Sunday, 28 November 2010

First Love Dashed

I can't believe I've been so foolish. He didn't love me after all. I can never go out again. Why does it hurt so much? I feel as if I want to die. Send me to the vet now and lets get it over and done with. One last prick to end it all.

His comments make me want to support fox hunting. Let loose the horses and the hounds. The golfers might object though. And the green keepers. Hoof prints everywhere. And horse poo.

Those were nasty comments, Freddy. You could have let me down gentler. You're not a nice fox. It just goes to show you should never judge by appearances.

Foxy Lady

Apologies for failing to blog last weekend. My head and heart have been elsewhere. You see I am in love. It's an extraordinary feeling and I've never felt this way before.

Our eyes met one evening at the park and I knew instantly he was the one. Unfortunately I was on the lead at the time so could only strain and pull and make embarrassingly frantic noises. He was obviously shy and maintained a distance, watching me from afar. He couldn't take his eyes off me.

He was different to the other dogs. His face was gorgeous with an adorable nose and dreamy eyes. He possesed a cool grace, his body sleek and athletic, his winter coat pale red. His tail was amazingly bushy with a white tip. In every sense, he was a fox.

It's not so strange that I should be attracted to a fox. We both like to run across fields and fairways and both forage for scraps around the food dispensers. We both chase small animals and pounce when we think we can catch them. We're even the same height. What's so wrong with a dog falling for a fox? We're perfect for each other. 

The following night we crossed paths again. I could smell him before I saw him. I ricocheted back and forth across the grass following his trail determined to find him. He'd been watching me, sitting still behind the fence at the mini railway. When I discovered him, he ran, like a shy boy. I lost him in the woods. He's even more nimble than I am. 

On our third meeting, he was still crossing the golf course. He wasn't expecting me yet. Off lead and ready, I dropped my tennis ball and charged towards him. In my head I heard an orchestra play Tchaikovsky's Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet. He saw me approaching fast and his eyes nearly popped out of his head. He took flight at a tangent and the chase of love began.

We ran up over the fairways, into and through the trees then over the hill and round to the bramble of the thick border rough. He darted this way and that, never pausing. I maintained the distance, matching his speed, my heart pounding faster and faster. He glanced back from time to time to check I was still with him, which spurred me on to greater speeds. Eventually he ran through some foliage and disappeared down a hole in the ground. He'd led me to his home. Unfortunately, before I could follow, his mother appeared and took an instant dislike to me, suggesting quite fiercely that I should go away. She was not a woman to be argued with, teeth bared and vicious. I thought she might rip me apart but I sniffed around awhile, panting, hoping she would warm to me but it wasn't to be. She was adamant I should leave. It was the last time I saw him. 

The following night I visited the foxhole again only to find it deserted. The whole family had moved on. I attempted to follow the trail but they had done a good job in disguising it. If only his mother had given us a chance, I know I could have won her over.  

I'll find him again one day. Hopefully not squashed at the side of the road. He'll never forget me either, I'm sure of it. 

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Remembrance of Times Past

In the UK today it is Remembrance Sunday, commemorating the end of the first World War and remembering those who died in action serving their country. They mark it with Remembrance services and a two minute siIence across the country at 11am. I've never been in a war and have never lost a comrade in battle. I do know, however, how lucky I am to be alive.

As a puppy I was a stray, roaming the streets, desperately hungry and lonely, cold and tired and scared. In February 2006 I was caught by a dog warden who took me to a local Ayrshire farm. There I was nursed back to health before I could be transferred to a rescue centre. I was only two months old and was extremely thin. They weren't sure if I would survive. I was only supposed to be there for seven days but the rescue centre was so full they kept me on a little longer. First an older man, then a couple came to see me. As my original owners had not come forward to reclaim me, this couple were allowed to rehome me, once I'd been chipped and the vet said I was healthy enough to leave.   

I was so lucky. I was given a warm home and regular meals and toys and a bed all of my own. They spent time with me, reassuring me, training me and playing with me. They had a large grassy garden which I would race around and they took me on walks around the area. I didn't care which county I was living in. I got used to the different accent of the local dogs, eventually picking it up myself. I made friends (and enemies) but always I knew I was safe with a home to return to.

