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Dog Log – 24th November 2012

by Mike on November 26, 2012

in Dog Blog, Dog Log

The week where we had a mouse in the house, a policeman in the bushes, the dog that howled in the night-time and the moment when Theo caught a pheasant…

But first, the dog log. We’re very pleased to note that another week has passed without incident with another dog. He met a variety of dogs, including a large German Shepherd. For the past few months, we’ve tried to avoid close contact with German Shepherds as he wasn’t happy around them. On Thursday, Kim turned a corner and came face to face with two ladies and said German Shepherd. Fortunately it was a well balanced, older boy and didn’t bat an eyelid. Everyone was relaxed and it went ok.

We’ve both been busy at work, and now that I’ve been running this website for a few weeks my focus was fixed on work. Living and walking Theo just continued, uninterrupted as life goes on. However, sometimes life makes you pay more attention to the smaller details. Small things like a mouse in the house.

I noticed some rustling in the kitchen a few days ago. On weekdays I tend to get up about 5am, when it’s pitch black and the rest of the street is asleep. I thought I was going daft, or perhaps our neighbour’s cat was moving around next door. But then we saw some sawdust and fluff on top of our fridge (which sits under a high cupboard). We pulled out the contents, and discovered droppings over an old food mixer and realised that we had an uninvited guest. Kim bought a humane mousetrap from Homebase the next day, and we caught it on Friday. Kim reports that she released a very fat, very healthy looking mouse into the woods about 5 miles from our house. During the clean up operation that followed, we discovered that the mouse had feasted upon a pack of chocolate bourbons. Now, what of our illustrious ginger rat-catcher? The scourge of small furry things for the hedgerows and woodlands for miles around? He was completely oblivious. Quite how, or why, I’m not sure. He has a great nose, and is a fairly successful hunter when we’re outside of the house. Whether the domestic aromas masked the mouse scent, or if it was simply not in the house long enough for him to notice, we don’t know. However, the mid-week result looks like this: Theo 0, Mouse 1.

I mentioned that we encountered a policeman in the bushes. It was on Wednesday night, around 11pm and in the dark and the rain. Theo and I were taking the evening air and found that our usual patch of grass was under the close scrutiny of a policeman and a big torch. I said hello, and was thinking of suggesting that if he was after an animal, Theo may be able to assist. However, a policeman’s lot is not a happy one, and I was ignored. As it was our evening walk, only 15-20 minutes had elapsed and the policeman spent all that time looking at a very small area. It then occurred to me that he was probably searching for something more sinister, such as a discarded weapon or drugs and probably didn’t want help from the locals. Oh well, that’s what goes for excitement in the suburbs..

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1893)
Inspector Gregory and Sherlock Holmes in “Silver Blaze” (Doubleday p. 346-7)

This was the same night, when at about 3.30am (I know, because I checked), Theo appears to have had a night-mare. He issued a blood curdling howl that sounded nothing like his usual barks or repertoire of growls and howls. I am a great fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and it was worthy of the Hound of the Baskervilles. What caused it, why he did it, or even if he was asleep or awake and in pain remains unknown. However, after Kim calmed him down he went back to a sound sleep (I don’t think either of us did, but there you go!)

From Theo’s point of view, the highlight of the week occurred on his walk near Edenbridge on Friday afternoon. As usual he was on lead, and leading Kim a merry dance across rivers, and very muddy farmer’s fields. On one such path, he pounced into the undergrowth and emerged victorious with a pheasant. At this point, it is worth pointing out that he was on a relatively short lead (3-4 foot), and we do not want him to hunt. He almost pulled Kim over, as he is over 5 stone and very bouncy. This is a first for Theo, who despite having trodden on a pheasant about two years ago (when we were both so surprised it flew away), he has not caught a bird before. The thing is, he doesn’t really know what to do with them. I think it must be the breeding, a soft-mouthed labrador (gun-dog) mixed with a husky who loves to run and hunt. Unfortunately, the poor thing died of shock almost instantly.  For those deeply invested in their dogs, and the finer subtleties of understanding dog behaviour I can observe that, even though I wasn’t a witness to the actual incident, Theo spent the rest of the day as pleased as punch.

Theo 1, Pheasant 0

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Dog Log – 30th October 2012

Dog Blog

(The one with the pinecones) It’s been another interesting week with plenty going on for young Theo, or not so young as we celebrated his 4th birthday! (Read more about Theo’s 4th birthday)… As you can see on the blackboard, we enjoyed 45 positive interactions with other dogs this week (the total of this week’s […]

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