Saturday, 16 July 2011

Cave Canem

Once again my folks left me in Ardrossan to globe trot. I gave them pelters of abuse upon their return. It wasn't so much that they'd been away but that their arrival coincided with my dinner time. After being fed I calmed down and listened to their holiday tales. 
It was a warm day and I really wanted a post meal snooze but one holiday tale perked up my ears. They went on an excursion to Pompeii and found its ancient streets littered with stray dogs. Rather than destroy these animals the local council have set up a project, '(C)Ave Canem', to look after and preserve the dogs living at the archeological site. They seek sponsorship and potential owners to adopt the many dogs that roam the ancient streets.

The ancient Pompeians loved their canine pals too. One owner at the House of the Tragic Poet went as far as to install a mosaic of his dog in the floor at the entrance. It is this image that is used by the project as its logo. 
Of course when Vesuvius erupted it wasn't just the humans that perished in the ash and pyroclastic flow from the volcano.  
Today dog owners are encouraged to visit the site with their pets, so long as they have a poop scoop, short lead and muzzle. So now I know where I'd like to go on holiday. Gloriously hot sunshine, open air housing and Italian ice cream; what could be better than Pompeii? Maybe I'll be adopted by an Italian family and renamed Figbania. 

With Italy being part of the Euro, do the dogs spend a 'cent' instead of a 'penny'?

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Beware Golfers Bearing Gifts

An 'Indian giver' is someone who gives a gift then takes it back or expects one in return. The term is regarded as being offensive nowadays because it is derived from the native american practice of expecting a gift in return when one is given and we're not allowed to call them Indians any more.

The term came to mind the other night as I walked along the part of the Braes on the Sergeant Law side that runs beside the Paisley Golf course. I'm sniffing along when suddenly one of the golfers shouts something that sounds like "Four". Confused at the sudden loud enunciation of a number, I'm nearly struck by the arrival of a small white golf ball. And then I get it. Snatching it up in my mouth I realise he must have been shouting "For you" and I just missed the final word. 

My master, who up to this point had been withholding the emergency tennis ball, usually reserved for distracting me from getting into arguments with other dogs, starts to jog towards me. It's a sad sight as his sore back and general lack of fitness have left him stiff and ungainly. Still, it usually means I'm in trouble so I leg it.

Next thing I know there's a golfer negotiating the barbed wire fence. I run over to say thank you and he just gets angry. But what did he expect? I'm not one of those dogs that instantly retrieves the ball and gives it back. I like a chew at it first. This golfer was incensed. He remonstrated with my master and the master attempted to bribe me with the aforementioned tennis ball but it was too late. Golf balls are a treat that I love. The insides don't taste great but I love the challenge of cracking the exterior. I wasn't going to give it back.

The golfer threatened me with a golf club, a wedge I think, but I knew how far he could reach and stayed a safe distance. Eventually he gave up and returned to his side of the fence. And then did something that annoyed me even more. He dropped a new golf ball and played on. If he had another one why did he need my ball back?

I wasn't allowed to chase that one, so on our next circuit of the field I ran ahead and nipped onto the course to follow the native american practice of gift exchange. He'd given me a ball so I left him a deposit in the hole on the very flat grass. It was a tricky shot too because the stick was still in. 

My first 'hole in one' and there was no one around to see it. Luckily.