Tuesday 15 November 2011

Road Test

Today Dad gets to walk we three younger dogs (myself, Max and Lily) up through town and down along the brown-peat-stained Owenass river. This is a nice river, rising in the Slieve Bloom Mountains and flowing down to the Barrow River downstream of here. It's water is clear, flowing over a rocky base (here at least) but with steep grassy banks which are not very dog-friendly as we can't get down for a paddle, but there are one or two places. There's a nice path running all along one side here-abouts so we get a decent walk. The whole walk gives Dad a chance to 'road test' we dogs and he has the following comments.

Maxwell: Very fast and nippy walker who likes to be pulling out front. Makes frequent unpredictable changes of direction, trying to sniff everywhere at once, especially on the early stages of the walk. Hates lorries and rattly trailers but this 'hate' tends to take the form of racing off the pavement and into the carriageway to shout at them, meaning walker has to keep Max on a short lead or lose him under the wheels of une camion enorme. Random direction makes for multiple tangles between the three leads, raising the need every now and then to tread on his lead about 2 feet from his neck while untangling the leads upstream. Also shouts at any dogs we meet who do not show sufficient respect.

Lily: Scaredy-cat walker not yet used to traffic or even the wide open spaces yet, so tends to slink along as close as possible to walkers heels, often actually in contact with the heel as it rises after a step, or slinking half way round the ankle and shouldering the arch of the human foot, causing near-trips. Terrified of big lorries rumbling by a pavement-width away so freezes and tries to shrink into the stone wall to get away. Safe enough but gives the impression she might bolt at any minute (including, possibly, a dash in front of the lorry to get away). Does not start any lead-tangles but closeness to your ankles mean she gets wound up if anyone else does the Maypole thing.

Deefer: Dad is more used to me, obviously but even so, I can add excitement to a three-dog walk by always pulling ahead, urgent to get "there" first even when she has no idea where "there" is. Also known to zig-zag about trying to wrap everyone's lead into a Maypole. Tends to stick nose under any gates or into any openings which might contain dogs and often dives into pavement-side gardens or even houses if people leave the door open.

We didn't take Haggis and Coco today as this was a 'young and fit' walk. Haggis tends to amble along at low speed, preferring to be off the lead ambling than on the lead and being pulled along. He goes faster if you don't try to pull him. Coco, we understand is OK for a while but then goes on strike.

More tomorrow

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