I remember sometimes misbehaving if the walk wasn't long enough or when I got soaked in the rain. I would refuse to come back to my master and he'd get angry with me. But eventually I'd let him catch me and all was still well. I got locked in my cage a couple of times as punishment but they still fed and watered me. They never threw me out. They still loved me.

What brought these memories into sharp focus this week was an experience I had on Wednesday night at Barshaw Park. It was after eight on a cold but dry night and there was a pack of us dogs and owners walking round the park in the dark. When we were passing the golf club, I wandered away, as I do, in search of foxes and/or discarded food. Soon I was racing across the fairways up the hill and into the woods following a fox. My collar light had grown faint with both distance and low batteries so I couldn't be seen from the park. I eventually lost the fox trail but sniffed and searched the woods, spending some time leaving my scent and acquainting myself with the location. I hadn't been up this far before. It wasn't until I returned to the golf club car park that I realised my master and the pack hadn't waited and were nowhere to be found. They were gone.

In human terms I was lost for twenty minutes. In dog time this felt like over two hours. When it sank in he was gone, my heart started beating faster and faster as panic gripped me. The night air seemed colder, the park much bigger and darker. I ran blindly, searching everywhere. I followed one noise to the pond and another across the mini railway line, running towards shapes that weren't my master.

Why hadn't he waited? Where had he gone? What if I didn't find him? I didn't want to return to the life of a stray. I had to find him!

I was so pleased when I heard his whistle call and saw his bright torch scanning the putting green. My tail was spinning so hard as I rushed towards him I thought it would turn into a propeller. I scurried around his legs bouncing against them to confirm he was real and leapt to lick his face. He crouched down and hugged me to settle me and clipped on my lead, then scolded me in a relieved fashion. I think he was equally frightened. He was puffing, out of breath himself, from running around the park, an exercise his body wasn't used to. We marched back towards the car, where the remainder of the pack had gathered, having split into search parties to cover all corners of the park. Everyone was pleased to see me and laughed in relief that I'd turned up. Typical figbane! They all wanted to know where I'd been (and so did the owners). My master thanked everyone for their help. Eventually everyone went on their way and I was taken home in the car. I still got a Bonio and lots of tickles. 

I like living here. I don't want another life. I wish every dog could share my happiness and this king size bed. Every dog deserves this. 

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Spare a Tree some Change?

Sorry about the quality of last week's blog. I was guising as a hack writer making obvious connections in search of a cheap laugh. I'll pick a better costume next time.

After Halloween its traditional for the kids of the Morar estate to extort cash from passers-by for their 'guy'. I was all too glad to spend a penny on his behalf. They weren't amused at his leg getting soggy though. They cussed vociferously and threatened to stick a banger up my bum if I did it again. I growled and they backed away. No one touches my bottom without permission. They were really stupid kids. The fools had used foam from a fire-retardant sofa to pad him out. I wish I had been there to see the bonfire light on their faces as he failed to burn.  

The Robertson Car Park at the Gleniffer Braes looked today like Baghdad both before and after the Americans had 'liberated' it from Saddam. Charred rocket shells and the detritus of a prolonged firework campaign covered the grass while the car park itself was strewn with the remains of pizza boxes and takeaway wrappings. I was in smell heaven. It didn't look like all the trees had survived though. Many looked scared stiff, bare of leaves and standing rigid, despite the wind. That's the winter coming. Not all the trees know that though.  

Did you know that trees can suffer from dementia? It's really sad but becoming more and more prevalent as they live longer. In the spring and summer they flourish, living in the moment, unaware of what lies ahead. When autumn hits they become highly distressed as their leaves start to turn yellowy/brown and fall off. They don't remember that this is all part of the changing of the seasons. They believe they're going to die. When the high winds blow, they end up standing in a bed of their own dead leaves, swaying in disbelief, mourning their increasing baldness. Sometimes in high gales they give up altogether and fall to the ground sobbing, never recovering. But the biggest pity of all for such long-living entities is that they forget and go through the whole painful process year after year. All except the conifers. But no one thinks to do any research into sharing the elusive cure that could save these deciduous trees from this annual pain. And why? Because money doesn't grow on trees. How would they pay for it? That's the world we live in now.

Me, I like to pee on them and chew their dead limbs. But then I'm a dog, although in this picture I look more like a mouse. 
Till next time...