thing of taking your dogs for a walk.
But then, after getting married and moving to town, the MS got bad enough that I could barely walk to the bathroom, nevermind 2 kilometers on the road. I fantasised about it, though.
Now I can do it and I love it! Highlight of my day. Also, highlight of Teddy’s day, highlight of Beary’s and highlight of Michael’s day
Michael is very focused on not skipping a day’s walk. He has an app. on his cellphone called Endomondo, which he uses to tracks our walks. It shows us the exact route we took, the distance, the average speed, the total time, the calories burnt etc. Great fun for a stat-keeper such as Michael. Just that extra little gadget-y touch to keep the techie in him happy.
We are pretty proud of the dogs. We have worked out a route that has the minimum number of barking dogs in the gardens we pass. But even with the barkers, our chows walk with grace and dignity, never barking at other dogs or showing any aggression. (We won’t talk about the cats, but fortunately they are few and far between on our walks
We carry, between us, a sturdy walking-stick and a small, hand-held ‘shock stick’. This is to protect ourselves in the event of an attack from another dog.
So far, neither have been necessary. There have been 3 or 4 big dogs that got out of their yards and stormed us, but in all the cases our chows stood firm, neither advancing or barking or growling. This seems to unnerve the attacking dog and they end up slinking back into their yard. Thank goodness! There were a couple of times that I thought we would be mauled!
According to an app. on Michael’s iPad, the Chow is second from the top on a long list of dog breeds that most closely resemble wolwes, in terms of DNA. Chows are one of the earliest dog breeds to descend from wolves and be domesticated. Which could explain why other dogs feel threatened by them.
The exceptions are three darling huskies that live on our route and sound for all the world as if they are saying ‘hello’ when we walk past. The Husky is a relative of the Chow, both belonging to the Spitz family of dogs.
The other exceptions are their neighbours across the road, a Labrador cross and a Basset Hound. First thing we do when we get out of our gate, is go across the road to say hello to our friends. It is a tail-wagging and sniffing frenzy, all obviously quite delighted with one another. But the Chows are soon off to complete the route, leaving their friends regrettfully behind.
Then we go around the local Primary School, and there are often some children who come over to pet the dogs. They adore children, so this is always a bonus.
And sometimes we cross paths with a fellow dog-walker with a Jack Russel called Milo, and all greet each other warmly. Except for Milo, who strains at his leash a bit and barks. But not too much. Pretty restrained for a Jack Russel, actually.
(Sometimes Milo and his owner go for a drive rather than a walk, but they still stop and say ‘hi’, Milo hanging half out of the window with his tongue out and a huge grin on his face.
To wrap up, we sure do love our walks and they have become a real constant in our lives. With Endo mondo tracking us, I shall be able to give regular stats. We had a goal of doing 1000km for the year with our dogs, but at current rate, we are falling rather short of this. But we should easily reach the 500km mark, which will still be an achievement.
Now I had better go and get some beauty sleep in but tomorrow I will post some photo’s of our route.
Ciao. (Or should I say, Chow )