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Saturday, 3 March 2018

The Beast from the East!

Well, it's been quite a week. In addition to a spell of unusually severe weather, nicknamed by the media 'The Beast from the East', we've had another unexpected beast, from just east of Heathfield. 'Her Indoors' has being donating a bit of her spare dog walking capacity, now that I'm a senior and don't need much exercise, to a charity called the Cinnamon Trust that provides dog walkers for owners who are elderly or ill. Teddy is a Border Terrier, so although she was already walking two Shelties in Crowborough for the Trust, she naturally couldn't resist and walks Teddy once a week too. Unfortunately, Teddy's owner, Sandra, is very poorly, and he came to stay once before, briefly, just before Christmas, when she was taken into hospital. This time, she was taken in the middle of the night, and due to the snow, a neighbour with a four-wheel drive, brought Teddy over a few days ago and he's been with us ever since.
      Now lots of people on social media have been very kind, and praised 'Her Indoors' for taking Teddy in, but of course, it's really all down to me. 'Her Indoors' made it clear that Teddy could only come and stay if I gave him the paws up. Now, as regular readers of my blog will know, whilst I'm generally good with other dogs, there's the odd one or two, like Gyp the farm dog and that Red Setter from up the road, that I really don't like. I like to keep my criteria for these likes and dislikes a closely guarded secret as it keeps 'Them Indoors' on their toes; they never quite know how I'm going to react. Anyway, Teddy and I instantly hit it off; what can I tell you we're both amiable furs. We did polite tail wagging and sniffing, and I made it clear who was boss, and whose kitchen it was. After this initiation, I've made him welcome by bossing him around, pinching his treats and drinking his water. He might be about a third of my age, and half as big again; he's a chunky fur, what can I tell you, but I call the shots around here and harmony is based on that understanding. Fortunately Teddy is fine with that. When he came back from lying in front of the wood burner and found me stretched out in his rather large bed, he just sniffed, wagged his tail, and pragmatically squeezed himself into my much smaller one. And then, when I changed my mind and wanted my own bed back, he shifted without complaint. The only time I've had to give him a verbal caution was when I thought he was being a bit over-familiar with 'Her Indoors'. I'm definitely first in the queue for tummy rubs if there are any going.
      Still, he does have his draw backs. His circumstances have led to him suffering from bad separation anxiety which means that every time 'Her Indoors' leaves the room, he whines, which is a bit trying. Fortunately, my senior deafness means I can sleep through a lot of this, and 'Them Indoor' are making sure I get some solo napping time so I don't get too tired. However at night, he wakes up and cries, so we've had three broken nights. Last night he just wouldn't settle, and 'Her Indoors' was a bit tired, so in the end they compromised and she slept on the sofa whilst Teddy slept in his bed next to her. I got the kitchen to myself and we all got some sleep. 'Her Indoors' is trying to walk the paws off him in the hope that might help, but at the moment she's the one who's most tired.
     Teddy also has his own view on things which is entirely proper in a Border Terrier. He's not a big eater which quite frankly amazes me. 'Her Indoors' has spoilt the potential of this by feeding us separately so Teddy gets a change to eat his before I help him out. She doesn't want him starving and me increasing in girth, and, of course, she's also a natural spoilsport. Still, when she made some beef stew the other night, and saved me some as is usual in our house, she also saved some for Teddy, which was unduly hospitable in my view. Fortunately, he reacted to it like she was trying to poison him, so I was allowed to finish it up, which was a bit of a result.
      However we do agree on some things. Neither of us like the vacuum cleaner and Teddy sneezed very pointedly when 'Her Indoors' cleaned the kitchen floor. What can I tell you, she has worrying tendencies in the household cleanliness department. He also has similar priorities in pee-mail reading which is good to see. Most promising of all, we understand he's a good rabbiter but unfortunately the weather hasn't been good enough to test this out. With my cunning and his youthful speed, we could be a winning team. I've started him on my training manual to bring him up to speed, and I'm trying to teach him that he's perfectly within his rights to ignore commands from 'Them Indoors' if he sees fit. Naturally, he's trying to be polite at the moment, but hopefully that'll wear off quickly. We don't know how long he'll be with us, but I'm beginning to see the advantage of having a younger set of paws around the place. I wonder if he writes at all.......
Me in Teddy's Bed...
And Teddy squashed up in mine...

A bit of training in true Border Terrier ways

Giving instructions

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